Abdo, Geneive 1960-
Abdo, Geneive 1960-
Born 1960; married, Jonathan Lyons (a journalist).
Writer, journalist. Correspondent for the Guardian, Economist, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, and Reuters. National Public Radio and British Broadcasting Corporation, commentator. United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, liaison officer, 2002—.
Nieman Fellow, Harvard University; Guggenheim Fellow, 2001-02.
Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America after 9/11, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Journalist and United Nations liaison officer Geneive Abdo has traveled to many of the trouble spots around the world, including Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Middle East, including Cairo and Tehran. Her firsthand experiences have led to several well-received nonfiction works on Islam in the contemporary world. With No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam, Abdo documents the social and political transformation of Egypt into an Islamic society. Booklist contributor Michael Spinella felt that Abdo "presents fruitful cross-cultural undercurrents that provide hope for peace and understanding between secularism and religion." A Publishers Weekly reviewer termed the same work "an elegantly written, sympathetic look at a neglected phenomenon."
Working with her husband and fellow journalist Jonathan Lyons, Abdo also published the 2003 title Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First-Century Iran, a work that explains the theological struggle in Iran among the Shiite clerics and how this struggle has negatively influenced the political process. The book also predicted the takeover of the Iranian regime by hard-liners. The first American journalists allowed to live and work in Iran following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Abdo and Lyons were able to carry out numerous interviews and make daily observations on life in Iran between 1998 and 2001. Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, found this "an unsettling but informative and important book." Ethan Pullman, writing in Library Journal, similarly praised that work's "readable style" as well as its "research value." For Chris Mooney, reviewing the same book in Mother Jones, it was a "timely (if loosely organized) report on Iran's theocratic experiment," while a Kirkus Reviews critic termed it "a thoughtful, reasoned contribution to the distressing affairs of the Middle East." And for a Publishers Weekly reviewer, Answering Only to God was an "engrossing book of reportage."
Abdo's 2006 title Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America after 9/11 was one of the first explorations of the Muslim community in the United States since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Reviewing Mecca and Main Street in the Middle East Journal, Barbara C. Aswad felt that Abdo "provides the reader with vivid descriptions of everyday life experiences of different Muslim individuals and communities under pressure since 9/11," and she further noted that the book is "a good read, and a must for understanding change in the Islamic communities."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2000, Michael Spinella, review of No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam, p. 34; February 15, 2003, Jay Freeman, review of Answering Only to God: The Failure of Democracy in Twenty-First-Century Iran, p. 1021.
Campaigns & Elections, October-November, 2006, review of Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America after 9/11, p. 62.
Editor & Publisher, May 28, 2001, "Awards," p. 9.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002, review of Answering Only to God, p. 1813.
Library Journal, October 1, 2000, Michael W. Ellis, review of No God but God, p. 107; April 15, 2003, Ethan Pullman, review of Answering Only to God, p. 106.
Middle East Journal, summer 2001, Louis Cantori, review of No God but God, p. 493; autumn 2003, Mehrdad Mashayekhi, review of Answering Only to God, p. 672; winter 2007, Barbara C. Aswad, review of Mecca and Main Street, p. 170.
Middle East Policy, March 2002, Bill Mikhail, review of No God but God, p. 162.
Middle East Quarterly, fall 2001, Jonathan Schanzer, review of No God but God, p. 79.
Mother Jones, March-April 2003, Chris Mooney, review of Answering Only to God, p. 84.
Nieman Reports, winter 2006, "Geneive Abdo," p. 99.
Policy Review, October-November, 2003, "Iran's Fragile Fault Lines," p. 80.
Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2000, review of No God but God, p. 85; February 3, 2003, review of Answering Only to God, p. 67.
Geneive Abdo Home Page,http://www.geneiveadbdo.com (June 23, 2007).
Iranian,http://www.iranian.com/ (March 13, 2003), review of "Answering Only to God."
OUP Web log: Official Blog of Oxford University Press,http://blog.oup.com/ (September 19, 2006), "A Few Questions for Geneive Abdo."
Paula Gordon Show Web site,http://www.paulagordon.com/ (June 23, 2007), "Geneive Abdo: Islamists."
Payvand,http://www.payvand.com/ (July 11, 2003), Ali Moayedian, "Interview with Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons."