Pop Culture in North Africa and the Middle East
Entertainment and Society around the World
by Andrew Hammond
May 2017, 319pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3383-0
$118, £91, 103€, A162
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3384-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In the Middle East, the vast popularity of Western-influenced pop music coexists uneasily with established conservative cultural norms of propriety.

Ideal for students and general readers, this single-volume work serves as a ready-reference guide to pop culture in countries in North Africa and the Middle East, covering subjects ranging from the latest young adult book craze in Egypt to the hottest movies in Saudi Arabia.

Part of the new Pop Culture around the World series, this volume focuses on countries in North Africa and the Middle East, including Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and more. The book enables students to examine the stars, idols, and fads of other countries and provides them with an understanding of the globalization of pop culture.

An introduction provides readers with important contextual information about pop culture in North Africa and the Middle East, such as how the United States has influenced movies, music, and the Internet; how Islamic traditions may clash with certain aspects of pop culture; and how pop culture has come to be over the years. Readers will learn about a breadth of topics, including music, contemporary literature, movies, television and radio, the Internet, sports, video games, and fashion. There are also entries examining topics like key musicians, songs, books, actors and actresses, movies and television shows, popular websites, top athletes, games, and clothing fads and designers, allowing readers to gain a broad understanding of each topic, supported by specific examples. An ideal resource for students, the book provides Further Readings at the end of each entry; sidebars that appear throughout the text, providing additional anecdotal information; appendices of Top Tens that look at the top-10 songs, movies, books, and much more in the region; and a bibliography.


  • Allows readers to make cross-cultural comparisons by relating pop culture in the Islamic world to pop culture in the United States
  • Supplies highly relatable content for young adult readers that is presented in a fun and engaging way
  • Provides information that students can use in daily life, such as renting a popular or acclaimed Middle Eastern film or watching a YouTube video of Egyptian music
  • Enables students to better understand the uneasy paradox that is pop culture in the Islamic world
Andrew Hammond is a doctoral researcher in Islamic history and Middle East studies at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford. He has recent publications on modern shifts in Islamic intellectual culture in International Journal of Middle East Studies and Arab Media & Society, and he is the author of The Islamic Utopia: The Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia. Hammond previously worked for the European Council on Foreign Relations as a Middle East policy fellow and in media for BBC Arabic radio, Cairo Times, and Reuters news agency. He studied Turkish and modern Middle East studies at the University of Oxford and Arabic and early Islamic history at the School of Oriental and African Studies.


"This work should find a home in any library serving undergraduates, possibly in both the reference and circulating collections. It may also be helpful for general adult audiences in public libraries."—Library Journal, September 15, 2017

"A unique feature of this book is that it does try to present pop culture as Arabs see it, rather than as Westerners see it. . . . Given this work’s depth and coverage, it would make a good initial reference work for undergraduates studying Arab pop culture."—ARBAonline, December 6, 2017

"The entries' broad range of topics and detailed sources for further reading should interest scholars at all levels. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Beginning students through researchers/faculty; general readers."—Choice, February 1, 2018
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.