Nicolas Pelham has written about the Middle East since 1992. He began as the editor of Middle East Times from Cairo before joining the BBC Arabic Service. He covered the Algerian civil war and the caprice of Colonel Qaddafi as the BBC’s correspondent in Rabat. In 2002 he joined Financial Times reporting on the downfall of first Saddam Hussein and then the America protectorate in Baghdad. For five years, he worked as International Crisis Group’s senior analyst producing briefings on the rise of Shiite rulers in Iraq and Lebanon, Sunni Islamists in Palestine, Bedouin in Sinai, and the Jewish religious right in Israel. Since 2010, he has reported on the region’s collapse for The Economistand New York Review of Books. He is the author of two previous books, A New Muslim Order (2008) on Arab Shiite rule and A History of the Middle East (2010) with Peter Mansfield. He lives in London.