I created ibn monkey in 2009 thinking I would write about Middle East politics while working on my PhD studies in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University.  Perhaps predictably, given the demands of coursework and teaching, there was failure to launch.

But I’m starting again, this time motivated by the desire to write more and share more of what I read.  This extends to Arabic language material, so some posts are in Arabic.

Ibn Monkey simply means “son of monkey” in Arabic. Beyond being a basic truism of humanity, there is some clarity that comes from acknowledging our closeness to primates when observing politics and human behavior. Before a scientific argument for evolution, Ibn Khaldun’s 14th century claim that reasoning humans are a stage beyond the world of (clever but not thinking) monkeys describes the concurrent distance and closeness. So… Ibn Monkey.

I should note (rather, have to note for the time being) that the views expressed in this blog do not reflect those of the U.S. State Department, the Fulbright Program, or the Fulbright Commission in Jordan.