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Acknowledgments

The core research for this book was enabled by an award from the Faculty Development Grant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I received additional encouragement to further the project during a poster presentation session that was required of all recipients of the competitive annual grant. It was especially encouraging to hear the provost say that she was pleased that my research was funded with a grant that mostly went to the biological and physical sciences.

I am also grateful to attendees of the Global Studies Conference at the University of California at Los Angeles in June 2016. A paper I presented there on aspects of this book received both favorable comments and helpful suggestions. The same was true of a similar presentation I made in April 2018 before the faculty of the Department of Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University.

I am, of course, indebted to the many scholars whose works I have cited in this book. My greatest indebtedness in this regard is to Francis Fukuyama and Kwame Anthony Appiah, whose works are referenced throughout. I had hoped that Professor Fukuyama could take a look at the manuscript before it went for publication, but understandably he couldn’t. He was immersed in his own work, which he couldn’t do if he granted a fraction of such requests. I hope, nonetheless, that this exploration of cultural chauvinism is reasonably accurate in applying his analyses. I hope the same for all the other authors I have cited.

My initial research drew heavily from the English-language press, and I had to find ways to mitigate the skew, especially with regard to the Islamic perspective. Muhammad Alqhtani, a Saudi graduate student in my communication theory and audience analysis classes, helped to fill this hole by securing information from the Arab press and related sources.

Several friends and colleagues were also helpful in various ways. Some offered suggestions, some drew my attention to pertinent sources, and all offered encouragement. I wish 1 can name them all, but 1 am especially grateful to Professors Jean Bodon, Steve Miller, Eduardo Neiva, Humphrey Regis, and Lisa Sharlach. It wouldn’t surprise me if I have missed some people I should have mentioned. I count on their pardon.

My greatest indebtedness is to my four children, to whom I dedicate this book. At those moments when it has seemed that life is a run through the grinder, it has surprised that I have always emerged none the worse. The secret is the nourishing spring that my children provide.

The final work on the manuscript was done amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic. With schools closed and a lockdown imposed, my children—like most others—had to endure months indoors. For me, that meant having to split time between working on the manuscript and helping to put content in the two youngest children’s lives.

Like most teenagers, my 13-year-old son, Sofiri, often buried himself in electronics, and my job was to pry him away. It was my nine-year-old daughter, Nimi, who needed—and demanded—more attention. Often, when I was glued to my laptop, she would walk up to me, lean over, rest both hands affectionately on my shoulders, and ask, “Are you busy, Daddy?” She always knew the answer, of course, and I always understood the question. It was time to pack it up and attend to my primary duty. Usually, I would negotiate for 10 to 30 more minutes to tidy up whatever I was doing. And she would graciously, though not always enthusiastically, accept.

It all worked out. We all made it through and you are reading this book.

 
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