I met miriam cooke sometime in the early 1980s, probably at an annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). She had finished her PhD in 1980 at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, just five years after I had finished my PhD at Columbia University. I bumped into this brilliant and articulate woman with a British accent everywhere I went. I remember asking the Lebanese poet, essayist, and artist Etel Adnan, now a mutual friend, “Who is this person?” Etel shook her head and said, “I don’t know, but she is everywhere I go!” I said, “Aha, so she is everywhere!” This was in the days when conspiratorial stories about the Middle East proliferated.

My encounters with miriam were always engaging and collegial. I left our conversations thinking deeply about whatever we had discussed and remembered...

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