Photo: Chen Leopold/Flash90

Prof. On Barak of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University discusses his book, Powering Empire: How Coal Made the Middle East and Sparked Global Carbonization.

He takes on a historical journey to think of energy in the historical context of the making of the Middle East as a region, during the long 19th century. Instead of thinking that we are in a transition from coal to oil to cleaner energies, he argues, we need to understand the persistence of coal in the Middle East and how our reliance on it has shaped our politics, economics and culture.

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