was born in Iran in1947 and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of London in 1969. After 18 years working as an electrical and instrument contractor in Iran, he emigrated to the United States and joined UOP, the world's largest process technology company. After leaving UOP, he founded CHAMCO in 1994. CHAMCO's core business, among environmental projects, is turning Municipal Solid Waste into electricity ( www.chamco.net ).
ChamanAra’s dream for the future is to create a town in the U.S. and naming it Iran (www.eb5fund.us). He has written eleven books, mostly about Iran. These books can be downloaded for free from his website, www.chamanara.net.
Timur Kuran argues that what slowed the economic development of the Middle East was not colonialism or geography, still less Muslim attitudes or some incompatibility between Islam and capitalism. Rather, starting around the tenth century, Islamic legal institutions, which had benefitted the Middle Eastern economy in the early centuries of Islam, began to act as a drag on development by slowing or blocking the emergence of central features of modern economic life--including private capital accumulation, corporations, large-scale production, and impersonal exchange. By the nineteenth century, modern economic institutions began to be transplanted to the Middle East, but its economy has not caught up. And there is no quick fix today. Low trust, rampant corruption, and weak civil societies--all characteristic of the region's economies today and all legacies of its economic history--will take generations to overcome.
The Long Divergence opens up a frank and honest debate on a crucial issue that even some of the most ardent secularists in the Muslim world have hesitated to discuss.
In a new afterword, Wickham discusses what has happened in Egypt since Muhammad Morsi was ousted and the Muslim Brotherhood fell from power.