Online Journal of the Virtual Middle East

ISSN 1804-3194

Editor-in-Chief:  Daniel Martin Varisco
Managing Editor:  Vit Sisler

“The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences.”  Edward Said, Orientalism (1978)

If the West invented the Orient for itself, how much more Edward Said’s comments ring true for the newly created CyberOrient, the representation of people and cultures in the imagined intellectual space of an over-imagined Orient, politicized Middle East and diverse Islamic world.  In the real world bombs go off, bullets tear apart flesh, buildings are burned and hatred is bred and spread on a daily basis.  These same events can be simulated on the Internet, but the real story is how this new technology fosters a virtual reality in which representation seemingly becomes as real in impact as the reality we live and die in.  The virtual Middle East and Islam in cyberspace:  this is the focus of the new online journal CyberOrient, sponsored by the American Anthropological Association and based at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague.