Who's Who in the World offers an interesting if uneven look at the leading figures of the Middle East. The individual entries are useful as concise yet comprehensive overviews of a person's career, provided the person you're looking for is included. This edition, for example, misses such notable players as Tariq Aziz, Ehud Barak, Rolf Ekéus, Necmettin Erbakan, and Dennis Ross while including a Jordanian factory executive and a Saudi Arabian airline official.
But even those with lofty titles might not make the grade. Five members of Kuwait's ruling al-Sabah family are listed but Morocco's King Hasan is not. The U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Edward Walker, is in; the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, is not. Strangely, Hafiz al-Asad is described only as a "Syrian government official"; not until end of the entry does it become clear that he is no mere cog in the government machine but its absolute dictator. A more helpful book perhaps would place as much emphasis on influence (current and potential) as on formal status.
On the bright side, Who's Who in the World achieves something hundreds of thousands of allied forces in the Kuwait war could not: it locates Saddam Husayn, providing a full mailing address.