While I have always been interested in nationalism in general and nationalism in the Arab Middle East in particular, I have been especially intrigued by two problems: the origins of nationalism in the region and the relationship between nationalism and Islam. Most of the existing literature on these topics were rooted in idealism and outdated social science theory. While puzzling over these problems, I hit upon two ideas that stand as an original contribution to the broader study of nationalism: a “culture of nationalism” in which specific nationalist movements are embedded and nationalism as a set of narrativized practices as opposed to nationalism as a disembodied idea.