Middle East

Syrian War Rattles Lebanon’s Northern Border

Syrian War Rattles Lebanon’s Northern Border

Descending the winding road through hills of scrub brush into Lebanon’s region of Wadi Khaled, one encounters a number of oddities absent in other towns along the way: makeshift tent villages, mobs of dishevelled children, and a palpable sense of morose apprehension visible in the body language of local residents. Situated at the northernmost tip […]

A Journey to Turkish Kurdistan

“In less than two hours you will arrive at the end of the world,” said Mehmet, the owner of the teahouse where the minibus bound for Bahçesaray departs. Our long morning of animated conversation came to an end as I squeezed into the small vehicle overloaded with passengers and their cargo of pickles and cooking […]

The Colonel’s Caravan – Travelling in Egypt’s Western Desert

The Colonel’s Caravan – Travelling in Egypt’s Western Desert

“Hit the gas hard and stay on my tracks,” our driver orders into the radio before stepping on the accelerator and catapulting us up a long and narrow wadi of red sand rising between two rocky plateaus. Tension grips the passengers as the vehicle fishtails wildly and as our driver assumes the air and intensity […]

Adventures in Old Sana’a

Adventures in Old Sana’a

“So, this is your first time with us!” exclaimed Abdulrahman al-Anesi with a dose of laughter and feigned surprise. “May Allah bring you back again and again!” Al-Anesi, my airport pickup, whose jewel-bedecked jambaya dagger sat at his midsection like a monstrous scimitar waiting to be unsheathed, was full of smiles and colourful teeth. Nothing […]

Egypt’s Window on the World

Egypt’s Window on the World

“My whole life was preparation for this job,” says Ismail Serageldin, as he flashes a wry smile and gazes out of his fifth-storey office window overlooking the Alexandria corniche. What might otherwise seem like an unusual comment coming from a man who gave up a sparkling career in international development to return to Egypt to […]