By Ken Haley
He’s been expelled from Syria on suspicion of terrorism, been dragged from the Hungarian parliament in handcuffs and interviewed the editor-in-chief of al-Jazeera, all in the course of a extraordinary two-year trip by way of wheelchair throughout Eurasia. Walkley Award-winning journalist Ken Haley’s travels take up forty-one nations and in Emails from the sting he portrays lifestyles within the heart East because it fairly is, no longer because the media painting it, and attracts an fascinating parallel together with his personal lifestyles.
With nice humour, and never a touch of sentimentality, he lays naked his darkest instances, while he plunged over the precipice into insanity, and divulges the wanderlust that led him to the guts of the world’s sizzling spots.
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Oh, and here’s a short technique to win funds. Ask a person, ‘Who was once the main strong individual ever to hail from Tikrit? ’ Odds are they’ll resolution ‘Saddam Hussein’. yet it’s no contest, particularly; even Arabs will provide the prize to Saladin. in any case, Saddam (who occasionally in comparison himself to the good guy) by no means captured Jerusalem. DAY 287 (23 FEBRUARY): PALMYRA one other day, one other empire. To the crucial Syrian wasteland, thousands of kilometres north-east of the capital, i've got come on a public bus occupied in general by means of bored squaddies. the following amid a copybook oasis lies Palmyra, alias Tadmor. A smallish city now, it was once a wealthy and flourishing centre for the 1st centuries of the Christian period. Its world-acclaimed old website lies an exceptional sector hour’s push (by chair) from the fashionable cost. Rebuffing the provide of a camel ride—do those vacationer touts lack mind's eye or eyesight, I wonder—I move the hours rolling as much as the agora, then right down to the traditional urban theatre, and discover as a lot of the breathtaking Temple of Bel (AD 31) as i will. DAY 289 (25 FEBRUARY): QAMISHLE, at the SYRIAN–TURKISH BORDER they've got lived within the heart East for 5000 years, most likely longer than the Arabs themselves. they're a individuals with their very own language and tradition, but have by no means had a kingdom to name their very own. this day sixty five million robust, they're a sizeable minority in 4 lands, yet say the notice ‘Kurdestan’ and shivers run down spines the entire method from Baghdad to Washington, let alone Tehran and Ankara. To the media they're a ‘problem’, even the UN won’t inspire their hopes of nationhood. within the ‘liberation’ of Iraq, they have been an afterthought. who're the Kurds? And what do they need? i'm right here to determine. the following within the heartland in their ‘homeland’, ‘authorities’ can't forget about them, basically attempt to subdue them. As i'm means out of vacationer bounds, i must be very discreet in looking for the part folks of Qamishle, or my tough welcome to Syria’s southern border might become a modest prelude to what awaits me on its northern frontier. strength is extra visible in such areas: it wears a uniform; is armed; it struts and swaggers. attempting to make myself inconspicuous as a waiter brings my thick Levantine espresso, I bend over the ebook i've got introduced with me. it's the 19th-century explorer Sir Richard Burton’s translation of Arabian Nights and he's writing approximately Aladdin. ‘Soon he entered a espresso residence, an outstanding development which stood available to buy, and which attracted many of us to play at cube, backgammon, chess, and different video games. ’ i glance up. dealing with one another, a metre in entrance of my face, are historical males. At their elbows lie their coffees, steaming, forgotten, as one increases a enjoying card tremulously for a second earlier than slamming it at the desk, face up, in triumph. His opponent grunts in admiration. this would be 2002 or, if my identify have been Aladdin, 1002. My reverie is damaged via the presence of an earnest-looking guy of approximately forty years. I throw out what i'm hoping may be a hook that doesn’t impale the fisherman via announcing, ‘I am simply the following trying to find a Kurdish individual.
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