The Middle East today is a land of many contrasts and cultures; a region which has suffered more than its fair share of conflicts for a hundred years or more, but which nevertheless remains a place of mystery and great beauty. This account blends historical facts with wry observation and puts fascinating personal anecdotes into context by references to the turbulent modern history of the Middle East - from the Balfour Declaration in 1917 up to the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s President, in 1981.
Recounting the travels and adventures of the author as a teenager it follows his journeys of discovery in 1979 and 1981. A sea voyage to Aqaba in Jordan led him to the small mountain town of Salt overlooking the Jordan Valley where a job working as a volunteer with deaf children awaited. Over a year later he returned, this time on a 6,000 mile overland adventure from Ipswich to Sharjah in the Persian Gulf. During the course of these travels in and around the region, in a land undergoing significant political and social change, he came across legacies of colonial rule in Jordan and the West Bank; recent conflict in Lebanon; engineering triumphs in Saudi Arabia; raging inflation in Israel; violence in Syria and fascinating history in Turkey - but everywhere great generosity and hospitality from the diverse people of the region.
We know much of the recent history of the Middle East from news reports and countless television documentaries, but between 1979 and 1981 it was a very exciting place to be; largely neglected by tourists and not long independent from western European influence, the countries which had comprised the land known as Palestine, were still tense, unsettled and largely unspoilt.
Tim is a Trustee for the charity: Friends of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf (Charity No. 1079893) which is committed to the charitable work of the ‘Holy Land Institute for the Deaf’ in Salt, Jordan - an institute dedicated to supporting and teaching over 140 deaf and deaf-blind children from all over the region who often have nowhere else to turn for a quality education. He is also a former volunteer with the Project Trust (Scottish charity No. SC025668) - an educational charity based on the Isle of Coll, Scotland