By Tony Horwitz
This wild and comedian story of heart East misadventure is "a very humorous and regularly insightful examine the world's such a lot flamable sector. Fearlessness is a beneficial caliber in a commute author, and Mr. Horwitz . . . turns out as intrepid as they come".--The manhattan occasions e-book overview
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Michael Axworthy's Iran: Empire of the brain confirmed him as one of many world's important specialists in this striking kingdom and in his new booklet, progressive Iran, he has written the definitive historical past of this topic, one that takes complete account of Iran's distinct background and is sensible of occasions usually misunderstood through outsiders.
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Additional info for Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia
At three o'clock sharp, the other guests arrived. There was Mansour's brother, who wore a robe and dagger; an aged uncle, who seemed to have just hiked in from the fields, with dusty feet, a dirty shift, and a dagger; and a young cousin who sat in a far corner and remained rather distant, inspecting the blade of his dagger. Each man dropped a bundle of qat at his feet and reached over to fondle mine, guessing its price. Despite these repeated inspections, I still couldn't tell my two purchases apart.
Ten eyes stared back through their peepholes. It was difficult to tell if anyone returned my smile. Then one of the women stood up and offered me a glass of tea. She spoke in hesitant English, and her voice was muffled by the veil. “I love you,” she said. I looked down, embarrassed, and studied the red henna dye painted in swirls across the tops of her toes. Somehow, saying “I love you, too” to a Muslim woman in a face mask didn't seem appropriate. So I smiled and thanked her. We stood there, blue eyes to black eyes, until a man appeared at the edge of the courtyard.
We giggled and kept on chewing leaves, like a pair of dopey koalas. “I tell you a hidden truth about Yemen,” Mansour said conspiratorially. ” It was a typical flight of qat-fancy. Turkish steam baths were invented in Sanaa and stolen by the Ottomans, he said. The Santa Fe style of architecture originated with Sanaa's mud-brick skyscrapers, not New Mexico's adobe. (“My people travel a great deal,” Mansour hypothesized. ”) Even the few thousand Jews of Yemen were “the real ones” because they had fled Jerusalem in biblical times.
Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia by Tony Horwitz