Alistair Caldicott
Buy 'Opening Up the Middle East'

Opening Up the Middle East

An overland journey from Istanbul to Cairo…and an eye-opening alternative take on a topical region. This book looks at the Middle East from a very different, often humorous, and entertaining perspective. It might help to banish a few popular misconceptions.

From Turkey, follow the Mediterranean around into Syria and some of the world's oldest cities and most spectacular desert ruins reveal themselves. Then the journey heads across to downtown Beirut in Lebanon and on into the amazing landscapes of Jordan. It continues to the powerful, but edgy, city of Jerusalem and into the {palestinian_life,Palestinian West Bank]] area, staying with a Palestinian family observing up close the intimate effects of the world's most scrutinised conflict. Finally, the journey heads down into Egypt, along the Nile and into the Sahara, desert before a flourishing and entertaining conclusion amidst the congestion of Cairo.

To the outside observer, the Middle East is in something of a mess at the moment. The world has fiddled (sometimes deliberately so) while parts of it have burned. But hopefully the account of my journey through it from Istanbul to Cairo will help you to see it from a slightly different angle, an alternative take on a very topical region. I've included a few of my book excerpts below.

For all the people across the Middle East who we do not hear about on news reports.


Where did you say you were going? The Middle East?!

  1. Welcome to Istanbul
  2. Ephesus - When No means Yes
  3. Good Evening, My Name is Eye Up
  4. Fairy Chimney Land
  5. Into Syria with Hamas
  6. Aleppo, the World's Oldest City
  7. More Old Stones
  8. Crusaders' Castle
  9. Road to Damascus
  10. Having the Stomach for Sheep's Balls
  11. Bound for Beirut
  12. Another Side to the Middle East
  13. Amman on a Mission – May Jesus Be With You
  14. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  15. Behind the Wall, Inside Palestine
  16. Suicide City
  17. Is Jerusalem a Pleasant Land?
  18. Rubbing Salt into the Wounds
  19. Escape from Jerusalem
  20. Donkey Business
  21. Sailing through Wadi Rum
  22. From the Orange Sea to the Red Sea
  23. Along and Over the Nile
  24. Egypt's Deep South, the Edge of Africa
  25. One Englishman in the Sahara
  26. The White Desert
  27. Cairo, The Victorious
  28. Islamic Cairo
  29. Permission to Leave
    Reflections: What now for the Middle East?

Sample Content

Accompanying Images