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This volume is not a guide of where to stay and what to do, rather it is a collection of writing that aims to invest the traveller with a cultural and historical background to Croatia, which will give life and meaning into the sights, sounds and tastes that the traveller will experience.
Ignorance about Islam runs deep in the West - ignorance of its rites, its beliefs, and above all its prophet. Who was Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and the man Muslims believe was God's last prophet on earth? In this concise and colourful account, the acclaimed writer and broadcaster Barnaby Rogerson tells the story of the illiterate orphan who was raised in the desert and trained as a merchant on the camel trade routes that criss-crossed Arabia, before defying his tribe to found a new religion, establish a world language, and create an almost unstoppable force that only 100 years after his death has conquered an empire stretching from the Pyrenees to the Hindu Kush. It was when he was 40 that Muhammad experienced his first revelation on a mountainside outside Mecca, hearing the divine order: "Recite!" From then until his flight from Mecca his tale is one of rejection and persecution, but it is also one of puzzling contradictions: why did he order the murder of a Jewish tribe? And why did he marry 10 times himself while restricting Muslims to four wives? Barnaby Rogerson examines his puzzling life, and how it has laid the foundation for a "clash of civilisations" between the Muslim and Christian worlds.
Leaving his uneventful life in America behind him, Nelson Dyer sails to Tangier to take up work in a travel agency run by an old acquaintance Jack Wilcox. From his arrival he begins to explore the dark underworld of the city; its bars and brothels, its erotic film shows and suspect financial arrangements; its aristocracy and its prostitutes. Determined to make something happen in his new life, he is drawn into a series of increasingly sinister events from which there seems little chance of escape.
Rogerson's Book of Numbers tells the stories behind our iconic numbers. It is based on a numerical array of virtues, spiritual attributes, gods, devils, sacred cities, powers, calendars, heroes, saints, icons and cultural symbols. It provides a dazzling mass of information for those intrigued by the many roles numbers play in folklore and popular culture, in music and poetry, and in the many religions, cultures and belief systems of our world. The stories unfold from millions to zero: from the number of the beast (666) to the seven deadly sins, the twelve signs of the zodiac to the four suits of a pack of cards. Along the way you will discover why Genghis Khan built a city of 108 towers, how Dante forged his Divine Comedy on the number eleven, and why thirteen is so unlucky in the west while fourteen is the number to avoid in China. Now available as a paperback, this is your pocket-book guide to the numerical mysteries of the universe.
Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco's ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in the Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction. The competing distractions of television, movies and the internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed at first hand the death throes of this rich and captivating tradition and, in the labyrinth of the Marrakech medina, has tracked down the last few remaining storytellers, recording stories that are replete with the mysteries and beauty of the Maghreb.
The Last Crusaders is about the titanic contest between Hadsburg-led Christendom and the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the last great conflict between East and West - the battles that were fought and the men who led the armies that fought them. It was, in its way, the first world war.
This is the first book in a new series of pocket-sized poetry books for travelers and poetry lovers who seek inspiration while on a bus, subway train, or taxi, or while waiting for a museum to open. Here is the poetry of London, from the up-beat rap-poetry of Benjamin Zephaniah to Wordsworth's dawn sigh. From the catchpenny verses of Oranges and Lemons and London Bridge is Falling Down, to the ecstatic visions of Keats, Milton, and Blake. From the first lines of Anglo-Saxon verse to lines retrieved from a bar last year. It's a collection full of irony, delight, and personal grief. Some other poets included are Shakespeare. T.S. Eliot, Alan Jenkins, John Betjeman, Bacon, Wilde, and Blake.
Meetings with Remarkable Muslims is a collection of travel writing celebrating friendship and the chance encounters that unexpectedly enrich our lives, which shows the diversity of the modern Islamic world and the way in which it continues to inspire, bemuse and enrich the western imagination. What shines through these many stories is our common humanity - the need, indeed the urge, to earn, to love, to protect, to enjoy and to make a sense of life.
For 40 years, Barnaby Rogerson has travelled across North Africa, making sense of the region's complex and fascinating history as both a writer and a guide. Throughout that time, there have always been a handful of stories he could not pin into neat, tidy narratives; stories that were not distinctly good or bad, tragic or pathetic, selfish or heroic, malicious or noble. This book, neither a work of history nor travel writing, is a journey into the ruins of a landscape to make sense of these stories through the lives of five men and one woman. A sacrificial refugee (Queen Dido), a prisoner-of-war who became a compliant tool of the Roman Empire (King Juba), an unpromising provincial who, as Emperor, brought the Empire to its dazzling apogee (Septimius Severus), an intellectual careerist who became a bishop and a saint (St Augustine), the greatest General the world has ever known (Hannibal), and the Berber Cavalry General who eventually defeated him (Masinissa). Though all six lives have been clouded with as much myth as fact, the destinies of these North African figures remain highly relevant today. Their descendants are faced with the same choices: Do you stay pure to your own culture and fight against the power of the West, or do you study and assimilate this other culture, and utilise its skills? Will it greet you as an ally only to own you as a slave? The chosen heroes of this book represent classical North Africa, and not the familiar drum roll of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Constantine and Justinian. In between these life stories, we explore ruins which tell their own tales and see the multiple interconnections that bind the culture of this region with the wider world, particularly the spiritual traditions of the ancient Near East.
Learn how to barter and where to get the best bargains! Bursting with personal knowledge and practical information from a renowned expert on Morocco, this guidebook reveals the secrets of these three unique imperial cities and delivers complete insights into their history, religion, culture, and architecture. Full-color photos. Maps.
Marrakesh is perhaps the most fashionable, talked about, photographed city in Africa. This volume explores the city's mystique through the researches, speculations and scholarship of 40 travel writers who have succumbed to the enhancement of the city.
This title feature a dynamic two-color layout for easy navigation. The color section gives a photographic overview of the region, together with special features of the region, tailored itineraries and lists of the best things to do. It features full-color touring maps of the whole region. It has extensive listings of hotels and restaurants - all personally recommended for a really local flavor. It contains 'Top Don't Miss' sights for each regional chapter, plus 'Author Choices' of personal favorite places to stay and eat. It explores the winding alleys and interlocking courtyards of each of the three imperial cities. It helps you discover the snake charmers and magicians of Marrakesh, the hidden shrines and spice markets of medieval Fez, and the elegant monuments of modern-minded Rabat. It includes detailed coverage of nearby day-trip destinations from each of the three cities, including the Ourika Valley, Essaouira, Meknes, and Casablanca.
"Travels in Arabia Deserta" is considered to be one of the finest books ever written on Arabia, admired for the beauty of its prose and valued as being one of the most important nineteenth-century portraits of Arabia and its peoples. Embarking on an adventure that had not been attempted by even the most intrepid explorers of the day, Charles Doughty travelled for nearly two years through the desert interior of the great Arabian Peninsula. Openly proclaiming himself a Christian and an Englishman, Doughty wandered through the desert, living with and as a bedouin, experiencing and recording a way of life that has now disappeared forever. His account - published here in paperback for the first time - is a truly indispensable classic of travel literature on the Middle East.
"Travels in Arabia Deserta" is considered to be one of the finest books ever written on Arabia, admired for the beauty of its prose and valued as being one of the most important 19th century portraits of Arabia and its people. Embarking on an adventure that had not been attempted by even the most intrepid explorers of the day, Charles Doughty travelled for nearly two years through the desert interior of the great Arabian Peninsula.Openly proclaiming himself a Christian and an Englishman, Doughty wandered through the desert, living with and as a bedouin, experiencing and recording a way of life that has now disappeared forever. His account - published here in paperback for the first time is a truly indispensable classic of travel literature on the Middle East. First published in two volumes in 1888, this authorised single-volume abridgement by Edward Garnett, the noted Bloomsbury author, was re-discovered by TE Lawrence in the 1920s and with his enthusiastic support became recognised as the milestone of travel literature that it truly is.
"Rogerson shows a mastery of his subject in this clear and literate history of the Maghrib . . . A fascinating account that should appeal not merely to travellers seeking an understanding of the region but also general readers with a taste for history. Recommended".--"Library Journal". Illustrations. Maps.
In this fascinating and insightful biography, Barnaby Rogerson explores the life and times of Muhammad. Vividly describing the sixth-century Arabia where Muhammad was born, Rogerson charts his early years among the flocks, the caravans and the markets of his native Mecca; the night he received his religious vision; the perilous years of reciting the revelations in Mecca; his escape to Yathrib (Medina) and his subsequent battles. In his lifetime Muhammad established a new religion, Islam; a new state, the first united Arabia; and a new literary language--the classical Arabic of the Qur'an. A generation after his death, he would be acknowledged as the founder of a world empire and a new civilization. Any one of these achievements would be more than enough to permanently establish his genius, but Muhammad also managed to stay true to himself and retained to his last days the humility, courtesy and humanity that he had learned as an orphan and shepherd boy in central Arabia. If one looks for a parallel example in the history of Christianity, one would have to combine Paul the Apostle with the Emperor Constantine and Francis of Assisi. In a world where the understanding of religions is ever more essential, Barnaby Rogerson's book could not be better timed. A sharp, thoughtful, open-minded account, it brilliantly captures the historical resonance of this man-leader, visionary, and prophet. A book that will forever change the way you think about Islam.
An exploration of the later Cruades, written "with the skill of a
historian and the flair of a novelist" (The Guardian")
Updated to cover recent events in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa, this guide to the history and culture of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria covers the region from its earliest beginnings to life today. North Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and, to the south, the sands of the Sahara. It has seen waves of invasion, from the Carthaginians to the French in the 20th century. Its peoples have assimilated what suits them and remained aloof to what does not. Onto this complex background, Barnaby Rogerson weaves a cast of memorable characters from Dido to Hannibal and St Augustine, alongside local heroes such as the Berber queen Kahina and the horseback Muslim conqueror Oqba Ibn Nafi'. North Africa includes a chronology of major events, a historical gazetteer cross-referenced to the main text, and historical maps.
A pocket-sized collection of all the favourite verses that have inspired desert travellers. This collection of poems delights in constructing a sensual Orient of the imagination, from the seven golden odes of Pre-Islamic Arabia to the fevered visions of Coleridge. It is a place where sand dunes bear the impress of a lover, a land ruled by honour and hospitality, where poets and warriors are esteemed, where the sons of noble sheikhs labour in dignity as shepherds, but Kings are imprisoned within the cruelties of their palaces.
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