Latest Middle East Headlines
9 Mar, 2017, 18:24|
A small-town welcome in 1970’s Iran
Devika A Rosamund
Devika A Rosamund takes the legendary ‘Magic Bus’ to India in the 70’s, but breaks away in Teheran to continue independently. Her journey suddenly gets a whole lot slower.
16 Jan, 2017, 13:58|
Jordan’s deserted desert castles
Elizabeth von Pier
Lured away by Petra and other headline sights, few visitors to Jordan head fifty miles out of Amman to explore ancient castles marooned in sand. Elizabeth von Pier finds the experience peaceful and entrancing.
2 Dec, 2016, 17:38|
In 700 words, the difference between Shi’ah and Sunni
In the middle of Kit Mayers’ fascinating book about the 16th Century explorer Anthony Jenkinson is a tiny passage where he explains the difference between the grand divide in mainstream Islamic thought. Admirably concise and clear.
24 Jul, 2016, 19:45|
There are no straight lines in Cairo
Ignacio M Delgado
When Ignacio M Delgado flies into Egypt’s capital, he makes plans with his map. But the city confounds his itinerary and leads him, surprisingly, to Al-Muizz Street.
3 May, 2016, 18:12|
Egypt, where the tourists no longer dare talk
Tough times for the tourist industry in Egypt. Catherine Oughtibridge ventures into the Valley of Kings and finds all is not well amongst the tombs of an ancient civilisation.
26 Apr, 2016, 11:50|
Israel’s birth explained – in 450 words
Gordon Kerr”s new book, ‘A short history of the Middle East’ is admirably concise. His explanation of the creation of the state of Israel is a masterpiece of clarity.
10 Mar, 2016, 14:15|
What France did in Syria between World Wars
Gordon Kerr’s latest history book gallops through the tortuous history of the Middle East. This section explores how France sculpted borders onto Syria and Lebanon in the gap between World Wars.
15 Nov, 2015, 18:42|
Don’t drop your smile if you want to survive Petra
Jordan’s iconic Nabatean highlight has plenty to inspire visitors. But Thomas Dowling finds it also has a fair selection of sophisticated – and often young – hustlers who are well used to visitors.
11 Nov, 2015, 09:50|
Events to look out for in Dubai 2016
Dubai is the standout star of Middle Eastern tourism and there’s always plenty going on. There are, however, a few major events that might just influence when you choose to visit: Paul Woollacombe rounds up your options.
30 Aug, 2015, 11:32|
5 stunning sites you have to see in the Middle East
Despite the headlines much of the Middle East remains perfectly safe – and largely devoid of tourists. Lucy Barker says there are at least five must-see sights that should be on every bucket list, and now’s a great time to get them to yourself.
22 Jul, 2015, 15:13|
Practical advice for divers in Egypt’s Red Sea
Don’t boycott the Middle East: they need your tourist dollars. Nick Bush has some first-hand advice for divers to help them make the most of the Red Sea reefs.
5 May, 2015, 12:09|
Love, drugs and drink show Tel Aviv at its best
You hear a lot of news about Israel but not a great deal about its beaches, bars and nightlife. Ben Cooke sets the record straight: people do just live there, and in some style.
12 Dec, 2014, 14:05|
An edgy stroll through downtown Bagdad
Even before Isis Iraq was already a deadly place. Robin Ratchford has two armed guards for his expedition to downtown Bagdad, which involves checkpoints, security checks and vegetables for sale.
10 Oct, 2014, 09:32|
Now may actually be a good time to visit Iraq
When all news is of Isis, most travellers shy clear of Iraq. But neglect – and a lack of tourists – mean many of Mesopotamia’s ancient treasures are crumbling back to dust. Joseph Shawyer says this might be your last opportunity.
28 Jun, 2014, 15:47|
Cycling through Yemen’s kidnap-happy badlands
Tom Allen is woefully unprepared for his cycle ride out of Aden, passing as it does some of the world’s most dangerous insurgent areas. So when the army comes to his help it seems natural to accept a lift.
27 Jun, 2014, 08:56|
Ignore the hype: Dubai is dull
Thanks to good air links and little or no taxation, Dubai is something of a tour operator’s darling. Anthony Toole, however, is resolutely unimpressed.
2 Jun, 2014, 16:39|
A stamp collector’s guide to Yemen’s ancient capital
Seven-year-old Robin Ratchford was fascinated by a postage stamp from Yemen, in the heart of Arabia. Thirty years later he finally gets to visit Sana’a, the capital, but finds the country’s newest stamps hardly live up to the original.
29 May, 2014, 19:23|
A guide to Saudi Arabian life in the 90’s
Back in the 90’s the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was .. er .. very much like it is now. Allan Jack, working in the oil industry, explains how daily life played out for the expatriate community.
22 May, 2014, 12:53|
An unconventional visa run in a Bangladeshi Embassy
It’s easy enough to get visas in London. Almost every country has embassies. But Jason Smart is in Qatar. Doha is different, and getting an Indian visa had been a nightmare – but Bangladesh proves a breeze.
2 May, 2014, 15:31|
Pace-counting doesn’t work to navigate Sana’s historic centre
It’s famously easy to get disoriented in the narrow alleys of Yemen’s ancient capital, but Robin Ratchford has two maps and counts every step. It makes his walking tour feel rather like a treasure hunt – but doesn’t stop him getting lost.
23 Nov, 2013, 19:03|
Thanksgiving dinner in a Turkey without turkeys
John M Edwards
Though rarely a stickler for tradition, John M Edwards does appreciate, just once a year, a good traditional Thanksgiving feast. Lamb-strewn Istanbul treats his requests with contempt and he does little better in Kusadasi.
19 Nov, 2013, 18:52|
Luxor’s little luxuries
Kerry-Ann Virgo and Nicholas Hussain
The ‘Arab Spring’ swept away not just Egypt’s leaders but also most of its tourists. Kerry-Ann Virgo and Nicholas Hussain, undeterred, are charmed by the Nile Valley’s tombs, temples, treasures – and people.
15 Jul, 2013, 20:13|
Iran’s restaurant scene with leading tv chef
Tehran’s leading celebrity chef preserves traditional Persian cooking in a show that has run for 16 years. Jackie Abramain gets plenty of tastes of Iranian food when she meets Saman Golriz for a restaurant crawl in the capital.
25 Jun, 2013, 10:28|
Ten good reasons to visit Iran
Donning a headscarf, Anna Rudycheva crosses into Iran – and walks into an unexpectedly warm welcome. This is her guide as to what to see and do.
3 Jun, 2013, 12:35|
Cycling through Kurdistan: welcome to a boom zone
The latest installment from Charlie Walker’s three-year bike-ride around the world sees him pedal through Iraqi Kurdistan, dodging fast imported cars and endless cups of tea.
25 Apr, 2013, 18:33|
Three lessons learned from 12 hours in Tangiers
Somehow I don’t think Michael Bucaria intended to visit Morocco. I think he bolted it onto his travels around Spain. But his daytrip into Africa proves an outstanding success.
13 Mar, 2013, 16:26|
An all-too white Christmas: Iran by bike
Charlie Walker’s epic bike ride continues through the Middle East’s most hidden society, the shrouded rural areas of Iran. Though the authorities are routinely suspicious, amongst ordinary Iranians he finds nothing but friendliness.
4 Mar, 2013, 15:42|
Taken for spy in Assad’s Syria
In the relatively relaxed early days of the Arab Spring, before Syria’s uprising got serious, Andy McGinlay busses into Damascus and shoots off some photographs of city-centre buildings. Including, incredibly, the view from the top of the Ministry of Defense. This turns out to be somewhat unwise.
18 Jan, 2013, 16:26|
A leisurely pedal across today’s Afghanistan
It’s hardly a usual destination for a cyclist. But getting a visa is easy so Charlie Walker seizes the opportunity to visit a country that may soon, once more, close its doors to the West.
8 Dec, 2012, 10:23|
Awed by Abu Simbel
Egypt’s tourist industry is suffering as politicians plot. Shame, as it’s a perfect time of year to visit. Nolan Mascarenhas heads south to explore the the world’s greatest relocated temple.