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Arabian Sands

Thesiger Wilfred

Editeur - Casa editrice

Penguin Travel

Medio Oriente

Città - Town - Ville

Orig. Longmans, Green. 1959

Anno - Date de Parution


Titolo originale

Arabian Sands

Lingua originale

Lingua - language - langue


Ristampa - Réédition - Reprint

2007 (United States) - order this book
Arabian Sands

Arabian Sands Arabian Sands  

Thesinger on BBC (8') da YouTube

Wilfred Thesiger was born in more fortunate circumstances for an exploring life. His father was not a small businessman in New England, but the British ambassador to Ethiopia in the days when all parts of that country had not been visited by Westerners. The first part of ARABIAN SANDS describes the author's adventures travelling in wilder parts of Ethiopia. After Middle Eastern service in Sudan and elsewhere during WW II, Thesiger signed on as a locust hunter in the Arabian Peninsula, trying to locate the then unknown breeding grounds for the dreaded insect. He did it purely to be able to travel through the most unknown parts of the region, the Rub al-Khali or "the Sands"; Oman, the Hadhramaut, and the southern reaches of Saudi Arabia. He travelled with small groups of Bedu (Bedouin) on camelback, always barefoot and dressed in Arab clothing. He faced thirst, hunger, cold, the risk of serious accident, arrest by Saudi and Omani authorities, and death at the hands of raiding tribesmen. With no available maps, Thesiger relied completely on the guiding skills of various Bedu whom he hired. He had no radio, no global positioning whatevers, and no chance of a helicopter rescue.

ARABIAN SANDS tells the story of Thesiger's travels in the Arabian deserts in the years 1945-1950, before Big Oil changed the lives of everybody there. An interesting pair of books to read to get an idea of the old world and how it changed would be this one plus Abdelrahman Munif's novel "Cities of Salt". Thesiger hated modernization and cities and would have preferred that the Bedu remain in their poverty, but in a state of desert purity. I feel that he romanticized the Bedu and the desert environment to an extreme because of his own character. Nevertheless his descriptions of Bedu life, their culture, and behavior are fascinating, as are many of the events that took place over the course of his long travels. If you are at all interested in that part of the world or in adventurous travels before the world became entrapped in visas and metal detectors, you must read this one!


Consulta anche: Sito sull'autore (english)

Recensione in lingua italiana

Thesiger è l'ultimo tra i grandi viaggiatori britannici ad aver esplorato l'Empty Quarter, il deserto dei deserti, il solo luogo in cui "si può trovare la pace della solitudine". "Sabbie arabe" è il resoconto dei suoi viaggi in un arco di tempo che va dal 1946 al 1950. E' un classico ricco di centinaia di aneddoti che restituiscono al lettore il sapore della vita originale dei beduini. In un tempo fuori dal tempo, tra carovane e soste, silenzi e colloqui, si può condividere la vita di un popolo fiero e generoso, religioso e violento, fatalista e solidale, un vita aspra e affascinante di cui Thesiger dice: "Nessun uomo può restare lo stesso dopo averla conosciuta."


Thesiger Wilfred

Wilfred Thesiger nacque ad Addis Abeba nel 1910 e studiò a Eton e Oxford. Nel 1935 fece parte del Sudan Political Service e quando scoppiò la guerra venne distaccato alla Sudan Defence Force. Dopo la guerra viaggiò nel Kurdistan, nel sud dell`Irak, in Marocco, in Africa centrale e orientale. Tra le sue opere ricordiamo Sabbie arabe (Neri Pozza 2002), Desert, Marsh and Mountain: The World of a Nomad, The Life of my Choice e Visions of a Nomad.

Consulta anche: Sito sull'autore (english)
Consulta anche: Thesinger on BBC (8') da YouTube
Consulta anche: Milord a spasso con i babbuini - Stefano Malatesta su Repubblica