Arabia Through the Looking Glass
(republished as Arabia, a journey through the Labyrinth) by Raban, Jonathan
pub. by Eilliam Collins (repub. Touchstone) - 1979 (repub. 1991)     isbn 0671798807 (later ed)
348p. - - travel - current events
The author learns some Arabic and notes Arabs living and visiting in England. He cannot manage to get a visa for Saudi Arabia, and instead travels around the country to Abu dhavi, Bahrain, Dubai, Quatar, Yemin and finally stops in Egypt before returning home to England. He observes the state of life in each country from more than a tourist point of view. The original trip was done about 1978 during one of the oil booms. Often the sky was the limit on spending, but the riches are not equally distributed. Views of Arabia are from the people of its neighbors, and are not all positive. This is a very interesting read revealing a point in time from which there has been much unraveling through 11 Sept. 2001 and current difficulties. Read this to gain an understanding of the underpinnings of the situation in 2009. This is the first of Raban s travel books. It is a little raw. His technique polishes through later publications.
~ 2008- ~

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