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Yemen, Paperback / softback Book

Yemen Paperback / softback

Illustrated by Martin Yeoman

Paperback / softback


Our ideas of the Arabian Peninusula have been hijacked: by images of the desert, by oil, by the Gulf War.

But there is another Arabia. For the classical geographers Yemen was a fabulous land where flying serpents guarded sacred incense groves.

Medieval Arab visitors told of disappearing islands and menstruating mountains.

Vita Sackville-West found Aden 'precisely the most repulsive corner of the world'.

Arguably the most fascinating but least known country in the Arab world, Yemen has a way of attracting comment that ranges from the superficial to the wildly fictitious.

In Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land, Tim Mackintosh-Smith writes with an intimacy and depth of knowledge gained through over twenty years among the Yemenis.

He is a travelling companion of the best sort - erudite, witty and eccentric.

Crossing mountain, desert, ocean and three millennia of history, he portrays hyrax hunters and dhow skippers, a noseless regicide, and a sword-wielding tyrant with a passion for Heinz Russian salad.

Yet even the ordinary Yemenis are extraordinary: their family tree goes back to Noah and is rooted in a land which, in the words of a contemporary poet, has become the dictionary of its people.

Every page of this book is dashed - like the land it describes - with the marvellous.


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