J.S. Kitololo's Reviews > Arabian Sands

Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger
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Apr 30, 12

I own a copy, read count: 1

This is my first review because I really enjoyed this book! About Arabian Bedu (Bedouin) Culture, it details Thesiger's treks through the Great Sands of Arabia, called The Empty Quarter, with Bedu guides from 1946 onwards, on camels and on foot.
Written in the late-colonial period, some of the views are somewhat Imperialist and British superiority is implied here and there. In this regard Thesiger is unique; his love for and interest in cultures exotic to him, and his desire for their preservation from both modernism and Westernisation is very contemporary to 2012.
His writing is very descriptive; he took extensive notes on his journeys, and some excellent photographs. Included are a few helpful maps, but his writing - bringing out his major and minor characters in full colour - are the real gem in this great travelogue.
Anyone intrigued by Arab culture, the Arabesque, or Exotica in general should enjoy this. It also reads like a great biography, and the difficulty of desert crossing those days while clearly expressed, carries a romantic idealistic nuance that takes Arabian Sands over the top.
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