John's Reviews > From the Holy Mountain: A Journey among the Christians of the Middle East

From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple
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's review
Nov 17, 07

Recommended for: anyone interested in travel, religion, or the Middle East
Read in January, 2007

This is one of the best travelogues that I have read. Following in the footsteps of a late Byzantine Monk Dalrymple gives a fascinating and all too often heartbreaking view of the Middle East from an entirely new perspective -that of the Greek Orthodox Christians who represent the shattered and scattered remnants of the third major monotheistic religion to come out of the Middle East. Ironies abound. The author uses as his basic "tour guide" the mixture of travel account and collected "miracle tales" left by a monk who moved from Greece through modern Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel, to Egypt just as the Eastern Empire began its final collapse. Ironies abound as Dalrymple finds surviving Christians discriminated against in Turkey, protected and even encouraged in Syria, torn between warring factions in the Lebanon, and seeing their holy sites bulldozed by Israeli "archaeologists" who seem bent on erasing all non-Jewish traces from Jerusalem and its surroundings. This is WELL worth a read.
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Edward An excellent comment, especially your "ironies abound" comment. None of those "miracle tales
" left in the Middle East, are there?

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