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Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as…

Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as Tramp, Artist & Spy

by Henry Hemming

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Informative reporting of Hemming's journey across the Middle East to find out what "Middle Eastern" art is and to be inspired to make his own art that sums up his experience of Middle Eastern art. He discovers that the countries that make up the Middle East are vastly different - there is no one uniform experience. In his travels, with Al Braithwaite and their car, Yasmine, Hemmings also finds out more about the cultural and political climate, all at the time of the Second Iraq War. I found this book insightful and enjoyable. ( )
  skambalu | Mar 2, 2008 |
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For Dad and Tom Fenwick,who in different ways made me want to do this
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Experience the beautifully written tale of a hapless young artist, a beat-up pick-up called Yasmine, and an extraordinary journey across the world. Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as Tramp, Artist and Spy by Henry Hemming creates a portrait of the post-9/11 Middle East that transports the reader into the human heart of the region. When Henry Hemming sets out in his pick-up truck to make a portrait of the Middle East, he has no idea what he will find or how he will live. Using art as his passport, he spends a year traveling throughout the area; his extraordinary journey finds him accused of being both an Islamic extremist and a British spy, dancing in a dervish hideaway and attending a Fourth of July party with GIs in Saddam Hussein's Republican Palace. As the young people he meets along the way share their dreams and doubts, Hemming discovers an unpredictable Middle East that is in no way accurately represented by the nightly news. And as the invasion of Iraq intensifies, he realizes that in order to finish his portrait, he must go to Baghdad to find a fabled artistic renaissance--a trip that could cost him his life. "The brilliantly written account of a daring journey, by turns hilarious and poignant, and a timely antidote to current misconceptions about the Middle East. Essential reading."--Jason Elliot, author of Mirrors of the Unseen and An Unexpected Light "Misadventure in the Middle East is more than a gripping story of a dangerous expedition. It is a journey of self-discovery and an exploration of what it is to be an artist in a fractured world." --John Mole, bestselling author of It's All Greek to Me! and Mind Your Manners "Hemming's account of his dilemma is truly gripping, and sums up that age-old traveller's feeling: a heady mix of fear and anticipation. Hemming makes a strong case for the peoples of the Middle East to be seen in their true, everyday context ... and he has some very informative things to say about media manipulation, not least that employed by the satellite TV stations. Misadventure in the Middle East is an engaging and highly readable account of a life-changing experience." --Jim Blackburn, Wanderlust Magazine "[Henry Hemmings'] journey is as much an artistic one as it is physical ... A fascinating book which is well worth a read by anyone with a passing interest in the region." --Alison Grinter, TNT Magazine "[Henry's] mission is to create works of art, stage exhibitions and learn more about the modern-day Islamic world ... Throughout these misadventures, the pursuit of art and understanding gives purpose to [his] progress ... A well written tale of artistic sincerity and youthful bravura ..." --Nigel Tisdall, Britain's Telegraph Newspaper, Saturday, March 31 CONTENTS Part One: Go East Part Two: Dancing at Death Part Three: Beat of the Drum Part Four: Arabian Summer Part Five: Baghdad and Beyond.… (more)

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