Emails from the Edge: A Journey Through Troubled Times
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He’s been expelled from Syria on suspicion of terrorism, been dragged from the Hungarian parliament in handcuffs and interviewed the editor-in-chief of al-Jazeera, all during a remarkable two-year journey by wheelchair across Eurasia. Walkley Award-winning journalist Ken Haley’s travels take in 41 countries and in Emails from the Edge he portrays life in the Middle East as it really is, not as the media portray it, and draws an intriguing parallel with his own life.
With great humour, and not a hint of sentimentality, he lays bare his darkest times, when he plunged over the precipice into madness, and reveals the wanderlust that led him to the heart of the world’s hot spots.
Natasha that my personal items had most likely found their way out of Chernivtsi to be used for the relief of inmates in Romanian orphanages. On the Sunday morning, having reached rock bottom the day before, I had a brainwave and began to reappraise my plight. While it was ridiculous to think of re-stocking my supplies in impoverished Ukraine, why not make an unplanned detour to the West? And what would the nearest Western country be? Germany. Whom did I know there? Lotti Villinger, a
historical lesson, learnt at least once every hundred years since the Middle Ages: unless Poles stand up for their beliefs, the ground under their feet tends to disappear. POLAND: 14–26 JANUARY Having plotted a course that would take me from southern Poland into the lands of the former Czechoslovakia and then back into Poland, I had asked for a multiple-entry visa—the only one on the whole journey except for Uzbekistan. The Polish consul in Ljubljana, having informed me over the phone that
from ours. Even where people are poor, you will find yourself reminded that in their appreciation of the good things in life they have a better sense of proportion than you, and that their concerns are real, not based on what might happen or might never happen. Simply put, such travel can enlarge our view of what it means to be human. Each day filled with new insights, we can ‘exercise humanity’, free to be our best selves but without the effort normally associated with being on our best
light. Drifting purposelessly through the next few weeks, I feel a quiet satisfaction in having ignored those well-meant but essentially hysterical calls to cancel my journey, or head for European pastures, in the aftermath of September 11. In these unsettled times, while taking sensible precautions against clear and present dangers, the best advice I can think of is to go against the media flow. Pack everything you might possibly need or want, but leave your preconceptions behind. The Middle
that Turkey should not be granted access to their rich-country club—being a nation of which only 3 per cent actually lies in Europe and whose 70 million Muslims would significantly alter the character of the union—they seem crestfallen. European status was an ambition harboured by Ataturk himself: is that a muttering I hear from the general direction of his mausoleum? Must be the wind. Tomorrow, the manager of the hotel I’m staying in here has agreed to set aside a prior engagement to drive me