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Arabian Sands

de Wilfred Thesiger

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1,0822214,257 (4.23)71
"Born in Addis Ababa in 1910 and educated in England, from 1945 Wilfred Thesiger spent five years exploring in and around the vast, waterless desert, the 'Empty Quarter' of Arabia. Travelling amongst the Bedu people, he experienced their everyday challenges of hunger and thirst, the trials of long marches beneath the relentless sun, the bitterly cold nights and the constant danger of death if it was discovered he was a Christian 'infidel'. He was the first European to visit most of the region, and just before he left the area the process that would change it forever had begun - the discovery of oil. Thesiger saw Arabian Sands as 'a memorial to a vanished past, a tribute to a once magnificent people'." "This edition includes an introduction by Rory Stewart discussing the dangers of Thesiger's travels, his unconventional personality and his insights into Bedu life."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porfer.theseus, Douna1980, cbooshay, NickTaipei, kat51987, sharvani, scunliffe
Bibliotecas HistóricasEdward Estlin Cummings
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Wonderful descriptions of a way of life that disappeared so soon after Thesiger described it. His respect for the Bedu is evident and the author himself is clearly a man born in the wrong country at the wrong time. The last few pages are particularly poignant as he bids farewell to a life and men he knows he will never see again. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
After the Second World War, Thesiger spent five years criss-crossing the deserts of Arabia in particular the 'Empty Quarter'. He had an unconventional life; born in Addis Ababa in Abyssinia, he spent the war in the region ending up in the SAS, before falling in love with the place and deciding to spend more time exploring it. He travelled with the Bedouin people, or as he calls them Bedu, experiencing their daily challenges of extreme heat, ice cold nights, long treks with camels under the relentless sun and the daily challenge of hunger and thirst. In most places he visited, he was the first European ever to set eyes on the dunes and wadis of those deserts. He immersed himself into their life, sharing food and water, hardship and company.

The Bedu were a people he had a deep respect for; he never ceased to be amazed by the way they could look at footprints in the sand and tell him who was riding the camels as well as picking up the subtle differences in the sands. The account of his travels across these lands show a harsh way of life that was about to vanish forever with the discovery of huge oilfields below the Arabian peninsular. It was dangerous too; whilst some welcomed him warmly, others considered him an infidel even going as far to threaten his life at times.

Thesiger has written a fascinating account of a landscape and culture of a people that is long gone. The writing has little emotion, instead the author conveys events as they happened, even when he was in the most danger, in an almost clinical way. The way that he immersed himself in the desert way of life gives us an insight that very few other authors have been able to gain since. The region has undergone massive changes since that time and this vanished way of life may never return. A traveller in the modern Arabia would not be able to have access to the deserts in the way that Thesiger did, and this fine book is a worthy tribute to a traditional society. Now I want to read The Marsh Arabs by him. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Accounts of travel in the "Empty Quarter" of Arabia and various adjoining areas, like Yemen, Aden, Oman, and what is now the United Arab Emirates. The travel took place in the years immediately after the Second World War (though the opening chapters describe events of the 1930s in Sudan and Ethiopia), just at the point where oil was starting to change the culture and life of the area; much of what the author describes would no longer exist scant years later (including the wildlife that he describes). One of the issues are the Byzantine (I realize that's an odd choice of word) nature of the shifting alliances of tribal warfare and raiding in the region, which to a certain extent reminds one of medieval Scottish raids. It can be very hard to follow what's going on, in part because even though there are good maps, they don't really show where events are going on. Thesiger's contempt for modern life can also get a bit irritating after a while. Still, an interesting account well worth reading. ( )
  EricCostello | Mar 5, 2020 |
Readers Union, Longmans, Green & CO
  jackpilkington | Sep 14, 2019 |
Fascinating account of traveling the most remote parts of the Arabian Penisula. ( )
  Grace.Van.Moer | Oct 31, 2018 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Wilfred Thesigerautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Stewart, RoryIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Here in the desert I had found all that I had asked....Some people maintain that they [the Bedu] will be better off when they have exchanged the hardship and poverty of the desert for the security of a materialistic world. This I do not believe. I shall always remember how often I was humbled by those illiterate herdsmen who possessed, in so much greater measure than I, generosity and courage, endurance, patience, and light-hearted gallantry. Among no other people have I ever felt the same sense of personal inferiority. [310]
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THESIGER, WILFRED, Le Désert des déserts. Avec les Bédouins, derniers nomades de l’Arabie du Sud,
Traduit de l'anglais par Michèle Bouchet-Forner, Introduction de l'auteur, Plon, 1978.

Edition originale en anglais en 1959, Arabian Sands, Longman Green & Co.: Londres.
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"Born in Addis Ababa in 1910 and educated in England, from 1945 Wilfred Thesiger spent five years exploring in and around the vast, waterless desert, the 'Empty Quarter' of Arabia. Travelling amongst the Bedu people, he experienced their everyday challenges of hunger and thirst, the trials of long marches beneath the relentless sun, the bitterly cold nights and the constant danger of death if it was discovered he was a Christian 'infidel'. He was the first European to visit most of the region, and just before he left the area the process that would change it forever had begun - the discovery of oil. Thesiger saw Arabian Sands as 'a memorial to a vanished past, a tribute to a once magnificent people'." "This edition includes an introduction by Rory Stewart discussing the dangers of Thesiger's travels, his unconventional personality and his insights into Bedu life."--BOOK JACKET.

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