Emails from the Edge: A Journey Through Troubled Times

Emails from the Edge: A Journey Through Troubled Times

Ken Haley

Language: English

Pages: 336


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.

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See and the convent is cheek by jowl with them, the sensible course is to go and ask. The Mother Superior looks at me with hooded eyes and, for just a moment, I expect to be told this is an impossible request. Instead she asks me to wait and, fifteen minutes later, instructs one of the sisters to show me to her, now my, room. What impresses most is its simplicity— the light, the bedside table, the icon of the Virgin Mary—as well as the no-fuss arrangements for dinner. Few words are exchanged.

Detect, and others must be asked about any reverses that offset it. Recovering from the breakdown was neither smooth nor steady but fitful, with fully as many obstacles, speed bumps, ‘Wrong Way—Go Back’ signs and detours as wheelchair users confront every day. It took me two years after the descent until I felt good about myself and wholly at ease with my newly configured physique. (Fortunately, the old one was not so great that decades of mourning were called for.) In the healing I received.

JIHAD IN THEIR VIEW (Qatar): Tayseer Allouni (right), al-Jazeera’s ex-Kabul bureau chief, embraces his former cameraman from Afghanistan days, Abdul Ibrahimi, whom he hadn’t seen since 2000. At the time of going to press, Allouni is in a Spanish jail, convicted of being an al-Qa’eda agent. MY LOWEST POINT (Jordan): Smeared with green mud, a supposed curative, in the shallows of the Dead Sea, 400 metres below sea level, the author lets his mind do the floating. FINDING OSAMA (Iran): The.

Duty desk where an officer I didn’t recognise—but at least one who spoke English, unlike his colleagues of the night—barked instructions at his juniors before training his gaze on me and saying in the neutral manner of a cyborg, ‘We will take you soon.’ I still had no handle on reality. Had the Iraqis arrived during the night? Was this new officer one of the occupiers? Where were they going to take me? Questions dripped like beads of sweat through what was left of my mind. The future would.

Teeth, Marko jacked up on learning that I had been offered a better rate than he could have got by overbooking tour groups. So, he broke a cardinal rule of good hotel-keeping: honour your reservations, especially when they are prepaid. Next his loyal lieutenant Ivan went on the attack. ‘You cannot stay here,’ he bellowed. ‘You are a liar. You promised to pay for breakfast, and the kitchen staff tell me you have been eating too much.’ That afternoon, from the safety of my private room, I wrote.

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