With razor-sharp wit and insight, Horwitz gets beyond
solemn newspaper headlines and romantic myths of Arabia
to offer startling close-ups of a volatile region few
Westerners understand. His quest for hot stories takes
him from the tribal wilds of Yemen to the shell-pocked
shores of Lebanon; from the malarial sands of the Sudan
to the eerie souks of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a land
so secretive that even street maps and weather reports
are banned. At an oasis in the Empty Quarter, a veiled
woman offers tea and a mysterious declaration of love.
In Cairo, "politeness police" patrol seedy
nightclubs to ensure that belly dancers don't show
any belly. And at the Ayatollah's funeral in Tehran
a mourner chants, "Death to America," then
confesses to the author his secret dream — to
Careening through thirteen Muslim countries and Israel,
Horwitz travels light, packing a keen eye, a wicked
sense of humor, and chutzpah in almost suicidal measure.
This wild and comic tale of Middle East misadventure
reveals a fascinating world in which the ancient and
the modern collide.