A Tourist in the Arab Spring by Tom Chesshyre
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, war reporters rushed to publish accounts of the uprising. Tom Chesshyre took a different approach - he jumped on a plane and became the first to return to the region as a tourist. The result is the fascinating, street-level tale of a lay traveller's journey through lands fresh from revolution. Chesshyre heads for tourist sites that few have seen in recent years, as well as new 'attractions' like Gaddafi's bombed-out bunker in Tripoli. In a book both touching and humorous, he also describes being abducted in Libya, listening to the sound of Kalashnikovs at night and talking to ordinary people struggling to get by. Extract from the introduction... 'I was travelling as a tourist, not as a foreign correspondent with a well-thumbed contacts book and a series of appointments. I would take the temperature of the region during a key period in its history - as a casual visitor. I would see what there was to see as a traveller with a guidebook. Yet by talking to people along the way, I'd get a sense of the bigger picture. That was my hope, at least. Being a tourist would be my way of unlocking the countries. I would take in the wonderful Byzantine ruins of Tunisia, the famous Roman remains in Libya, and the treasures of the pharaohs in Egypt, plus some lovely beaches in the Sinai Peninsula. What would I find out about the Arab Spring as I pottered among the ancient sights? What does an Arab Spring feel like?'