A rare, realistic and entertaining insight in to a world shrouded by embedded suspicion and judgement. Sahera Patel writes about her year living and working in Saudi with a refreshingly honest determination. She reveals the reality of Gallardos and glamour juxtaposed with a deep reverence of religiosity and spirituality. Her tales of strong women with independent minds slap the exaggerated media image across the face whilst her personal experiences of a subtle tyranny reveal a dark reality. From the tales of the taxi drivers to the exploits of the powerful, Sahera Patel provides a refreshing reality told through amusing anecdotes. Her ability to show humour in the most uncomfortable and even dangerous situations is a rare talent and guaranteed to entertain whilst unveiling an Arabia hidden from the Western eye.
Journeys with Open Eyes is not a travel book although it provides a wealth of information about places far-away and sometimes very close to home, both locationally and psychologically.Nor is it a history book, although the author, Hugh Roberts, was present in or around many of the world’s trouble spots immediately before or after some of the epoch-making events of the 20th and early 21st centuries.‘Journeys’… is a book about people. As such it is concerned with Hugh’s empathetic approach to members of the human race, be they indigenous residents of the High Andes, Soviet functionaries, Arab princes, white South Africans of the Apartheid era and numerous others. There can be no doubt that empathy helped him in his career as an international Urban Planner but empathy like this is only found in those with a genuine love for humankind. He judges systems of government but rarely the people operating or imposing them. As a result, he invariably gets the best out of his fellows whether as friends, work colleagues or chance acquaintances.Journeys… will entertain and educate the reader in full measure and should be required reading for all who care for the inhabitants of this planet.
A WONDERFUL REVIEW OF A WONDERFUL BOOK (see all the reviews on Amazon UK)
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Journeys' works wonderfully well on so many levels
By Mr. Robert Barneson 26 May 2017
'Journeys' works wonderfully well on so many levels. Firstly, the font and point size choices make it an easy read on the eyes. Secondly, it's a genuinely well-written and interesting 300+ pages of one man's experiences out in the big wide world. It's hugely readable, from the author's description of his formative years, and how these influenced his attitudes, to his living in, and many expeditions to, parts known and relatively unknown. He never gets bogged down in unnecessary detail, but the pictures he paints of national character traits from Africa to South America, the Middle East and to the South Seas could not be more incisive. I was left laughing on many occasions at the absurdities he encountered along the way. Businessmen would do well to tuck this into their suitcases on their continental travels, and I have the distinct feeling that the world would be a happier and safer place if politicians took leaves out of it, and sought their own empathy with strangers. I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing - it's approachable, never flowery, always down-to-earth and informative, and never academic. Excellent!