OVERVIEW Carolyn McIntyre will travel from the Moroccan City of Tangiers through 46 countries as she attempts to recreate an epic journey made 700 years ago by the famed Islamic scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta. Along the way she will visit:
Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestinian Territories, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Italy, Spain, Mali, Mauritania, Niger.
Arabist, Middle East political analyst and award-winning expedition creator to Asia, Carolyn has more than three decades of living, working and traveling in the Middle East. A real-life ‘Indiana Jones’ meets ‘Holly Golightly’, her own wanderlust has taken her to all parts of the globe but her specialty lies in her extensive knowledge of and unique insight into the Arab and Islamic worlds. She worked for eight years for Geographic Expeditions, an elite, San Francisco-based, cultural touring company specializing in hard-to-get-to places. From time to time throughout this epic journey, Carolyn will continue to lead trips for GeoEx in North and West Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. When not traveling she lives in a 300-year old tower house in Sana'a in the UNESCO World Heritage Old City, where she writes on political and social issues for the English-language monthly Yemen Today. She is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.
Ibn Battuta Born in Tangier, Morocco in 1304, Ibn Battuta began his 29-year epic journey in 1325. He originally set out to perform the Haj in Mecca, but when he arrived at the Red Sea he found all boats had been sunk as the result of a local insurrection and he was unable to travel further. Unwilling to return home without completing the Haj, he traveled back to Cairo and then crossed the northern Sinai to join the Haj caravan in Damascus the following year. This completed, innate curiosity and insatiable wanderlust took over (he had by now confessed to wishing "to travel through the earth"), and instead of returning home, he traveled 75,000 miles throughout the Islamic World. In today's world this covers 44 countries. His desire to traverse its entirety never wavered and despite occasional and sometimes severe adversity, he succeeded. On his eventual return to Morocco in 1354, where he became a jurist, he dictated his rihla, or travels, to a scribe. His writings languished until 1839, when the French found a manuscript in Algeria. Hailed as the 'Marco Polo of the East', his record of life in 14th century Turkey and the Malabar Coast of India remain among the most extensive on record.