Emails from the Edge: A Journey Through Troubled Times

By Ken Haley

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 in the course of a amazing two-year trip by means of wheelchair throughout Eurasia. Walkley Award-winning journalist Ken Haley’s travels soak up forty-one international locations and in Emails from the sting he portrays existence within the center East because it particularly is, now not because the media painting it, and attracts an interesting parallel together with his personal existence.

With nice humour, and never a touch of sentimentality, he lays naked his darkest instances, while he plunged over the precipice into insanity, and divulges the wanderlust that led him to the guts of the world’s scorching spots.

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Like a slingshot in sluggish movement, we got here off a roundabout that appeared ordinary (but Manama has extra roundabouts than a centipede has legs) and the driving force made a wide-arcing left flip throughout a driveway and into smartly stored grounds ruled via a protracted, low, palm-fringed construction set again from a excessive wall crowned via razor-wire. because the remorseless August sunlight glared down, the officials walked me into the construction, a hand below each one elbow as though I have been going to run away. just one query remained in my crumbling brain: the place in Hell am I? I didn’t need to wait lengthy for a solution. It was once within the writing at the wall, an indication in Arabic and English. We have been passing during the lobby now, previous Indian guards, going up within the elevate. Ignoring me, a matronly lady in nursing-issue white and gray addressed the police in practised no-nonsense tones. My imaginative and prescient stopped swimming. I observed her, and my new domestic, with scientific readability. My destiny, so agonising in its technique, was once now the following, within the Bahrain Psychiatric Hospital—the insane asylum—and there has been no telling whilst or the place the nightmare could finish. bankruptcy nine WHISTLING in the dead of night yet darkness opens like a knife for you and also you are marked down by way of your pulsing mind and remoted and respiring your respiring is the blast, the bullet, and the ultimate sky. LAURIE LEE A second OF conflict (MONTPELLIER, OCTOBER 1937) AUGUST 1990 Arabia’s burning sunlight had closed down the evening just like the flick of a switchblade. however the knife in my pulsing mind was once nonetheless there, pushed as much as the hilt. The shearing of my attention despatched earlier, current and destiny percentages colliding and crashing jointly, capturing sparks via my wakeful mind: hundreds of thousands upon millions of glimpses of what used to be, is and may but be, such a lot of them dire and plenty of pointed immediately on the ultimate sky. If my temper was once manic, my easy interest had lower back. figuring out i used to be in a madhouse—in the center East, of all places—certainly wasn’t a jolly event yet what I name my rational experience (or the observer inside) obtained adequate stimulus from the hot state of affairs to ignite a number of inquiries: Am I more secure right here? Isn’t this nonetheless Bahrain? If Iraqi troops are going to land quickly and Westerners are to be evacuated i'll nonetheless be right here after they arrive. With all of the different Westerners long past, will I be (a) slaughtered in my medical institution mattress; or (b) overlooked altogether simply because not anyone may anticipate finding a Westerner in a Bahraini asylum? each query ended in a cut up selection; each psychological highway forked—and but the questions bombarded my brain with no let-up. Does an individual else comprehend I’m right here? Will they've got phoned my kin in Australia, spreading alarm? Won’t that suggest that after i am getting out of right here (when will that be? ) i'll be compelled to move domestic, hence burying my six years of trip and word-work with the disgrace of returning with my tail among my legs? The distinction among my racing, overheated brain and the lack of my actual freedom imposed a huge, virtually insufferable pressure. Will I be strapped to a mattress and given electroconvulsive surprise remedy?

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