Arabian Sands

Narrated by: Laurence Kennedy
Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: History, Middle East
4.6 out of 5 stars (48 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Arabian Sands is Wilfred Thesiger’s stunning account of five years spent crossing the Arabian Peninsula by foot and on camels, with nomadic Bedouin tribesmen as guides. Travelling between 1945 and 1950, the British explorer treks through Yemen, the Empty Quarter, Oman, and parts of the then Trucial States, crossing and re-crossing around 250,000 miles of this most inhospitable terrain. He was the first European ever to set eyes on the dunes and wadis of these deserts.

Faced with constant challenges and trials beneath the punishing sun, his journey is also spiritual and enriching, as it requires the utmost courage, patience, generosity, and humor. In clear and evocative prose, Thesiger documents a journey of unimaginable hardship and startling beauty, as well as a time, place, and people on the cusp of change.

©1959 Wilfred Thesiger (P)2018 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about Arabian Sands

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Wonderful Cross-Cultural Exploration of Yore

Enjoyable, well-written memoir / journal of explorations among the Bedou. The author provides keen observations, personal reflections, adventure, and insight into another culture with its foibles, norms, and strengths. As the saying goes about Spartans in Greece, "Always admired, never imitated". Similarly, I'm glad to experience these explorations vicariously.

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  • Rachel
  • 05-31-20

Absolutely superb

Really brilliant, excellent narration and a look into a world lost. It is a real shame there are no maps of his routes on the PDF. This would make a real difference. However if you Google Thesiger first and second crossing, you will find useful and illuminating images. Wonderful pictures of the rashid and the dunes also available with a simple search

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  • Richard Voisey
  • 08-24-20

Such a good book, worthy of it status as a classic

In the early eighties, I worked in the Abu Dhabi desert working on oilfield wellheads and rigs in the parts of the desert crossed by Thesiger. This was in the area of the Liwa oasis (mentioned in the book) and to the north, running up to the coast. and Abu Dhabi. I spent a lot of time driving around in the sands in my company 4x4 pick up, marvelling at the sand, scenery and the high dunes. You never get tired of it. At the time I was unable to buy a copy of Arabian Sands in Abu Dhabi because it was banned. Arabs don't like their details to be discussed. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan was at that time the UAE president and the book make clear he was very friendly with Thesiger in the Fifties so the ban always puzzled me. The way Thesiger describes him was spot-on, a man of great charisma and a clear leader. Reading this book again I was right back in the Abu Dhabi desert again. This book teaches you how to understand Arabs. As he says they are great people and will give you anything. My wife admired an object in an Arab friends house and he gave it to her, much to her embarrassment. This is something that Thesiger spoke about. It not just a Bedu thing, but an Arab thing, especially in the Emirates, where they are all from Bedu stock If you are going to work, or holiday in the emirates then read this book, you will understand the Arab psyche better. If you are dealing with Bedu drivers, as part of your work, remember they are very unreliable and have no sense of time, Thesiger travelled with the Bedu and had no sense of urgency, but nowadays good timing is important, even in the desert. Read this book, it's so well written and will stay with you for a long time, even if you don't plan to go to the middle east.

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  • Chrissie
  • 07-15-18

No map in PDF file

The printed book as maps. The audiobook doesn't include then in the PDF. You need the maps.

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  • klzr23
  • 11-23-19

Amazing Journey!

If you enjoy tales of adventure, deserts, camels and Arabian culture you will love this epic journey. Beautifully read and very easy to follow along. Adventurers like Thesiger no longer exist. I loved the whole experience.🐪🐪🐪