In 1987, Charles Glass was kidnapped in Beirut by Shiite gunmen - here he continues the journey interrupted by his capture, through one of the most compelling regions on earth. In 1987, Charles Glass set out on a literary and spiritual ramble from Alexandretta in southern Turkey for Aqaba, the first Turkish garrison conquered in 1917 by T.E. Lawrence and the tribal irregulars of the Arab revolt. But he never reached his destination: his journey came to a brutal halt when he was kidnapped and held hostage for three months, a story told in his last book, "Tribes with Flags". In "The Tribes Triumphant", Charles reverses the journey, marching north along the path of the Levant's last successful invasion - by the Arabs of the Hejaz and Britain in 1917, when the region was divided into Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. He traverses the Jordanian desert to the Iraqi border with Bedouin guides, explores modern Israel and revisits the scene of his captivity, confronting the men who kidnapped him. He visits Israeli settlements and the Arab towns on whose land they were constructed; he speaks to Israeli conscripts and Palestinian demonstrators, family chieftains and the Israeli Sabra aristocracy, priests, rabbis and mullahs, politicians and assassins, torturers and tortured. Glass believes that the only way to understand this complex region of the world, which so many different people desire to possess so intensely, is to walk its ancient paths, listen to its people, explore its ruins, eat its food and examine its manuscripts. His sophisticated grasp of the interpenetration of past and future and beautifully lucid prose compel one's delighted attention at all times.
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