Search This Blog

Friday, November 11, 2011

World Travels: Snapshots of Forgotten Places

The Middle East is marked by incredible diversity and indelible images. One extended visit erases the misconceptions and opens an entire new world filled with laughing people and overwhelming hospitality. Sights, unseen outside of the region, jump with historical significance and endless stories. Here are just a few.

Isfahan, Iran…The cool blue tiles of Isfahan's buildings mix with the city's majestic bridges, beautiful gardens and immense bazaar.

Sinai Desert, Egypt…Since the beginning of time, it seems the Bedouin men of the Sinai were never done drinking tea or coffee. Legend has it that any man who broke a coffee cup would be obliged to buy or make two new ones for the mess. This pact produced jokes at the expense of anyone so unfortunate as to break one. In the process the bonds of friendship were formed.

Essaouira, Morocco…The gateway of Essaouira transports you to a land Essaouira is celebrated for its cabinetmaking and lemonwood carvings. Common to the city is thuja. The arborvitae, or tree of life, is said to inspire artists from around the world.

Cappadocia, Turkey…Nature’s powers are alive in the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. The moonlike landscapes are formed by the continual erosion of the volcanic landscape by the wind and rain. Many say that if you leave Cappadocia without visiting here, your entire journey would be a waste.

Gabes, Tunisia…Accessible only by channeling across by boat, Gabes—a maritime oasis with over 300,000 palm trees—is a mesmerizing dream in the mist of the arid Tunisian countryside.

Petra, Jordan…"No hurry, no worry!" says the Jordanian fruit salesman as he provides refreshment near the famed stone city.

Doha, Qatar…Olivier Rochus of Belgium (in blue) dashes to make a return to Davide Sanguinetti of Italy at the Qatar Mobile Open.

Originally published in ALO magazine ( by The Media Guy (that's me!, Michael Lloyd).