There are many reasons why it might seem unwise to walk, mostly alone, through the Middle East. That, in part, is exactly why Leon McCarron did it.From Jerusalem '" the holiest city in the world and epicenter of conflict in the Middle East '" McCarron followed a series of wild hiking trails that trace ancient trading and pilgrimage routes and traverse some of the most contested landscapes in the world. In the West Bank, he met families struggling to lead normal lives amidst the political turmoil and has a surreal encounter with the world's oldest and smallest religious sect: the Samaritans. In Jordan he visits the ruins of Hellenic citadels They led him into the rolling hills and towns of the West Bank, where he met the men and women struggling to live normal lives amidst the political turmoil along the rugged spine of Jordan and finally across the vast, empty deserts of Sinai, to finish atop the sacred mountain.It is a pilgrimage that takes him back through time, from the quagmire of current geopolitics to the original ideals of faithful men, and along the way looks at the fine layers of history, culture and religion that have shaped the Holy Land. It is also a quest that explores the paradox of a region defined by an innate hospitality and kindness, yet one that is also so feared and demonized by the west. Spending time with and learning from those who live along his route, Leon takes us on a completely unique adventure into at a misunderstood place that is at once confusing, conflicted and utterly, utterly compelling.
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