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Postcards from the Middle East: How Our Family Fell in Love with the Arab World

Biography / Memoir

By: Chris Naylor(Author)

248 pages, 8 plates with colour photos

Lion Hudson

Paperback | Mar 2015 | #222798 | ISBN-13: 9780745956497
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £8.99 $12/€10 approx

About this book

Can hunters be persuaded to stop shooting birds of prey? Why would a village decide to restore its forests instead of felling them? Could landowners, farmers and nomadic herdsmen agree to extend a wetland instead of draining and burning it?

Chris Naylor asked all these questions whilst living in the Middle East for 17 years. Most of that time, he and his family were in Lebanon, on one of the world's most important flyways. Working as a science teacher in the Bekaa Valley, Chris realized that a nearby wetland, important as a roost for migrating eagles, harriers, storks and pelicans was being wrecked, and so his career in community conservation began. But as a foreigner, how do you engage people in protecting their heritage?

Now International Director of the Christian conservation organisation A Rocha, Chris shares his discoveries, successes and disappointments, often with great humour. He tells hard-earned and important lessons about conservation which will surely encourage, inform and inspire others, not just those working around the Mediterranean, but in cross-cultural situations everywhere.

"The environmental condition of the Middle East is easily forgotten amidst the maelstrom of politics and conflict. This rich and inspiring account of the Naylor family's adventures in Lebanon, and the setting up of A Rocha's project to help protect the priceless Aammiq Wetland in the Bekaa Valley, will help put many a conservation battle into perspective. It is thoughtful, wise and compelling reading, with enough name-dropping of exciting fauna to make you thirst to go there yourself."
- Dominic Couzens, best-selling natural history author.

"This is Christianity bringing real hope to the wildlife, wild places and people of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and beyond. It is an extraordinary tale of faith in action with cultural and historical insights sandwiched in regional turmoil."
- David Chandler, co-author of RSPB Guide to Birdwatching.

"This warm-hearted and honest book is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand the cultural, political and religious complexities of the Middle East."
- Dr Hilary Marlow, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

"If you don't know how to pray about what's on the news concerning Iraq, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East, this book is a great place to start. It's told with humour and empathy, and most of all with deep love for the people and places where the Bible was written."
- Rev Dave Bookless, author of Planetwise

"Chris Naylor reminds me of a carpet weaver in the old Damascus market as he skilfully weaves colourful threads of culture, family, history, religion, mythology and politics. I appreciated his cultural sensitivity and authentic sincerity as he shares his experiences and adventures. This book deserves to be placed next to Edward Said's Orientalism, but I assure you that you will read Postcards with lots of smiles and laughter!"
- Riad Kassis, PhD, Director, Langham Scholars Ministry, Langham Partnership International Director, International Council for Evangelical Theological Education

"More than the story of a remarkable and pioneering family and the conservation organization they led, Postcards from the Middle East gives a hard-won and deeply grounded perspective on a beautiful and troubled country whose history has come to affect us all. Chris Naylor's knowledgeable affection for the landscapes and cultures he gave so much to understand, and for the Lebanese people whose current diaspora are found all around the world, shines through every page. With every chapter, we become the beneficiaries of his many years in the region; the extraordinary legacy of his working years there give him a wise and moderate voice that deserves to be widely heard."
- Peter Harris, A Rocha President and founder

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Chris Naylor is the Executive Director of A Rocha International. He co-founded A Rocha Lebanon and was instrumental in the conservation of the Aammiq marshes. Chris has a Masters from Cambridge and this is his first book.

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