A Syria Situation is another day-by-day account of a wildlife expedition presented in the same style as that of Brian on the Brahmaputra. It therefore features Brian and his wife, Sandra, again – and another set of middle-aged Brits, this time making their way around a country in the Middle East that probably houses more antiquities than it does visible wildlife. However, this expedition was made well before anybody suspected that Syria would start to tear itself apart.
This means that a book that was written to be irreverent, provocative – and amusing – and has not been changed in any way since it was written – has now become something more. It has become a window onto what Syria once was – and what it could be in the future. It cannot be claimed to be a very clear window, as many of the perspectives in the book are, with the benefit of hindsight, more than a little distorted. But others are almost prescient.
Some people will consider A Syria Situation to be a very badly timed book and a book that points to a deplorable degree of insensitivity on the part of its author. Nevertheless, this author maintains that all those perspectives on this unfortunate country, whether distorted or prescient, ultimately lead to the conclusion that the Syrian people are, above all else, extremely resilient. Anybody striving to bring an enlightened peace to Syria should therefore not be offended by this book, but only encouraged by it – as well as being ‘entertained’ by it.
It is part of seven-part series that details Brian and Sandra’s travels to Assam, Syria, Borneo, Cape Verde, Namibia/Botswana and Morocco – and in due course, Zambia.
The bed had creaked. It was one of those beds that creaked at the slightest provocation; a micro-adjustment of the hip, the tiniest turn of the head – or even an involuntary clench of the pelvic floor – and it registered all these events with a loud and annoying creak. It hadn’t been very conducive to a restful night.