An epic modern-day quest across the Sahara and a unique insight into the nomadic communities that surround the legendary city, by award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber.
The Sahara: a dream-like, far away landscape of Lawrence of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger, The English Patient and Star Wars, and home to nomadic communities whose ways of life stretch back millennia. Today it's a teeth-janglingly dangerous destination, where the threat of jihadists lurks just over the horizon. Following in the footsteps of 16th century traveller Leo Africanus, Nicholas Jubber went on a turbulent adventure to the forgotten places of North Africa and the legendary Timbuktu.
Once the seat of African civilization and home to the richest man who ever lived, this mythic city is now scarred by terrorist occupation and is so remote its own inhabitants hail you with the greeting, 'Welcome to the middle of nowhere'.
From the cattle markets of the Atlas, across the Western Sahara and up the Niger river, Nicholas joins the camps of the Tuareg, Fulani, Berbers, and other communities, to learn about their craft, their values and their place in the world.
The Timbuktu School for Nomads is a unique look at a resilient city and how the nomads pit ancient ways of life against the challenges of the 21st century.
Nicholas Jubber moved to Jerusalem after graduating from Oxford University. He'd been working two weeks when the intifada broke out and he started planning to travel the Middle East and East Africa. He has written two previous books, The Prester Quest (winner of the Dolman Prize) and Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah's Beard (shortlisted for the Dolman Prize). He has written for the Guardian, Observer, and the Globe and Mail.
[A] passionate paean to the Sahara. — New York Times, Season's Best Travel Books
The risk-taking Mr Jubber enters the desert-scape of North Africa. An education. — Tom Adair, Scotland on Sunday, Travel Books of the Year
Insightful, warm and humorous — Publishers Weekly *starred review*
An abundantly energetic gold-mine of a book. Heaped with history and background information, with ideas, adventures, and poignant postulations, it stares right in the face of current events. This is a book that will remind us all to look with care at what is happening on the great sandscape of North Africa now. A work of inspiration and scholarship. — Tahir Shah, author of 'The Caliph's House'
Sedentary civilization has been telling itself that nomads are an anachronism for many centuries. But nomadic cultures are still vibrantly alive, as the intrepid Nick Jubber shows us in North Africa. This book is both a wonderful travel adventure, and a defense of journeys without end. — Richard Grant, author of 'Ghost Riders: Travels with American Nomads'
A well-informed and readable book based on time spent in nomad camps and a thorough survey of the literature. The Sahara and Sahel are complex, dangerous, productive, compelling places. The Timbuktu School for Nomads captures the feel of this in conversations with nomads about their livelihoods, with the constant threat of a drought or an al Qaeda squadron just over the next dune. — Dr Jeremy Swift, author of The Sahara
The Timbuktu School for Nomads takes us on an unforgettable journey through time and space, plenty of it, and gives voice to voiceless communities that inhabit one of the most problematic corners of the globe — Amir Taheri, author of 'Holy Terror'
*PRAISE FOR NICHOLAS JUBBER* Passionate, exuberant and charming. — Spectator
Engaging. Full of intriguing insights into little-visited countries. — Wanderlust
Effortless. Uses a light touch to explain complex, esoteric concepts. — Geographical
A writer who can deliver both serious historical research and entertaining escapades with credibility and passion — Anthony Sattin, author of 'The Gates of Africa'
Impeccably researched and elegantly written. — The Irish Times
Jubber is a perceptive guide to a fascinating culture. — Metro