More About the Author
Born in rural Wales to a German mother and a Professor of German father, Diana Darke seemed at first to be set on a German conveyor belt. Then as an Oxford undergraduate she suddenly jumped off it, switching from German & Philosophy to Arabic, and never looked back. After extensive government-sponsored language training that included a spell living with a Bedouin tribe near Wadi Rum, she worked for GCHQ and a variety of government departments for many years. Her travel writing began as a hobby after a holiday to Turkey, with her first guide published in 1986. She has now written 17 books, all on Turkey and the Middle East - the hobby has taken over. In 2005 she bankrupted herself buying a semi-derelict 18th century courtyard house in the Old Walled City of Damascus, and spent the next three years restoring it. This extraordinary experience led her back into the academic world, and after completing an MA in Islamic Architecture, she is now studying for a PhD investigating the residential architecture of Old Damascus. The house is the focus of her latest book "My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution" published March 2014 by Haus Publishing, London. Mountaineering has also been a lifelong love, and she recently completed the ascent of Mount Ararat, pictured here, as part of her researches for a new Bradt guide to Eastern Turkey. She is married with two children, both born in Cairo.