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Tribes with Flags: Adventure and Kidnap in Greater Syria [Kindle Edition]

Charles Glass
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

‘Tribes With Flags’ is the gripping story of Charles Glass's dramatic journey through Greater Syria which provides background context to a troubled region once again in the headlines.

Charles Glass began his journey through the former Arab nations of the Ottoman Empire by exploring farms, refugee camps and feudal palaces to capture the full spectrum of Levantine life. But his literary and spiritual ramble was abruptly interrupted when on 17 June 1987 he was kidnapped by Shi'a militants. What followed, 62 days later, was a daring escape that captivated the world’s media.

In this classic travelogue, the former ABC Middle East correspondent records an adventure which took him through Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan and the Lebanon. An honest, colourful and immediate tale of wanderlust and history, ‘Tribes with Flags’ is an essential back-story to our understanding of the complexity of the region, and the gripping testimony of one of the few hostages who has escaped its maelstrom to tell his tale.



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1000 KB
  • Print Length: 510 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00900PQKA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #475,668 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurah for the return of a great read 26 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I recently discovered that my original 1990 Secker & Warburg copy of this engaging and ultimately thrilling piece of VS Naipaulish reportage by the American-born broadcaster and writer Charles Glass is missing from my shelves. So hurrah for Harper Press who have had the sense to reissue it as an eBook.

In the spring of 1987 Glass, who had been based in Beirut as ABC's Middle East correspondent, wanted to get away from hourly deadlines. He persuaded his New York editors to grant him leave of absence so that he could write a book about the people who, either as victims or villains, usually provided the human fodder for his news bulletins.

Starting in the Mediterranean town of Iskenderun in eastern Turkey he intended, using whatever public transport was available, to make a land journey across modern day Syria, Lebanon and Israel until he reached the Jordanian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea. It was a route designed to take him through most of what the old Ottoman Empire regarded as its Arabic speaking Greater Syria. He never made it. Syria itself was solid as a rock. In Aleppo Muslims and Christians of all persuasions lived at peace under the tyrant Hafez el-Assad. Dissidents were murdered. Lebanon was in its twelfth year of civil war and, despite recent Syrian army intervention, still gave anarchy a bad name.

When he reached Beirut Glass was kidnapped and ended up chained to a radiator in one of the fero-concrete jungles in the city's southern suburbs where Shi'ite militias still fly their flags. His capricious captors were alternatively cruel and kind: treats one day, denied water and dehydrating the next.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you love historical yet flowing prose, this is for you 28 Oct. 1997
By DaveMarchese@WriteMe.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wonderful look at an area which is often overlooked for it's beauty and rich culture because of all the constant turmoil of the region. Glass grew up with some of the language and culture. This is obvious as he explores in-depth the areas he travels to and attempts to reproduce the travels of those before him. I thought the book was a good mix of history and culture intertwined into his daily travel and musings. The book is somewhat of a cathartic reminiscence as he relates his humbling time of kidnapping. But as such the recounting helps to bring stark reality back to the nature of that region and force us to consider the reasons 'why' pain and suffering are necessary in such a mythical and adventurous place. I've recommended this book to two friends who are news correspondents and love to travel. Thumbs up!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah for the return of a great book 27 Oct. 2012
By CRF Smith, Guernsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I recently discovered that my original 1990 Secker & Warburg copy of this engaging and ultimately thrilling piece of VS Naipaulish reportage by the American-born broadcaster and writer Charles Glass is missing from my shelves. So hurrah for Harper Press who have had the sense to reissue it as an eBook.

In the spring of 1987 Glass, who had been based in Beirut as ABC's Middle East correspondent, wanted to get away from hourly deadlines. He persuaded his New York editors to grant him leave of absence so that he could write a book about the people who, either as victims or villains, usually provided the human fodder for his news bulletins.

Starting in the Mediterranean town of Iskenderun in eastern Turkey he intended, using whatever public transport was available, to make a land journey across modern day Syria, Lebanon and Israel until he reached the Jordanian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea. It was a route designed to take him through most of what the old Ottoman Empire regarded as its Arabic speaking Greater Syria. He never made it. Syria itself was solid as a rock. In Aleppo Muslims and Christians of all persuasions lived at peace under the tyrant Hafez el-Assad. Dissidents were murdered. Lebanon was in its twelfth year of civil war and, despite recent Syrian army intervention, still gave anarchy a bad name.

When he reached Beirut Glass was kidnapped and ended up chained to a radiator in one of those fero-concrete jungles in the city's southern suburbs where Shi'ite militias still fly their flags. His capricious captors were alternatively cruel and kind: treats one day, denied water and dehydrating the next. They called him Dallas, after the TV soap, and delivered a video recording of him to the local Reuters bureau reading a prepared statement confessing (in the most unlikely southern accent a Californian could contrive) that he was CIA. But from the beginning Glass had been determined to escape and get back to his wife and young children and he never stopped trying. Eventually, on his 63rd day, with considerable cleverness and daring he succeeded. To reveal how he did so would spoil it. Suffice to say that at this point his story, with its brutal honesty about his own fears and the awakening of his dormant Catholicism, is at its most compelling.

Glass still reports from his beloved Levant, mainly for the New York Review of Books.This eBook edition benefits from a new author's introduction drawing on his recent visits to a Syria that has now replaced Lebanon as the regional battle ground. The book's main title comes from Tahseen Bashir, perhaps one of Egypt's less predictable diplomats. 'Egypt is the only nation state in the Arab world,' he once said. 'All the rest are tribes with flags.'

[[ASIN:0753827050 England's Last War Against France: Fighting Vichy 1940-42]

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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 12 Mar. 2015
By M. P. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book alternately hard-to-put-down and slow, depending on what part of the story I was in. The characters are real people from all over Middle East, and they are fascinating and often funny and tragic in turns, but the love that Glass has for them and the respect he shows them in describing them and recounting conversations lends credence to the strange events that unfold in the narrative.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 Aug. 2014
By Michael Mardini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great read if you are interested in contemporary Levantine history.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 May 2013
By Eyad Sarraj - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I follow the writings of the author and I read his book tribs with flags. I find the present book a perfect follow up with such distinguished style and rich knowledge . Thank you
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