Sunday, February 11, 2007

Travels with a Tangerine

Tim Mackintosh-Smith's entertaining travelogue subtitled 'A journey in the footsteps of Ibn Battutah' has made its way onto television with the first part being aired on BBC 4 tonight at 21:00.
Tim Mackintosh-Smith sets off in the footsteps of the Moroccan scholar Ibn Battutah who, in 1325, embarked on a thirty-year pilgrimage across forty countries and three continents.

This first episode, retracing Ibn Battutah's journey across North Africa, tells the story of an unprecedented age of wanderlust in the Islamic world.

Heading first for Battutah's birthplace, Tangier in Morocco, Tim stumbles on a performance of medieval trance music, devours a sheep's head in the souq and meets children being taught about the Hajj pilgrimage, the original reason Battutah left home.

Following Battutah's trail to Egypt, Tim ventures into the countryside by tuk-tuk and donkey to a remote village where Battutah had an astonishing prophetic dream. In Cairo, Tim visits Al Azhar, the world's oldest university, and explores how the search for knowledge and understanding is integral to Islam.

After sailing down the Nile, Tim finds a camel herder who is prepared to take him across the desert, and they set out into the wilderness.

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