When you hear the words “The Middle East”, what images are conjured up in your mind? Do you imagine unparalleled hospitality, dynamic people, breathtaking desert scenery and fascinating archeological sites dating back to the dawn of time? Or do you imagine instead terrorism, religious intolerance, and fanatical political figures?
In reality, the Middle East is a region of paradoxes. It is a land where people go out of their way to make a stranger feel at home and also a land that throughout history has witnessed acts of unspeakable brutality between enemy tribes and clans.
This film represents a personal journey in words and images on the essential nature of the Middle East. It is an attempt to get to the heart of some of the sources of conflict between and within these nations. Mostly it is an attempt to give the viewer a sense of the people and culture than one cannot find on CNN.
On a whim, I traveled through Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon; all countries with uneasy diplomatic relations with one another. I spoke to people of all religions and cultures. I visited sites steeped in history such as Petra, Palmyra, the Dead Sea, Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut, Baalbek, and The Cedars of Lebanon.
On my journey, I saw that the people of the Middle East have more in common with each other than their leaders will often admit. Using clever methods, I managed to fly between these countries and film and speak freely, something the ordinary people living there find difficult or nearly impossible to do.
This film allows you to visit these regions without the worries of carrying a passport of crossing borders. This is the way it once was when the honorable nomadic Bedouin drifted freely through the desert, but it is a situation unlikely to be remedied anytime soon.
I welcome you to join me in the unique opportunity to lean more bout the Middle East. Put away you preconceptions and come along for the journey.