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Publisher's Summary

Armed only with college Arabic and restless curiosity, Adam Valen Levinson set out to "learn about the world 9/11 made us fear." From a base in globalized and sterilized Abu Dhabi, he sets out to lunch in Taliban territory in Afghanistan, travels under the watchful eye of Aleppo's secret police, risks shipwreck en route to Somalia, investigates Yazidi beliefs in a sacred cave, cliff-dives in Oman, celebrates New Year's Eve in Tahrir Square, and, at every turn, discovers a place that matches not at all with its reputation.
While politicians and media eagerly stoke the flames of Islamophobia, Valen Levinson crosses borders with abundant humor and humanity. Seeking common ground everywhere, he finds that people who pray differently often laugh the same. And as a young man bar mitzvahed at 21 (instead of the usual 13), he slowly learns how childish it is to live by decisions and distinctions born of fear.
©2018 Adam Valen Levinson (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Levinson skillfully relates aspects of his destinations' histories alongside his journalist's observations and personal thoughts and emotions in this unique and illuminating travelogue." ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Rishi Tiwari on 12-12-17

Interesting journey

As I am perhaps the 1st buyer on Audible of this book I suppose I have an obligation to inform others. The book is a travelogue coupled with some very nice monologues and some not so entertaining ones of the author who clearly writes really well for a 23 years old.
Since it talks about Abu Dhabi it piqued my interest and the books did that justice. The author’s wanderings are amusing and his thoughts honestly presented in the book. It won’t come as a surprise that the author feels deeply and communicates well.

The book is like listening to a friend (an emotional friend) about his journeys. Poignant and pointless.

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