Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Travel Destinations: Middle East and North Africa

In addition to the British Isles and Continental Europe, I hope to visit a few other locations during my year abroad. Over the course of the last couple of years, I've had the chance to visit Kuwait, the Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, and Qatar. During my upcoming year abroad, I want to revisit Oman, and if I'm able I'd also like to visit Morocco and Algeria. I'd add Libya to that list, but Libya's pretty rough at the moment, even for my tastes.

Oman is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life, and its people are amazing. I spent three days in and around Muscat earlier this year, but didn't get the opportunity to see anything else. Several people told me that I needed to visit Oman's second city, Salalah, and I also had a couple of offers from locals who wanted to take me to see Jebel Akhdar. I'd also like to visit the Omani enclave of Musandam that forms the Arabian side of the Strait of Hormuz, and Masirah Island, which has been used as a basing and staging area for Western military forces. Assuming that I do some significant research on the Dhofar Rebellion, it would be helpful to visit Mirbat, Thumrait, and a handful of other locations in Dhofar Governorate.

I've been fascinated by Algeria for several years now, and particularly since I read A Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne and Legionnaire: Five Years in the French Foreign Legion by Simon Murray. Algeria has such a fascinating and tragic history, and I'd like to see a few of the places I've read so much about over the years.

And, while I'm in the neighborhood, it might be nice to go to Morocco. I've never had much interest in Morocco, but sometimes it's nice to go somewhere for no better reason than it's there, waiting for you to come and visit.

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