Allston Mitchell


The World’s Best Travel Book

Travel Writing

“The Way of the World” is a 1950s travelogue of a trip that Nicolas Bouvier and Thierry Vernet took from Geneva to the Khyber Pass in their faithful FIAT Topolino. Bouvier’s account is now famous amongst travel literature lovers and is generally considered to be the best travel book ever written.

Le Trio Joubran


Three brothers from Palestine, all playing the “oud”, make up Le Trio Joubran. Wissam Joubran talks to The Global Dispatches about their recent film soundtrack, their work with the legendary poet Mahmoud Darwish and the plight of the Palestinian people.

Interview with David Hirst


The veteran Middle East journalist talks to The Global Dispatches about his new book “Beware of Small States”. A history of Lebanon and the Middle East, from the end of Ottoman rule to the Hizbullah and Hamas wars of today.

“Frankenstein in Baghdad” Review

Arts and Culture

The prize-winning novel “Frankenstein in Baghdad” by Iraqi novelist Ahmed Saadawi has finally been translated into English. His reworking of Mary Shelley’s iconic horror story is set in the Iraqi capital torn apart by sectarian violence.

“The Constitution” by Rajko Grlić

Arts and Culture

Rajko Grlić’s latest film “The Constitution” is excellent, profound and moving. Set in a building where the political tensions of former Yugoslavia are played out with a mixture of hatred, good grace, solidarity and bigotry. An intelligent movie that must be seen.

“Nothingwood” by Sonia Kronlund

Arts and Culture

Hollywood! Bollywood! Nollywood! Nothingwood! A gem of a documentary that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm. A wry look at the Afghan film industry through the life and career of Salim Shaheen.

Tayeb Salih, Sudan’s Iconic Novelist

Arts and Culture

“The genius of the modern Arabic novel”. A literary icon in his native Sudan and throughout the Arab-speaking world, Tayeb Salih is the author of the world famous “Season of Migration to the North”.

Aki Kaurismaki’s “The Other Side of Hope”

Arts and Culture

The story comes over almost as a religious parable for our times pitting Nazi-skins against homeless saviours of the night. There is no excuse for being inhuman, not even dire poverty.

Samskara: A Rite for a Dead Man

Arts and Culture

A masterpiece of modern world literature has recently been published by New York Review of Books Classics. The tale of a renegade Brahmin whose dissolute life brings consternation and doubt to his community when he suddenly dies.

Orpheus in Japan

Arts and Culture

Handel in Bhutan, Monteverdi in Japan, Mozart in Cambodia…operatic performances that have defied all the odds by creating a fusion of culturally diverse musical, dance and theatrical traditions. JapanOrfeo was the latest project at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura, conceived by Aaron Carpenè and Stefano Vizioli.