**SHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR** Alev Scott's odyssey began when she looked beyond Turkey's borders for contemporary traces of the Ottoman Empire. Their 800-year rule ended a century ago - and yet, travelling through twelve countries from Kosovo to Greece to Palestine, she uncovers a legacy that's vital and relevant; where medieval ethnic diversity meets 21st century nationalism, and displaced people seek new identities. It's a story of surprises. An acolyte of Erdogan in Christian-majority Serbia confirms the wide-reaching appeal of his authoritarian leadership. A Druze warlord explains the secretive religious faction in the heart of the Middle East. The palimpsest-like streets of Jerusalem's Old Town hint at the Ottoman co-existence of Muslims and Jews. And in Turkish Cyprus Alev Scott rediscovers a childhood home. In every community, history is present as a dynamic force. Faced by questions of exile, diaspora and collective memory, Alev Scott searches for answers from the cafes of Beirut to the refugee camps of Lesbos. She uncovers in Erdogan's nouveau-Ottoman Turkey a version of the nostalgic utopias sold to disillusioned voters in Europe and the U.S. And yet - as she relates with compassion, insight and humour - diversity is the enduring, endangered heart of this fascinating region.
After the fall of Constantinople, After the fall of Constantinople, Christians under the Ottoman rule experienced a very stressful existence, under slavery conditions. They persevered through that occupation and utilized education as a tool for survival, in exchange for helping the Ottoman Empire expand militarily. To achieve their survival, Greek families employed unparalleled ingenuity, planning, patience and secrecy. Many fled abroad, further spreading Greek civilization and creating secret Greek organizations, geared to mobilize the world against the Ottomans. To defend against that, the Ottomans engineered the total separation of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, isolating any Christian rebellion from any help from the West. Greeks tried unsuccessfully to find allies in the West but eventually settled into a secret alliance with Russia, which eventually brought about the Greek Revolution of 1821. Their tenacity to preserve faith and culture, withstood centuries of pressure, even when whole societies around them yielded, and were assimilated in the Moslem world.
The Odyssey of an Armenian Revolutionary Couple: How They Survived the First Genocide of the 20th Century, is a historical biography of my father, Minas and mother, Aghavni Dersarkissian. From their translated autobiographies in Armenian, we follow Minas' life leaving home at age 12 to become a priest, meanwhile learning of his family's slaughter by the Turks; serving as a Turkish officer in WW-I, and then fighting against the Turks as guerrilla to save his people, the Armenians; while Minas in exile, Aghavni escapes with her life to become refugee, and how they find each other and face hardships anew.
Every good traveler plans his or her itinerary carefully to use time well and benefit as much as possible from the trip. I did not have an agenda, however. I wanted to travel Middle Eastern style, that is, with no prior planning. It would have been a nuisance to stick to a set timetable in a country that was, except for the language, entirely alien to me. I had decided to spend five weeks in Iran and had certain ideas as to what and whom I wanted to see, but my choices had to be a la carte - one bite at a time. I wanted to feel the pulse of the country by meeting and talking to as many people as possible. I knew that as a man traveling alone in a Moslem country I faced certain limitations. My quest had to be limited to interacting with men, with little exposure to women and their concerns.
When Rudolph Halouk Daus was born in 1933 in Paris, France, to an Ottomon princess and an American Beaux Arts educated entrepreneur with Jewish Rabbinical and French Catholic roots, no one had any idea that in just seven years, the German Army would invade France and uproot his family, sending all of them to fulfill new destinies. Daus shares a fascinating story of his diverse background, his ancestors, and his personal odyssey as he progressed from extraordinary beginnings to a miraculous escape from Nazi-occupied France and finally to an incredible naval career capped with command of two warships. As he details his singular progress across continents, Daus provides an unforgettable glimpse into a circuitous and star-crossed life as he experienced adventures, challenges, and heartbreaking trials as an American Naval Officer and was eventually led into a second career as a law firm manager and a third career as an entrepreneur whose ventures steered him from America to Turkey, Japan, and the Wild East of Central Asia. The Crescent Odyssey shares the fascinating story of a man for all seasons and his unique journey from his Turkey Ottoman soldier’s roots to his escapades as an American warship captain and entrepreneur. “The Crescent Odyssey is a superb read and tells the story of the life and diverse background of an American Naval Officer, his shipmates, his family, his ancestors and his life at sea during the Cold War ... easy to understand for either the experienced sailor or one accustomed to life ashore ...” — Admiral Frank Kelso, United States Navy (Retired), 44th Chief of Naval Operations
A Greek grandfather born a citizen of the Ottoman Empire who became an Italian national provides the starting point for this book, which, by focusing on the real story of a family against a background of historical events, shows how what the author calls the ‘minotaurs of fear and greed’ can be overcome and the pseudo-theories of many a pundit of so-called international relations can be demolished. It is not every day that the son of a Cumbrian who fought in the Great War meets the daughter of his Ottoman enemy, following the next war, and then marries her. The author’s grandfathers were on opposing sides in the Great War, one with the British at Gallipoli, the other in the Ottoman Army; in the next war, his father and uncle were on opposing sides to his aunt’s husband. His aunt was thrice a refugee, from Ottoman Turkey, Italian Rhodes, and then again from modern Turkey. This forms the rich backcloth to this historical account of the family vicissitudes engendered by the behaviour of Greece’s controversial Eleftherios Venizelos and Turkey’s bombastic Kemal Ataturk. Written and spoken accounts by family members and diplomatic documents are skilfully woven into a rich tapestry of that geohistorical toilet, the Eastern Mediterranean. The book brings to life some vital aspects of modern European history, ending with a trenchant critique of Greece and Turkey today, warts and all.
Features a new chapter. At the age of 43, writer Allen Abel decided to move home to Brooklyn, stay with his mother (in the same apartment in which he grew up), and explore and write about the borough of his birth. For several months he wandered along Flatbush Avenue, the thoroughfare that runs like a spine through Brooklyn. The result is a delightful family memoir and exploration of a unique place. He hobnobs with Mohawk high-steel workers, tries to learn voodoo secrets from Haitian immigrants, commiserates with policemen detailed to the subway, and chats with an ex-zookeeper in Prospect Park. He revisits the scenes of his childhood, samples social life in distant Flatlands, and hunts for horseshoe crabs on the shoreline. Flatbush Odyssey is a revelation, and in it Allen Abel has produced a marvellous piece of storytelling.