Mark is an established freelance writer. A series of articles chronicling his overwintering in the Arctic – Letters from High Latitudes, appeared monthly in the Geographical Magazine, which also published A Passage of Time, the story of Mark’s recreation of the first ever overland journey in the Arctic by the British Navy. Articles on the innovative Connecting Cultures project have appeared in the International Journal of Wilderness, BBC News On-Line and Emirates and Qatar Airways In-Flight magazine.
Mark has written three books about his expeditions and experiences in Arabia, and the fourth book, published by Gilgamesh, ‘Crossing the Empty Quarter’, was released in December 2016.
Signed and inscribed copies are available directly from Mark by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Crossing the Empty Quarter
Now on Sale!
Arabia’s vast Rub Al Khali desert is one of the world’s most extreme and inhospitable environments, and in 1930 the race was on to become the first European to cross what is the biggest sand desert on earth. 85 years later, another team of Omanis took on the challenge.
Crossing the Empty Quarter is a large format celebration of the journey in all its aspects. Combining extensive photography – both archive and contemporary – with an authoritative yet highly readable text, this book is a unique exploration of the region as it was more than eighty years ago, and as it stands today.
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55 days – a solo kayak journey around the coastline of Oman
However carefully you plan an expedition, one always seems to start completely unfit and exhausted by travel and last minute issues. A 1,700 km journey around the coastline of Oman, from Musandam to Yemen, was no different, but ultimately proved to be an extraordinary experience, made so as much by the wonderfully hospitable Omani people and abundant wildlife as by the ever changing landscape. From howling wolves, tsunamis, hump backed whales and terrifying surf, the book chronicles not only the daily experiences of Mark in the kayak, but also of wilderness photographer John Smith, manfully trying to follow him in a Land Rover, racking up 17,000 km of often solo, off road driving.
Desert Voices – a 28 day journey through the Empty Quarter of Oman
Desert explorer Wilfred Thesiger described his 1977 return to Abu Dhabi as his ‘Arabian nightmare’, and was convinced that the arrival of the internal combustion engine in the region would signal the end of the noble way of life of the Bedouin people he so revered. In 2009, Mark set off with wilderness photographer John Smith on a 28 day journey through the Empty Quarter in Oman, along the border with Saudi Arabia, to explore the state of the region and the people some 60 years after Thesiger’s initial explorations. Desert Voices is a beautifully illustrated, hard-backed book that describes the characters and adventures they experienced. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to funding Omani young people on a course with Outward Bound in Oman.
CONNECTING CULTURES – Intercultural Dialogue in the Desert of Oman
In 2005, Kofi Annan stood on a bridge over the Bosphorus and announced the creation of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, to counter what he could see as the polarisation of cultures, a situation that has markedly increased in the subsequent decade. Inspired by his positive experiences living in the Middle East for more than 20 years, Mark set out to create the opportunity for young opinion formers from around the world to experience the reality of Arabia first hand, to return to their communities able to make informed and balanced decisions based on face to face experiences. In 2006, the Connecting Cultures project was born, and today is Oman’s gift to UNESCO and the UNAOC. Each year, three five day Connecting Cultures journeys for 54 global young leaders take place at the University of the Desert. This lavishly illustrated book covers the development of Connecting Cultures, and captures the feedback from some of the young participants.