THE BACKGROUND: In 1761 a grand, scientific, Nordic expedition was organized in order to explore countries and cultures in Arabia. It was a seven-year-long journey in pursuit of paradise, which was considered to be in Yemen. Five scientists collected specimens of animals and plants, Arabic and Hebraic scripts, and their copious documents of notes, drawings and maps were later published in several books about Arabia. Much of the material was to be epoch-making in the North and some of the results are still in use. I want to make a new expedition to Happy Arabia and to follow the footsteps of the five courageous scientists.

WHY? We live overwhelmed by news and facts and the whole world is mapped already. Perhaps have we lost our capability to make new discoveries? Also, the ruthless logic of the Western media gives us a distorted view of present day Arabia. Good news are no news. The mass media is interested in economic catastrophes, riots, border disputes and civil wars.

THE PROJECT: The journey will be an unforgettable experience taking place in January 2002. We will travel for a month with a local guide through the mountainous area, down to the coast of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and finally cross the Eastern Desert.

After the expedition we will publish a book on our experiences. The publication could be seen as an 'anti guide', a comment on the usual handy manuals that present countries in such an objective way that the thrill of discovering disappears. The book will be in Arabic and English and will be distributed internationally. It is also possible to contribute material without participating in the expedition.


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