Monday, August 15, 2011

The Scarcity of Travel Writing

Egypt Today (Pakinam Amer and Amr El Beleidy)

From bards’ tales detailing journeys into the unknown to ancient manuscripts and intricate maps of the world, the legacy of travel narrative in this region is magnificent — at least it was hundreds of years ago. Today, however, travel literature and travelogues written by local writers and native explorers are scarce in Egypt and the region, and the lack is exacerbated by disconnected literature markets, according to observers and industry experts.

Because of the nomadic origins of many of the tribes that roamed or settled in the area, from the Arabian Peninsula across North Africa in countries like Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the culture of movement and the lore associated with it was once prominent. But stories have dwindled, and Egyptian and Arab travelers have ceased to tell tales — most of those who write about ‘us’ are authors from outside the region.

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