By Ken Haley

He’s been expelled from Syria on suspicion of terrorism, been dragged from the Hungarian parliament in handcuffs and interviewed the editor-in-chief of al-Jazeera, all in the course of a awesome two-year trip via wheelchair throughout Eurasia. Walkley Award-winning journalist Ken Haley’s travels soak up forty-one international locations and in Emails from the sting he portrays existence within the center East because it relatively is, no longer because the media painting it, and attracts an exciting parallel along with his personal existence.

With nice humour, and never a touch of sentimentality, he lays naked his darkest instances, while he plunged over the precipice into insanity, and divulges the wanderlust that led him to the center of the world’s sizzling spots.

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In whispers they name Karimov, ex-Communist and founding president, ‘the Pharaoh’. 9 days in the past, plainclothes individuals of the SNB, the Uzbek defense police, broke up a calm protest by way of 100 ladies in Amir Timur sq., the symbolic middle of this critical Asian capital. A witness says that SNB operatives used truncheons at the girls, a lot of them with babes in palms, sooner than herding them into buses and riding them away. the ladies had accumulated to make a really progressive call for: the outlet of extra mosques in Tashkent. The Western media painting a goodies-versus-baddies imaginative and prescient of Islam. however the Pharaoh may have no God ahead of him, no longer even Allah. Mosques listed here are prohibited from broadcasting the decision to prayer. Faith-based political events are banned. I meet Juma Bahadur (not his actual name), a 20-year-old operating at a Tashkent web membership, while i am going there to ship an electronic mail from the sting. He introduces himself easily as ‘a Muslim’ and asks if we will take a stroll. Wheels and heels, we amble round the block. What may be so vital that he prefers part an hour within the blistering summer time sunlight to the fan-cooled inside of a cybershop? Bahadur doesn’t hold me in suspense for lengthy. the tale he tells dates again to final January. An SNB officer approached him and requested why he had simply spoken to a girl at the pavement. whilst he responded that she had stopped him to invite instructions, the officer in undeniable outfits instructed him to return alongside quietly. As Bahadur tells it, he used to be taken to a police cell—a wood stool its basically furniture—handcuffed and left by myself for a number of hours. After an indefinite interval, 4 policemen entered the cellphone, lined his chest with a pillow, and pummelled him regularly at the torso and limbs till he misplaced awareness. He used to be stored in detention besides 50 different males for 4 days, till the agent who had stopped him in the street ‘called my mom and dad, and my brother got here and took me home’. whilst Bahadur requested why the police had taken care of him like this, they informed him ‘because I went to the mosque’. each minute or so, Bahadur seems furtively around, as though the timber have ears. he's confident he is familiar with what motivates Karimov’s police country: ‘Islam, our faith, teaches every body to possess his estate. whilst anyone understands his power—that i'm a man—and every person desires to personal his estate, keep watch over is tough. whilst everyone is (treated) like pigs, regulate is straightforward. ’ in simple terms the day ahead of the SNB suppressed the Muslim women’s protest, the Uzbeks by surprise introduced they have been last the Kyrgyzstan border to all highway site visitors among Osh and Andijan, the border I crossed in peace a month previously. I make a wry psychological word: on the finish of subsequent month, Uzbekistan will formally have fun ten years as a post-communist country. Ah, yet outdated conduct die difficult. DAY seventy four (13 JULY): TASHKENT TO SAMARKAND Have constructed an excellent strategy for boarding minibuses. I provide to shop for tickets—one for me, one for the chair. this manner it doesn’t get squashed less than a mountain of baggage (or poultry shit on rural routes) and the drivers, who go away simply whilst their automobiles are complete, deal with an early departure.

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