The Slow Road to Tehran
by Rebecca Lowe
In 2015, as the Syrian War raged and the refugee crisis reached its peak, Rebecca Lowe set off on her bicycle across the Middle East. Driven by a desire to learn more about this troubled region and its relationship with the West, Lowe’s 11,000-kilometre journey took her through Europe to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, the Gulf and finally to Iran.
It was an odyssey through landscapes and history that captured her heart, but also a deeply challenging cycle across mountains, deserts and repressive police states that nearly defeated her. Plagued by punctures and battling temperatures ranging from -6 to 48C, Lowe was rescued frequently by farmers and refugees, villagers and urbanites alike, and relied almost entirely on the kindness and hospitality of locals to complete this living portrait of the modern Middle East. This is her evocative, deeply researched and often very funny account of her travels – and the people, politics and culture she encountered.