Seen in the Yemen: travelling with Freya Stark & others, with Hugh Leach OBE
The Yemen, like the rest of Arabia, is much in the news, and undergoing a period of turmoil and rapid and inevitable change. Hugh Leach was posted there for many years and studied the country and its people, making expeditions into its undiscovered and undocumented corners, always with his beloved Leica camera.
His writings and photographs bring to vivid life an ancient culture, its people, architecture, and landscapes. He also travelled with the most famous explorers of Asia and Arabia: Dame Freya Stark (twice), Wilfrid Thesiger, and Dame Violet Dixon, and describes these joint adventures with wit and much affection.
During the last four years of his career in the Middle East, he made a seminal study of contemporary trends in Islam. The extraordinary events and changes he has witnessed throw light on a people, a culture, a whole region of the world that has burst into dramatic life in the last few months.
Hugh, an eminent Arabist, explorer and historian, spent most of his 36 years as a soldier and diplomat in the Middle East. Since retiring, he has also explored Central Asia, especially the sources of the Oxus and Jaxartes, and has led several expeditions into the mountainous regions of Northern Pakistan.
He is Historian of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs (formerly the Royal Central Asian Society), and author of its centennial history, Strolling About On The Roof of The World. He is the recipient of the Lawrence of Arabia Medal, and his interests range from Early Christianity, to crystal sets and circuses. He is currently Associate Director of the Academy of Circus Arts.
His many learned and fascinating articles in the Journal of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs include: Lawrence of Arabia; A Journey to the Sources of the Jaxartes; From the Himalayas to the Hindu Raj; From the Upper Indus to the Sutlej; Observing Islam.