A true story that follows a naive, open-minded and ambitious schoolboy, Charles, as he sets off on an overland odyssey to circumnavigate the Middle East from Istanbul to Jerusalem. Educating an Englistanee is the story of Charles's astonishing journey. His funds run out and he is saved only by the Muslim maxim that hospitality should always be given to strangers. He copes with the direst of situations with a cocktail of desperation laced with wry humour and dogged British determination. Staying with Zoroastrians in Iran, Greek orthodox monks in Egypt, and American diplomats in Beirut, the adolescent adventurer has his perceptions of text book topics immeasurably altered. People smugglers, Armenian Christians, transvestites, clergymen, martyrs, pederasts, refugees and soldiers help him to traverse the physical landmass as well as the confines of his experiences and horizons. This is more than a travel book. This is an account of how kindness and acts of generosity occur at all levels of society often at the least expected moments.
This is an account of the myriad complexities of the Middle East religious, social, economic and political, as witnessed at grass roots by young 'fresh' eyes. This is an account of a real education, of an enlightenment, well beyond the confines of the classroom.