Could the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf lead the global transition to renewable energy?
"The Power of Deserts offers an important argument detailing how the Middle East could be devastated by the impact of climate change—or could generate huge amounts of renewable energy. A provocative work."
- Professor Steven Cohen, Columbia University,
Publication date: 25 August 2020
As a young man I spent four years in an ecological studies center in the Sinai, where I guided eco-hiking tours, organized a chamber music concert in a rocky gorge on a full moon, did ethnographic fieldwork with the Jebaliya Bedouins and tried to grow beans in a remote elevated granite valley. The crop failed. The memories linger, as did the indelible impact those formative years had on my intellectual development and research profile.
I earned my BSc in Environmental Studies from King's College London (1982). While there, I had to borrow a suit and a brief case for a visit to Buckingham Palace, where I shared my thoughts about nature conservation in Sinai with Prince Philip, then President of the World Wildlife Fund.
Love of ducks, strawberries and punting brought me to Cambridge, where in 1991 I received my PhD in Social Anthropology with a pioneering ethnographic study of Palestinians in Nazareth.