Open Book - Jeremy Bowen discusses the Arab Spring
Mariella Frostrup talks to Jeremy Bowen about his book on the Arab Spring and discusses how writers have responded to the uprisings in the Middle East.
Mariella Frostrup talks to Jeremy Bowen about his book The Arab Uprisings and his experiences of being the BBC Middle East Editor during this turbulent time. He explains how people risked their lives to help them and inform them of the situation and why despite all his best precautions, being on the front line can often be a numbers game.
And it's not just foreign journalists who've been reporting on the Arab Spring. For many years authors have been reflecting the undercurrents and frustrations of life under such totalitarian regimes in their novels. Syrian writer Ghalia Kabbani, whose 2010 novel Secrets and Lies deals with life under the Assad regime and Rasheed El-Enany, trustee and judge of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter discuss the response from authors to the on-going situation in the Middle East.
For his travel book, The Robber of Memories, Michael Jacobs has journeyed down the Magdalena, the river which runs through the heart of Columbia. It's a country which has suffered decades of bitter fighting between FARC guerrillas, paramilitaries and the army. Michael explains the appeal of the River and why a chance meeting with Columbia's legendary writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez led him to reflect on the importance of memory.
Producer: Andrea Kidd.