March 6, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Writing - Morocco: Oregon Live: Review of Morocco RPCV Jeffrey Tayler's "Angry Wind"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Special Report: Morocco RPCV and Author Jeffrey Tayler: March 6, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Writing - Morocco: Oregon Live: Review of Morocco RPCV Jeffrey Tayler's "Angry Wind"

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Review of Morocco RPCV Jeffrey Tayler's "Angry Wind"

Review of Morocco RPCV Jeffrey Tayler's Angry Wind

Review of Morocco RPCV Jeffrey Tayler's "Angry Wind"

Journey of discovery: Africa's Sahel

ANGRY WIND Jeffrey Tayler Houghton Mifflin, $25, 252 pages

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Sahel is a region of parched badlands stretching across much of central and western Africa. This the southern "shore" of the mighty Sahara -- a land of encroaching desert, drought, famine, ethnic strife and guerrilla warfare, little explored or understood by Westerners.

The sense of danger and mystery there is at least part of what attracted travel writer Jeffrey Tayler to the Sahel. His earlier books reveal a fascination with adventure, chronicling treks through Siberia, the Congo and Moroccan portions of the Sahara.

His new book, "Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat and Camel," takes readers along on a vivid, mesmerizing journey through the exotic cities and alien landscapes of the Sahel -- across Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Mali and into Senegal.

The "Wind" of the title is both a metaphorical and an intensely physical presence. Known as the Harmattan, it's a relentless, withering reality "uniting the Sahel under a thrashing veil of red dust." As a metaphor, it evokes human existence stripped down to the bone -- suffering, anger and endurance.

From the opening chapter on, it is evident that Tayler has thoroughly mastered the art of travel writing. In just about every scene he takes us deep into the world he's exploring, whether celebrating the new year in an oasis town being shelled by rebels in the Chadian outback, making a nerve-racking boarder-crossing on the back of a moped "taxi," or feasting with Tuareg nomads in the desert outside Timbuktu. He paints in distinctive characters met along the way, layers in centuries of history rife with half-forgotten empires and waves of Arab and European conquerors, and details his own intellectual and emotional responses.

While bringing to life both the wonders and the moments of dread along the way, Tayler makes clear that he is on a quest for understanding. "I wanted to hear out the people of the Sahel, to record and transmit their grievances, and to learn their views on the conflict between the West and the Islamic world." They have much to share about how their faith shapes their lives, and express disappointment with Americans, in general, and hostility for President Bush, in particular.

Tayler sees the region -- characterized by some of the most severe poverty on the planet and a burgeoning Islamic population -- as a powder keg. His hope is that awareness of the Sahel can defuse the potential for an explosion of violence.

It would take long study and many more books to attempt to sort out Africa's difficulties. What "Angry Wind" leaves us with is compelling images of places and people -- little windows into lives and ways of thinking that are very different from our own.

Damian Kilby recently reviewed "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell for The Oregonian.

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
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RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC Date: March 5 2005 No: 482 RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC
RPCVs Sam Farr, Chris Shays, Thomas Petri, James Walsh, and Mike Honda have asked their colleagues in Congress to add their names to a letter they have written to the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee, asking for full funding of $345 M for the Peace Corps in 2006. As a follow-on to Peace Corps week, please read the letter and call your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to add their name to the letter.

March 5, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News Date: March 5 2005 No: 483 March 5, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News
San Diego RPCVs host reception with Gaddi Vasquez on March 6 4 Mar
Alaska RPCVs speak for dividend 4 Mar
Western North Carolina's RPCVs sponsor Africa Night on March 6 3 Mar
Maryland RPCVs lobby their Senators for Peace Corps 3 Mar
Connecticut RPCVs hold fundraiser on March 5 3 Mar
Charles Baquet speaks at Louisiana PC Breakfast on March 4 28 Feb

RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

March 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: March 5 2005 No: 476 March 5, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Senate FR Committee approves $345 M PC budget 4 Mar
RPCV's "Kennedy's Kitchen" records second CD 4 Mar
Sam Farr asks Army to reconsider burial policy 3 Mar
Bayanihan jewelry designed by Philippines RPCV 2 Mar
Todd Vetter receives calling during PC service 2 Mar
Sargent Shriver still on Washington's A-list 2 Mar
Photographer Bill Owens publishes new book 2 Mar
Crisis Corps to open new program in Sri Lanka 28 Feb
PC wants new stories for "The Great Adventure" 28 Feb
Ukraine PCV asks "Is Bush right on Iraq?" 28 Feb
Carol Bellamy defends "feminism" in aiding children 28 Feb
John Bridgeland discusses role as Bush assistant 28 Feb
Paul Theroux recalls high times with Hunter Thompson 28 Feb
Elaine Chao Leads Delegation to Uruguay 28 Feb
RPCV reunites with friend after 40 years 27 Feb
Kay Muldoon-Ibrahim's photography on exhibit 27 Feb
Jim Doyle displays political brilliance on tax cuts 26 Feb

March 1: National Day of Action Date: February 28 2005 No: 471 March 1: National Day of Action
Tuesday, March 1, is the NPCA's National Day of Action. Please call your Senators and ask them to support the President's proposed $27 Million budget increase for the Peace Corps for FY2006 and ask them to oppose the elimination of Perkins loans that benefit Peace Corps volunteers from low-income backgrounds. Follow this link for step-by-step information on how to make your calls. Then take our poll and leave feedback on how the calls went.
Coates Redmon, Peace Corps Chronicler  Date: February 26 2005 No: 457 Coates Redmon, Peace Corps Chronicler
Coates Redmon, a staffer in Sargent Shriver's Peace Corps, died February 22 in Washington, DC. Her book "Come as You Are" is considered to be one of the finest (and most entertaining) recountings of the birth of the Peace Corps and how it was literally thrown together in a matter of weeks. If you want to know what it felt like to be young and idealistic in the 1960's, get an out-of-print copy. We honor her memory.
Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.
Peace Corps Calendar: Tempest in a Teapot? Date: February 17 2005 No: 445 Peace Corps Calendar: Tempest in a Teapot?
Bulgarian writer Ognyan Georgiev has written a story which has made the front page of the newspaper "Telegraf" criticizing the photo selection for his country in the 2005 "Peace Corps Calendar" published by RPCVs of Madison, Wisconsin. RPCV Betsy Sergeant Snow, who submitted the photograph for the calendar, has published her reply. Read the stories and leave your comments.
WWII participants became RPCVs Date: February 13 2005 No: 442 WWII participants became RPCVs
Read about two RPCVs who participated in World War II in very different ways long before there was a Peace Corps. Retired Rear Adm. Francis J. Thomas (RPCV Fiji), a decorated hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005 at 100. Mary Smeltzer (RPCV Botswana), 89, followed her Japanese students into WWII internment camps. We honor both RPCVs for their service.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.

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Story Source: Oregon Live

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Writing - Morocco



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