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To those for whom the name of Syria conjures up images of George W. Bush's ""Axis of Evil,"" or who picture the Middle East in general to be a place of endemic unrest or squabbling religious factions, this book will come as a revelation. Here they will discover a nation where all clans and creeds live in enviable harmony, their goodwill towards each other exceeded only by the warmth of their welcome to an eccentric foreigner. The author enjoyed a relaxed, spontaneous ramble, living out of home-made saddlebags, enjoying the hospitality of local people and often sleeping rough. Best of all, her companion was that of her wildest childhood fantasies: an Arab stallion. While briefly informed by history, Islam and its offshoots, geography and - where absolutely unavoidable - politics, this delightful book is principally an account of the people of Syria - and of a gallant and memorable horse. Illustrated with maps and a fine selection of photographs."