Review: Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country

Rating: ★★★★½

Authors: Amy E. Zwemer is the co-author of Topsy-Turvy Land and Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country. A native Australian, she met Samuel M. Zwemer while she was serving as a pioneer missionary in Basra, present-day Iraq.

Samuel M. Zwemer was a pioneer missionary among Arabs along the Persian Gulf. His later career was spent writing, teaching and mobilizing for missions among Muslims while he was based in Egypt for many years, and later at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Overview:

Where Topsy-Turvy Land was focused on daily life in the Arab world—which has, needless to say, changedZigzag Journeys has a narrative basis. Although it’s not always clear who is narrating (whether Amy Zwemer or her husband), the chapters that recount journeys are easy to read and fascinating in their detail.

Meat:

There is a wealth of interest and irony in the Zwemers’ accounts of their journeys, such as “A Pioneer Journey on the Pirate Coast” and “Along Unbeaten Traces in Yemen.” “The Jews in Kheibar” is a particularly interesting and seldom-told tale of the Jews who once inhabited the Arabian Peninsula.

Bones:

This book maintains everything that’s best about Topsy-Turvy Land but in a much less childish style. Adult readers who felt patronized by Topsy-Turvy will find this book much more engaging.

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