When Mikel Ayestaran decided to become a war reporter, leaving behind a peaceful job in the newsroom, he had few doubts about where his path would take him. The Middle East isn’t the only hot zone on the planet, but it is the one that is never absent from international coverage in worldwide media. Marked by profound ethnic, political, and religious divisions, it is a region where world powers and local regimes settle scores through third-party states while terrorist groups like Al Qaida and ISIS have flourished into authentic worldwide threats.
Following a baptism by fire in Iran, during the Bam Earthquake, Ayestaran has traveled from his base in Jerusalem to Lebanon, Georgia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunis, and Lybia. Not to mention Syria. Living, suffering, trying to understand and retell all that happens there has become the center of Mikel Ayestaran’s life since he arrived in the Middle East more than a decade ago. And it is the raison d’être for this book, built up from fragments of a nomad’s life guided by the compass of the present through a region that is bleeding like an enormous open wound.