join us on facebook eleanor oliphant
Search our site
The Stolen Bicycle by Ming-Yi Wu Read the opening extract of the brand new Ming-Yi Wu book before its publication on 26/10/2017

Postcards from the Middle East How Our Family Fell in Love with the Arab World by Chris Naylor

Postcards from the Middle East How Our Family Fell in Love with the Arab World

Biography / Autobiography   Debuts of the Month   The Real World   Travel   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £8.99

Download an extract Share this book

Sue Baker's view...

April 2015 Debut of the Month.

Chris Naylor is a Director of A Rocha International, that takes its name from the Portuguese for Rock and forms an interdenominational Christian environmental organisation. Having worked as a teacher in the Middle East A Rocha led Chris to discover environmental and conservation work, experiencing a new way of life. Settling in the Lebanon there were challenges, especially for Chris’s wife, Susanna, but they also found friendship, hospitality, beauty and natural wonder that challenged their preconceptions of the way the Middle East is portrayed in the media.

Like for Like Reading
Lebanon through Writers Eyes, T J and A Feghali Gorton (Editors)
Mirror to Damascus, Colin Thubron

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'I have been fascinated by the Middle East for years, and have read a lot about it. But this book eschew the politics (though it does not ignore it) to show the warmer, peaceful side. It shows a family revelling in the colour, the light, and the culture of Lebanon. And it is specifically the story of how the author, Chris Naylor, fell in love with the warmth of the people he met, and the beauty of the landscape and the wildlife – particularly the birds – of the Lebanese wetlands. Above all, this book is a celebration of life in the Middle East. It is a joyous book, and I thoroughly enjoyed working on it – a great read.' - Alison Hull, Commissioning Editor, Lion Hudson

Who is Sue Baker

Win a SIGNED FIRST EDITION of How to be Champion!

Get into the Spirit of Christmas with our special SIGNED FIRST EDITIONS competition! We are giving away THREE first edition hardback copies of Sarah Millican's fabulously funny autobiography How to be Champion, each signed by the author!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 4 December 2017. The winners will be notified by 11th December 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 04/12/2017


Postcards from the Middle East How Our Family Fell in Love with the Arab World by Chris Naylor

Newly married, Chris Naylor and his wife Susanna set off for a new life in the Arab world, initially settling in Kuwait. When war forces them to move, they turn their sights on the Jordan and finally Lebanon, settling in to Qab Elias, a small town on the Bekaa plain. And they fall in love - with the beauty of the light, the hospitality of the people, and the riches of the wildlife. After time spent teaching, Chris moves on to working for A Rocha and preserving the Lebanese environment, glorying in the olive groves, the claret-red cyclamens, the pelicans, cranes and frogs. While they struggle to come to terms with some of the local attitudes to women, they also glory in the warmth shown to them and their children, the riches of the area's archaeological remains, and the pleasure of seeing the world through Middle Eastern eyes.


'Inspiring, challenging, and valuable. It's not easy to pigeon-hole as it's autobiography combined with a hugely helpful and well-told narrative about the politics, ecology, cultures, and religions of the region at the crossroads of the world. If you're puzzled by what's on the news concerning Iraq, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the rest of the Middle East, this is a great place to start. It's told with humour and empathy, and most of all with deep love for the people and the places where many of today's global tensions focus. Read it soon and you'll not only be better informed, you'll see the people and region quite differently.' -- Reverend Dave Bookless, Director of Theology, A Rocha International

'This is Christianity bringing real hope to the wildlife, wild places, and the people of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and beyond. It is an extraordinary tale of faith in action with cultural and historical insights sandwiched in regional turmoil.' -- David Chandler, co-author of RSPB Guide to Birdwatching

'This is a very readable and compelling account of a family living through tumultuous events in the Middle East. I can't think of a better way of getting beneath the surface and understanding something of the culture, religion and politics of the region than through the very varied experiences of Chris and Susanna and their family. Having lived through some of these same events and seen their creative conservation work in Lebanon, I can vouch for the fact that it made a very significant contribution in a troubled country.' -- Reverend Colin Chapman, formerly lecturer in Islamic Studies, Near East School of Theology, Beirut, Lebanon

'The environmental condition of the Middle East is easily forgotten amidst the maelstrom of politics and conflict. This rich and inspiring account of the Naylor family's adventures in Lebanon, and the setting up of A Rocha's project to help protect the priceless Aammiq wetlands in the Bekaa Valley, will help put many a conservation battle into perspective. It is thoughtful, wise, and compelling reading, with enough name-dropping of exciting fauna to make you thirst to go there yourself.' -- Dominic Couzens, bestselling natural history writer and author of Secret Lives of Garden Birds

'More than the story of a remarkable and pioneering family and the conservation organization they led, Postcards from the Middle East gives a hard-won and deeply grounded perspective on a beautiful and troubled country whose history has come to affect us all. Chris Naylor's knowledgeable affection for the landscapes and cultures he gave so much to understand, and for the Lebanese people whose current diaspora are found all around the world, shines through every page. With every chapter, we become the beneficiaries of his many years in the region; the extraordinary legacy of his working years there give him a wise and moderate voice that deserves to be widely heard.' -- Peter Harris, President and co-founder of A Rocha

'Chris Naylor has reminded me of a carpet weaver in Medhat Bacha market in old Damascus. He was able to skilfully weave in various threads of culture, family, history, religion, mythology, and politics to produce a colourful carpet. Naylor's lucid and conversational style makes the book an enjoyable reading. I appreciated his cultural sensitivity and authentic sincerity as he shares his and his family's experiences and adventures. This book deserves to be placed next to Edward Said's Orientalism, but I assure you that you will read it with lots of smiles and laughter!' -- Dr Riad Kassis, Director, Langham Scholars Ministry, Langham Partnership

About the Author

Chris Naylor

Chris Naylor is Executive Director of environmental agency A Rocha. Prior to joining A Rocha, Chris had a wide experience of teaching and schools' management in the UK and the Middle East, attending Bible College and learning Arabic (in Jordan) along the way. He has an MA from Cambridge.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

20th March 2015


Chris Naylor

More books by Chris Naylor
Author 'Like for Like'


Lion Books an imprint of Lion Hudson Plc


240 pages


Biography / Autobiography
Debuts of the Month
The Real World
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Travel writing



Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William