After years of studying Arabic, Zora O'Neill faced an increasing certainty that she was t only failing to master the language but was also driving herself crazy. So she stepped away. But a decade later she still couldn't shake her fascination with Arabic and returned to her studies, this time with a new approach. O'Neill embarks on a grand tour through the Middle East - to Egypt, the UAE, Leban, and Morocco - packing her dictionaries, her unsinkable sense of humour, and her talent for making fast friends of strangers. She travels along quiet, bougainvillea-lined streets and amid the lively buzz of crowded cities and medinas. She jumps off the tourist track, into families' homes and local hotspots, and makes a part of the world that is thousands of miles away seem right next door. With lively prose and an eye for the deeply absurd and the deeply human, O'Neill explores the indelible links between culture and communication. All Strangers Are Kin is a powerful testament to the dynamism of language and how learning ather tongue leaves you rich with so much more than words.
ZORA O'NEILL is a freelance travel and food writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler, and she has authored or contributed to more than a dozen titles for Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, and Moon. She lives in Queens, New York.