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Middle East   12 Dec, 2014, 14:05
An edgy stroll through downtown Bagdad  
Robin Ratchford

Even before Isis Iraq was already a deadly place. Robin Ratchford has two armed guards for his expedition to downtown Bagdad, which involves checkpoints, security checks and vegetables for sale.

Middle East   2 Jun, 2014, 16:39
A stamp collector’s guide to Yemen’s ancient capital  
Robin Ratchford

Seven-year-old Robin Ratchford was fascinated by a postage stamp from Yemen, in the heart of Arabia. Thirty years later he finally gets to visit Sana’a, the capital, but finds the country’s newest stamps hardly live up to the original.

Middle East   2 May, 2014, 15:31
Pace-counting doesn’t work to navigate Sana’s historic centre  
Robin Ratchford

It’s famously easy to get disoriented in the narrow alleys of Yemen’s ancient capital, but Robin Ratchford has two maps and counts every step. It makes his walking tour feel rather like a treasure hunt – but doesn’t stop him getting lost.

Central Asia   8 Apr, 2014, 16:07
Kabul’s only tourist goes shopping – and finds souvenirs  
Robin Ratchford

Afghanistan is now far from any sort of tourist destination. But it was once a key stage on the 1970’s ‘Hippy Trail’. Robin Ratchford flies in to the capital finds that – on Chicken Street – all the same handicrafts are still on sale.

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