The Israelis aren't generally keen on academics researching Bedouin culture. So Victorian Fifield is clearly on thin ice as she clears immigration. Once admitted to the country her welcome cools further.
Lured away by Petra and other headline sights, few visitors to Jordan head fifty miles out of Amman to explore ancient castles marooned in sand. Elizabeth von Pier finds the experience peaceful and entrancing.
In the middle of Kit Mayers' fascinating book about the 16th Century explorer Anthony Jenkinson is a tiny passage where he explains the difference between the grand divide in mainstream Islamic thought. Admirably concise and clear.
Dubai is the standout star of Middle Eastern tourism and there's always plenty going on. There are, however, a few major events that might just influence when you choose to visit: Paul Woollacombe rounds up your options.
Despite the headlines much of the Middle East remains perfectly safe - and largely devoid of tourists. Lucy Barker says there are at least five must-see sights that should be on every bucket list, and now's a great time to get them to yourself.
When all news is of Isis, most travellers shy clear of Iraq. But neglect - and a lack of tourists - mean many of Mesopotamia's ancient treasures are crumbling back to dust. Joseph Shawyer says this might be your last opportunity.
As a volunteer teacher in the occupied territories of the West Bank, Jonathon Engels finds that even for a Westerner life under Israeli occupation is routinely alarming. And for the local Palestinians, it's prison.
Tom Allen is woefully unprepared for his cycle ride out of Aden, passing as it does some of the world's most dangerous insurgent areas. So when the army comes to his help it seems natural to accept a lift.
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.
It's easy enough to get visas in London. Almost every country has embassies. But Jason Smart is in Qatar. Doha is different, and getting an Indian visa had been a nightmare - but Bangladesh proves a breeze.
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.
Though rarely a stickler for tradition, John M Edwards does appreciate, just once a year, a good traditional Thanksgiving feast. Lamb-strewn Istanbul treats his requests with contempt and he does little better in Kusadasi.
The 'Arab Spring' swept away not just Egypt's leaders but also most of its tourists. Kerry-Ann Virgo and Nicholas Hussain, undeterred, are charmed by the Nile Valley's tombs, temples, treasures - and people.