Sand, Sun and Surprises



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Part travelogue, part insightful memoir, Sand, Sun and Surprises memorialises the decades that Prof E S Akpata spent living and working as a Nigerian expatriate in oil-rich Middle East. A top scholar in the field of dental surgery, he leaves Nigeria during the recession of the 1980s, to take up, initially, a temporary job in the region, but ends up spending twenty-three years pioneering research and other academic activities in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.


Sand, Sun and Surprises demystifies the culture of the Arab world; it is a fascinating take, filled with moments of humour – like the one time when he thinks his car is stolen in Kuwait, and after searching for hours, finds it in the same spot he left it. The author describes a region transformed from harsh desert conditions to gleaming cities made of glass and steel, elegant buildings, and five-star restaurants; changes that seemed to have occurred in an instant.


This is a practical book for those who wish to understand, emigrate or visit the Middle East for work or leisure.

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Narrative Landscape Press

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