The Compass Edge

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thecompassedge.net is a web project maintained by Brian Jones to log his and others' experiences while traveling to and working in regions off the standard travel map.


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  • The web less travelled

    Posted by Brian Jones

    12 June 2002 – Greetings and welcome to site where the web hits the dirt road. The aim of the site is that it will become a forum for those people working and travelling in areas not commonly accessible to travellers for various political and security reasons. Many of the experiences portrayed will be from "complex humanitarian emergencies" occurring as a result of conflict and natural disasters. This comes from personal experiences of working as an emergency nutritionist for international humanitarian organisations in Asia the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa.

    Over the past few years I have been travelling and working in the West Bank of Palestine (Map of Palestine), the Bahr al Ghazal region of South Sudan (Map of Sudan) and Maluku province in Eastern Indonesia (Map of Indonesia). All three areas have been suffering from ongoing conflict that has either restricted the access and/or knowledge of the areas by the outside world. More often than not this results in an extremely distorted view of the area and its people.

    The conflicts have often resulted in very profound adverse affects for much of these populations and the way in which people have sought to retain their humanity in these situations, often against very considerable odds, is very striking. However, it is still all to easy through todays media to view affected areas as somehow beyond our experience, characterised by incomprehensible acts and bizarre people. What my work in these areas has shown me is that these sitautions often bring out the very best in people and their sense of community and I want to share with you some of this warmth and humanity, much of it humerous. Yes there is much talk of uncertain futures but it is always striking to find that conversations move naturally to discussions of the mundane such the English premier division, the world cup, comedians, litterature, recipes, animals, how to get laid etc, etc. It's bizarre but at the same time reassuring......

    For more indepth information on some of these areas try www.reliefweb.int

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