SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

A legacy of T. E. Lawrence – The University of the Desert

Mark Evans MBE, Outward Bound Oman

Date: 15 May 2019Time: 5:45 PM

Finishes: 15 May 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: MBI Al Jaber Building, 21 Russell Square Room: MBI Al Jaber Seminar Room

Type of Event: Lecture

Forget about Oxford, Harvard or Salamanca-one of the oldest seats of learning is the desert of Arabia. TE Lawrence got it right when he wrote ‘ … for the ordinary Arab the hearth was a university, about which their world passed and where they heard the best talk, the news of their tribe, its poems, histories, law suits and bargainings. By such constant sharing in the hearth councils, they grew up masters of expression ….’ .  Mark will speak about how the desert of Oman is being used today as a unique and powerful place of learning to prepare young people for the future, and for peacebuilding.

Mark Evans is the founder and executive director of Outward Bound Oman, the first Outward Bound school established in the Arabic speaking world.

Mark has been involved in the field of outdoor education for 40 years, with organisations including Outward Bound, The Royal Geographical Society, British Exploring Society and The Explorers Club. He is Patron of The Andrew Croft Memorial Fund, in 2005 was cited by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as a Pioneer of the Nation for his work in outdoor education, and in 2012 was awarded the MBE for his work in using challenging outdoor journeys as a vehicle for intercultural dialogue. He is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and has personally led and project-managed challenging expeditions across Greenland and into the Canadian High Arctic, and led the IBM Arctic Year overwintering expedition to Svalbard. In 2016, with two Omani’s Mark led a 49-day 1,700 km crossing of the largest sand desert on earth on foot, and by camel, from Salalah to Doha.

Registration required due to limited seating:

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Organiser: MBI Al Jaber Foundation

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