Beyond That Last Blue Mountain: My Silk Road Journey
This evocative and colorful account of the author’s travels in the 1980s and early ‘90s throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan, then Iraq, the Balkans and Syria begins in the world of Asia- and Mideast-focused antiques traders in England, for whom Sandys sets out searching for high-quality carpets and artifacts. Along the way, she becomes interested both in ikat silk weaving and assistance to Afghan refugees. Sandys journeyed through conflict areas to set up a silk-weaving project for UNESCO, and her book describes her meetings with locals and expatriate Europeans, as well as teaching Afghan women about the resist-dying ikat techniques, which she describes with passion, expertise and empathy. While Sandys relates her experiences as a woman, traveling on dusty and hazardous roads, she also sheds light on the generosity, hospitality and warmth of people she encountered.