The Travels of Ibn Fudayl is a satirical tale written in the style of an academic who has translated a medieval manuscript. It comes complete with foreword, introduction, bibliography and copious footnotes that poke fun at the pretentious world of academia, whilst chronicling Ibn Fudayl's experiences in Al-Andalus. In particular, how his search for wisdom leads him to meet the philosopher Al-Homsi, the world's most ignorant man. It is their friendship and love for worthless knowledge that enables Ibn Fudayl to reach the upper echelons of Andalusian society.
George Richard Sole is an English explorer, traveller and a translator who has spent a considerable time in the MENA region. After graduating from the University of Oxford's Balliol College with a First Class honours in 1961, he spent ten years under the service of the Sultan of Oman fighting the Communist insurgency. After an incident where he released a greased piglet into a ballroom of diplomats he was dishonourably discharged by the British Army having sparked a diplomatic incident described by one ambassador as being 'as catastrophic as the British army deciding to use animal grease for their cartridges in India before the mutiny in 1857'. Out of money and without any connections unlike his contemporaries, he resorted to exploring the Empty Quarter in Arabia with his irresolute fixer of unknown provenance, Abu Hanzala ibn al- Haram ibn al-Halal, from the Banu Kilab tribe known for being great carrion eaters. In these travels he came across many Yemeni tribesman who persuaded him to search for the famed city of Ubar - the Atlantis of the Sands. He gave up his search after Sir Ranulph Fiennes pipped him. Defeated and dejected, Mr R. Sole parted from Abu Hanzala and dedicated himself to his Arabic studies in Cairo and now resides in Amman where he translates numerous obscure translations of Arabic travellers and historians making them available to the wider public.