Maps: Arabia Felix


Maps are fun. Maps are codes–landscape codes that blend natural and cultural geographies.

Maps and cartography…other ways of taking landscape journeys.

The Empty Quarter is the central landscape influence of my landscape story, The 23 Club.

Arabia Felix

Arabia Felix…happy? Why?

Felix is the only portion of the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula to receive regular rainfall. The tail ends of Indian sub-continent monsoon cyclones push into the mountains and valleys of the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

The valleys of Yemen have fertile soil and dependable rainfall–thus, felix, Arabia Felix.

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…still felix? Hardly!

…my tether?

Four incredible deserts–Nafud, Dahna, Nejd and the Rub al Khali. No weather reports–no GPS–no communications? No way. Still felix?

Our Western image of the Empty Quarter landscape, an image pieced together from the writings of our past, the holy books, the Greeks, the Romans, Marco Polo(1254-1324), Ibn Battuta(1304-1369), the ships docking in Genoa and Venice, the writings of Richard Francis Burton(1821-1890), Gertrude Bell(1868-1926), T.E. Lawrence(1888-1935),  Wilfred Thesiger(1910-2003), and others, continues today–even with GPS, even with 24/7 online large pipe digital coms–to be a mystery…an unknown landscape…still beckoning…still threatening.