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Dr. Alkadi relied on the latest GPS technology, ancient maps and anecdotes from interviews with the locals along the way, to map this historic pathway

PRESS RELEASE: An eclectic and enigmatic collective of experts to host an historic event at the Royal Geographical Society

Respected historian & journalist Bettany Hughes, academic & author Dr. Abdullah H. Alkadi, and internationally-renowned Islamic photographer Peter Sanders will present ‘Makkah to Madinah: A Photographic Journey of the Hijrah Route’ for the first time in the UK at an exclusive book launch event on Friday 27th March 2015.

London, United Kingdom, March 24 2015: A guest-list only gathering will be held in The Main Hall and Education Centre of the Royal Geographical Society in London, hosted by the author of a groundbreaking new book, ‘Makkah to Madinah’, which took the Vice President of the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia more than a decade to create. Inspired to identify the precise Hijrah Route, Dr. Alkadi relied on the latest GPS technology, ancient maps and anecdotes from interviews with the locals along the way, to map this historic pathway. Covering thousands and thousands of kilometres throughout the years, with numerous field expeditions (including overnight camping sojourns) in challenging and dangerous conditions, Dr. Alkadi is confident that he has not only mapped the 400km route as precisely as humanly possible, but he has also uncovered myriad monumental landmarks along the way, which he will discuss at the London launch event on the 27th.

Dr. Alkadi says: “My commitment to completing this project resulted in more than 10 years of work, in between my academic and professional duties. I spent two years searching for one place in particular, I continued alone, I lost my shoes and walked on injured feet. In fact, the majority of the Route was covered on foot, as the terrain doesn’t allow for cars and many of the discoveries were made because we were walking, such as pottery, milestone markers and ancient buildings. There is no other book out there like this; in fact, the only other published papers on this subject are written by me and publicly available. I’m really pleased that I can finally share the journey with a UK audience.”

Dr. Abdullah H. Alkadi
Dr. Abdullah H. Alkadi, Vice President at the University of Dammam (in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia) and a descendent of the noble Bani Hashim clan, is a highly respected scholar of religious and quantitative sciences.

Dr. Alkadi began his university career studying Architecture and Planning at King Faisal University at Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. He continued his education in the United States, completing both his Master of Science Degree and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University in Oregon.

Dr. Alkadi is the Vice President for Studies, Development and Community Service, as well as being a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Dammam.

He is the author of several books covering diverse topics such as the use of GIS applications on social development in urban areas, to analysis of the planning characteristics of urban mosques at the time of the Prophet in Madinah.

Currently, Dr. Alkadi continues to explore and expand his research not only on the Hijrah Route, but on other ancient pathways as well. A comprehensive CV can be accessed here:

Peter Sanders
Peter began his career in the mid 1960s as one of London's key photographers of rock musicians. His pictures of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, The Who and many others performing are classics of the genre.

In 1970, he set off for India, cameras in hand. He travelled for seven months. This trip became a spiritual odyssey that led him onto Morocco and thereafter to the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, where he photographed the hajj, at a time when few professional photographers had access to Islam's holiest sanctuaries.

Continuing to travel far and wide, Peter Sanders has built up a photographic archive of well over a quarter of a million transparencies from forty countries around the world. His first book 'In The Shade of the Tree' (now in its second reprint) gives a wonderful insight into the diversity of the Muslim cultures around the world whilst his second book 'The Art of Integration, Islam in England's green and pleasant land', shows an alternative picture of Muslims integrated completely within British society. From Eton, Sandhurst, District Judges and the House of Lords, to supermarkets, transport workers, poets, artists and musicians.

Dr. Bettany Hughes
Bettany is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her speciality is ancient and mediaeval history and culture. A scholar at Oxford University, she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht and Manchester. She is a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and a Research Fellow of King's College London.

Her first book ‘Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore’ has been translated into ten languages. Her second, ‘The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life’ was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Writer’s Guild Award. She has written and presented over 40 TV and radio documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic and ITV. Her programmes have now been seen by over 250 million worldwide.

Bettany is frequently asked to contribute to the The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Prospect Magazine and The New Statesman. Bettany is a judge for English Heritage Angel Awards, The Art Fund’s Museum of the Year Award and is a reader on the Queen’s Anniversary Prize. She regularly judges for the RTS and Grierson Awards.
Bettany is currently writing and filming a new landmark BBC series on Socrates, Buddha and Confucius and is also writing a new history of Istanbul for publication in 2015.

Media enquiries
Press images and information can be accessed here:

To request a press pass to the event on 27th March or to arrange an interview with Dr. Abdullah during his 24 hour stay in London, please contact / / +44 (0) 8709619069 /

Synopsis – Makkah to Madinah: A Photographic Journey of the Hijrah Route
This eminent work is the culmination of an epic journey along the Hijrah Route by esteemed academic Dr. Abdullah H. Alkadi, Vice President, University of Dammam. Incredibly, even after 1400 years, the Hijrah Route has been traced accurately using sources as varied as Ottoman period maps, historic texts and oral accounts handed down through generations among locals, as well as state-of-the-art GPS technologies. Dr. Alkadi dedicated 10 years of his life to the creation of ‘Makkah to Madinah’, which is eagerly anticipated by a UK audience following its initial release in Saudi Arabia.

Written in both Arabic and English, this recto-verso book illustrates the Prophet's (blessings and peace be upon him) Hijrah Route in exquisite detail, identifying landmarks and locations where verses of the Qur’an were first revealed. Using metallic inks and hand drawn maps, London-based agency Inspiral Design has created a premium aesthetic to complement the beautiful illustrations and photography within this must-have book.

Book details

Language: Arabic/English
UK release: March 2015
Price: GBP50.00
ISBN: 978-603-90160-3-8
Binding: Hardback
Format: Trade
Extent: 234 pp
Publisher: Orient East

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