Blood and Sand
On 6 June 2004, Frank Gardner and cameraman, Simon Cumbers were in a quiet suburb of Riyadh, filming a piece on Al-Qaeda when they were confronted by ... Show synopsis On 6 June 2004, Frank Gardner and cameraman, Simon Cumbers were in a quiet suburb of Riyadh, filming a piece on Al-Qaeda when they were confronted by Islamist gunmen. Simon was killed instantly. Frank was brought down by a shot in the shoulder, then the leg. As he lay in the dusty street, a figure stood over him and proceeded to pump 4 more bullets into him at point blank range..."Blood and Sand" is the story of a man who was left for dead but - and against all odds - survived. And not only did Frank Gardner survive but, drawing on his journalistic calling, he has given us an extraordinary, terrifying account of the whole, literally life-shattering, experience - from what it's like to be shot to the excruciating months of recovery. But his book is more than about this one incident and its aftermath. It is about a journey that began 25 years ago with a chance meeting on a London bus with the veteran Arabian explorer, Sir Wilfred Thesiger, who inspired in the young Frank what would become a lifelong passion for the Arab world. This abiding interest would lead him to travel throughout the Middle East, experiencing at first hand peoples, places and cultures that few have encountered - a colourful world of scorpion-infested Bedouin tents, of Cairene hash dens and vibrant Egyptian slums. It's a journey that would eventually lead, via the world of banking, to Frank becoming a journalist with the BBC. And it was this passion that would, in the wake of the world-changing events of 9/11, send him on the journey that came to dominate - and so very nearly end - his life: his coverage of the phenomenon that is Al-Qaeda. Written with honesty, integrity and humour, this is a powerful, haunting account of survival, of over-coming adversity and a determination to carry on - a moving and inspiring personal story that reveals a deep understanding of the Islamic world and an insider's compelling analysis of the on-going 'War on Terror' and what it means in these uncertain times.