Heart of Arabia; A 28-Day Journey Across Arabia in the Footsteps of Harry St John Philby

Tuesday 23rd Apr 2024, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

34 Sackville Street, London, W1S 3ED



This is a free members event, please book in advance.

There will also be an option to join us via Zoom, please register here.

For event queries, New Generation Group (NGG) & Alumni reservations, please email us.

Event summary:

Explorer and Arabist Harry St John Bridger (Abdullah) Philby was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College Cambridge. Joining the Indian Civil Service, where he acquired Urdu, Punjabi, Baluchi, Persian and eventually Arabic. In 1915, he was recruited to Mesopotamia by Percy Cox. 

Service in Baghdad and Basra led him to be dispatched south on a mission to meet Ibn Saud in Riyadh, a mission that would see him cross Arabia and be awarded the Royal Geographical Society Founders Medal.

Feedback from previous talks:

What a superb talk!  One of the best this season - superbly relaxed delivery, informative, knowledgeable, entertaining, geographical. historical, cultural, scientific - everything a geographical talk should be.  Raised my spirits no end!  And brief chats this evening with members I know confirmed my opinion.”

About the speaker:

Mark Evans is an experienced desert and polar explorer, writer, speaker and wilderness advocate. He is a consultant in the fields of expedition logistics, risk mitigation and fund-raising, and is a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Some twenty years spent living and travelling extensively in Arabia give Evans an unrivalled knowledge of the region. In November 2015, with several Arab companions, he recreated the first ever crossing of the Rub Al Khali, the largest sand desert on earth. The journey made use of modern technology to demonstrate how Arabia and its people have changed.

Mark's entrepreneurial spirit has seen him raise more than 26 million GBP from corporate and government sectors in the past ten years. He was the Executive Director of Outward Bound Oman, a not for profit organisation and the first and only Outward Bound school in an Arabic speaking country up until 2023. He is now based in the UK.