It would have been extremely difficult to have undertaken this adventure without the kindness, help and support of so many people. My expression of thanks is not enough. Many have been but a voice at the end of the phone, others remain unknown. For the task of getting myself and Mark, my cameraman, into Jordan and Egypt and onto many of these sites; complete with the right legal permissions, permits and documents - all with the correct dates upon them - is a labyrinth of politics and paperwork that would have had me defeated from the very start. Most of this work went on unseen. Among these are the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Jordanian Tourist Board, the staff of NET Tours (Jordan), Dr. Mohammed El Badry at the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Egyptian Tourist Board, the Cairo Press Centre, Mr Yasser Zeid and the staff of Travellers Egypt, who provided help, advice, accommodation and negotiated favourable rates of entry on my behalf. Without them, the cost would have proved prohibitive. To the unseen heroes of any trip, Hazm M.H. Shaheen and Yahia Anwar, my drivers who spent hours of waiting and yet, upon our appearance were immediately attentive to our needs, delivering us to the next destination quickly and safely.
A special note of thanks has to go to; Michael Hodgson at Maranatha Tours (Europe) Ltd. conductor of operations and mastermind at overcoming the many obstacles placed in our way. His support and enthusiasm opened doors that would have remained firmly shut. To Rev. Tom Davies, my neighbour and friend who’s support and introduction to Michael proved to be so decisive in turning a casual comment of desire into reality. To Bruce Rawlings and Pauline Evans at 196 Productions Ltd, for the provision of cameras, lights and copious amounts of tea, advice and support. Their mentoring was and is very much appreciated. To my Cameraman Mark Thorne, who managed to keep the shots ‘tidy’ despite having to work through lunch! The quality of his camerawork, despite the long days, made the job of editing so much easier. To Siân Jenkins, for transcribing many hours of taped interviews and interpreting my incoherent mumblings, thoughts and bad grammar. Her initial readings of the script helped immensely during the off-line stages of production.
While I have endeavoured to get all the facts right there are, at times, innumerable points of view due to the nature of the evidence being limited and/or incomplete. I have tried to indicate these discrepancies and offer a balanced interpretation. I am grateful to; my guides Najeh Al-Dahir (Jordan), Khaled Osman and Yasser El-Nomrosy (Egypt) for keeping me on the right path. Their enthusiasm and patience, the sharing of their experience, knowledge and translation, together with their ingenuity at overcoming all of the logistical and diplomatic problems that inevitably occur at the point of filming was very much appreciated. To Sue Rollin and John Henson for their willingness to share their respective insights on and off screen, offering confirmation and guidance on historical points of fact during its writing, and ensuring the correct pronunciation of unfamiliar names and places during recording. To Rustom Mkhjian for his spontaneous enthusiasm and warm welcome, sharing so openly the Baptist Site of John. To the members of the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain, directed by Dr Thomas Schaub and Dr Meredith Chesson, for their personal contribution of photographs taken during excavations at Bab adh-Dhra. These, together with the beautiful illustrations by Eric Carlson, helped immensely in explaining the historical significance of the site.
My thanks to you all.