Hong Kong Journalist Returns to his childhood home for Immrama 2018

On Thursday, June 14th author and journalist Isambard Wilkinson will return to the land of his grandmother to discuss his book “Travels in a Dervish Cloak” based on his time spent working Pakistan as a foreign correspondent during the war on terror.
His talk will take place at 8pm in Lismore Heritage Centre at the 16th annual Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing.
His book is a personal account of his travels through Pakistan – a place he grew to love is a result of his time spent at his Anglo-Indian grandmother’s Waterford home.
Spellbound by his grandmother’s Anglo-Indian heritage, Isambard became enthralled by Pakistan and he eventually went to work there as a foreign correspondent in Islamabad in 2006 during the height of the War On Terror, where he endeavoured to shed light on a country which has become synonymous with terrorism, chaos and extreme danger for Western journalists.

On Thursday, June 14th author and journalist Isambard Wilkinson will return to the land of his grandmother to discuss his book “Travels in a Dervish Cloak” based on his time spent working Pakistan as a foreign correspondent during the war on terror. The theme of the 2018 festival is ‘A Celebration of Exploration’, for the full programme list see www.lismoreimmrama.com for tickets call 058-53803.

On Thursday, June 14th author and journalist Isambard Wilkinson will return to the land of his grandmother to discuss his book “Travels in a Dervish Cloak” based on his time spent working Pakistan as a foreign correspondent during the war on terror. The theme of the 2018 festival is ‘A Celebration of Exploration’, for the full programme list see www.lismoreimmrama.com for tickets call 058-53803.


Isambard’s father was in the British Navy, the family travelled around the world but he spent much of his childhood at his grandmother’s home outside Lismore in Waterford, where she had settled after leaving India following the end of the British Raj.
It was to his childhood countryside home that his grandmother’s great friend, the elderly scion of an old Pakistani family known as the “Begum” (a title that once meant “Lady” or “Princess”), would arrive for long visits every year.
For the young Isambard, this was the annual arrival of an exotic caravan, with the Begum and her servants descending with trunks full of colourful robes and carpets, cooking curries and flatbreads in the kitchen and flooding the house with pungent aromas, bright colours and strange speech. “It was most definitely something different in 1980’s rural Waterford,” says Isambard.

Isambard was born in 1971. He was expelled from school at 15, after University he was refused entry into the Royal Marines and instead worked for Country Life magazine before leaving to travel throughout Pakistan, an ambition curtailed by kidney failure. After a stretch on dialysis and his first kidney transplant he became a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Spain, and then in Pakistan, where he completed his travels the subject of this book. Following a second transplant, he is based in Hong Kong where he works as a journalist.

In total, eight guests will speak at the 2018 Immrama Festival from June 13th to 17th, including Key-note speaker Michael Smith who will delve into “Discovering Ireland’s History and Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers”. Explorer and author Jacki Hill-Murphy will continue the theme of exploration with as she plans to discuss ‘Women adventuring off the beaten track’, Jacki has also travelled to some of the most inhospitable places on earth to re-create the journeys of daring women adventurers.

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