Cover image for Under the spell of Arabia
Under the spell of Arabia
Oppersdorff, Mathias T., 1935-
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xiv, 121 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 31 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS36.65 .O67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



A collection of photographs which depict the vanished Arabia of the 1970s, a world of artisans, fishermen, soldiers, and tribesmen, of ordinary lives against the backdrop of a majestic land. They hint at the enormous changes that oil money will bring to these traditional societies.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Oppersdorff is a professional travel photographer whose two previous books were People of the Road: The Irish Travelers (1997) and Adirondack Faces (1991). Under the Spell of Arabia features some 100 well-reproduced black-and-white photographs that depict the Arabia of the 1970s. Made in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, and Yemen, these pictures depict people, aspects of Bedouin life, and a bit of domestic architecture as it existed before the Western world impressed itself on this once exotic Islamic environment. Oppersdorff's photographs are competent, illustrative images, but even with some inherent pictorial interest, they require captioning to provide the viewer with any real insight into the subjects. Unfortunately, the captions found at the rear of the book are merely subject and location identifications. The photographer writes a brief introduction in which he explains the origin of his project and gives a few short accounts of events during his journeys. The book could have used a more insightful text written by an authority familiar with the region, one that would have provided an interpretation of the images in historical terms as well as in terms of the realities of the region today. General readers; undergraduates through faculty. P. C. Bunnell Princeton University