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Yilmaz Alimoglu's personal website Follow the character of Ali Dogan as he embarks on a transformative emotional, physical and spiritual journey from east to west in Deserts and Mountains, the new philosophical novel by Yilmaz Alimoglu. Frustrated with his business, career and family, Ali Dogan, an expatriate Turk living in Canada, turns to his spiritual advisor for guidance. The sheikh counsels Ali to embark on a journey in an attempt to understand the war in his heart and to examine ever more deeply the meanings of the separation from his wife and children, and of his journey. Ali is also instructed to keep a journal of his experiences, a map of his heart; out of this journal is born Deserts and Mountains. Ali leaves his adopted home on a trip which will take him to five countries on two continents, with no fixed agenda other than to reflect on his life. He first makes his way back to his family in Turkey, a visit that raises mixed emotions for the protagonist. Having endured physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Turkish state secret agents and his father, he struggles to cope with the effects as an adult. Ali, prompted to examine his life more profoundly, seeks a broader understanding of its significance, while critically analyzing the cultural context from which he has emerged. Ali travels through Turkey, Spain and North Africa, places that bear the traces of ancient civilizations, where he experiences a dichotomy of emotions as he rediscovers love and struggles to make sense of the injustice, corruption and destitution that he witnesses. Through his observation and participation, Ali slowly begins to recognize the inherent similarities in the struggles of all humanity. The narrative shifts to a more philosophical tone as Ali begins to assimilate what he is learning and develops a fresh perspective on his own life, experiencing a spiritual renewal. “There are several themes woven into the text; friendship, loyalty, freedom, choice and its consequences; love and the individuals’ capacity both to love and be loved,” Alimoglu writes. “Aside from the journey Ali has undertaken in the physical world, an overarching theme putting all the others in context is Ali’s journey towards a deeper understanding of the spiritual tradition of Sufism.” Discover more in the pages of this engaging new book that will take you on a journey to create a map of your own heart as you explore with Ali how the difficulties of one’s past can bring a renewed understanding of possibilities for the future. “Deserts and Mountains is a remarkable volume of insight, beauty, poetic expression and spiritual development. I had to read parts of it very, very slowly so I could savor the beauty of the language and the majesty of the metaphors. I encourage you to pick it up, get through the first chapter which is like packing for a vacation, a routine task that gives way to some of the richest memories.”

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