This weekend sees the official launch of an updated Arabic version of the Birds of the Middle East. Richard Porter is currently in Dubai at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature where he will be giving a talk on Wars and Wildlife followed by the official book launch event on Saturday 11th March. Joining him for the book launch will be OSME members and local UAE birders, Ahmed Al Ali, Oscar Campbell and Peter Hellyer. The book, written by Richard Porter and Simon Aspinall, has been translated by Abdulrahman Al-Sirhan Alenezi, one of Arabia’s leading ornithologists, and is the definitive guide to the region's birdlife. This updated version will be a valuable asset to the growing community of Arabic-speaking birders. The Middle East region is home to more than 800 species of bird, and is an important stop-over and wintering sites for a wide-range of migratory birds. The region is particularly important for the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing and Northern Bald Ibis.
The field guide is published by BirdLife International, the RSPB and OSME under the banner of Bloomsbury’s ‘Helm Field Guides’, and has received significant funding from Avifauna, British Birds, and The Hima Fund. The publication of this updated version of the Field Guide has been one of our most important projects to date, with contributions made from the OSME membership fee and personal donations from many OSME members. We’ll be posting an update on the book launch in the coming days and soon after work will start on producing a smartphone App version – watch this space!