WORLD SERVICE In Polar Bear Kebabs, travel journalist Nick Maes follows Kazem Ariaiwand through a typical day. He recounts his flight from Teheran to setting up shop near the North Pole and explores his hopes of seeing his son once more. We contrast this vivid narrative with remarkable stories from some of Ariaiwand’s immigrant friends who have also sought to live in this frozen and all but secret society.
INTELLIGENT TRAVELLER Situated high in the Svalbard Archipelago – some 300 miles above the northernmost tip of Norway – is one of the most northerly human settlements on the planet. Only the hardiest of souls survive in this inhospitable environment: a place where the polar bear population easily outnumbers the 2000 human citizens. No roads connect it with any other community – the only means of transport is by boat, plane or snowmobile. Welcome to the surreal, isolated blue-white world of Longyearbyen. Continue reading