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EmmaLucy is a writer, speaker, explorer and biker; based in the UK but often found gallivanting across the globe. With nearly two decades spent studying and representing Arabic culture, she is passionate about improving cross-cultural communication. She is researching a PhD in social sciences at the University of Helsinki and delivering public lectures in the UK to break down misinformation and build positive connections. She is a Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy as a University lecturer.

With a habit of visiting places and forgetting to leave, she has become interested in the idea of ‘downward exploration’: rather than travelling long distances and seeing many places, this type of exploring allows her to focus in-depth on communities and local environments, learning about the cultures, habits, food and history – and forming close friendships which allow for deep understanding and collaboration.

EmmaLucy has been researching in Egypt since 2009 and in 2011 she decided to sell everything she owned in order to spend 6 weeks with the Tarrabin Bedouin tribe in Sinai and learn about the dialect and culture. 2 years later, she eventually returned to the UK and had not only gained a ginger Bedouin cat (called Bryan) and a myriad of stories, but also witnessed first-hand some of the ways in which marginalised nomadic groups can be misrepresented and manipulated. Her PhD is based on this fieldwork and her public lectures draw from these direct experiences and observations.

Often, audience members will comment on how ‘brave’ it was to live in the desert, and this is one of the themes which EmmaLucy is particularly interested in discussing during public events. What does it mean to be brave and go on adventures? Can anyone be brave enough to get out there? How can we encourage women to be braver and explore more? Should women be brave enough to travel solo?

When not writing or researching, EmmaLucy can be found out and about on her Triumph motorbike, barefoot running up mountains, on stage with the Bristol Old Vic Adult acting company…or recovering in a café somewhere between London, Somerset and Helsinki!

All photography provided by Steve Haywood Photography and author's own

You have a unique talent for teaching, especially a difficult subject, and I do hope we meet again in the future.
— Mary, workshop in Sheffield

AchieveMENTS, volunteering and skills

  • Published in print and online in the UK, US and Canada 2006-current

  • Cast in a TV pilot and music videos

  • Lectured at conferences and industry events globally 2006-current

  • Guest lecturer at the Royal Geographical Society ‘Microlectures’ 2019

  • Jersey Arts Centre People’s Choice speaker in 2017

  • Speaks Arabic (Bedouin dialect), French and very basic Italian and Greek

  • Volunteer speaker for Cats Protection

  • Research source for writers and adventurers on Arabic culture

  • Volunteer at the 2018 Adventure Travel Film Festival in London.