The Ybernia Newsletter

A newsletter, you say? What is this new-fangled thing on the blog?!

It just so happens that we have been very busy these last few weeks, and we will continue to be for the next while. On the street tour front, we will be collaborating with a big company (details to be released soon!). We will be explaining the ins and outs of this fine city to corporate execs, rank and file workers and, the toughest audience of all, HR representatives.

But it’s not just the tour. We hosted BBC’s Dr Chris Naunton at the fabulous Secret Kingdoms bookshop, where he discussed the current state of archaeology and his books; we spoke to a Spanish lawyer, María José, who is helping female refugees from Afghanistan; and last but not least, we interviewed Álvaro, an editor and writer who has diverse influences, from Charles Baudelaire to punks.

Dr Chris Naunton

Dr Chris is a face you probably recognize – he has popped up on many TV documentaries, sharing his insight and love for ancient Egyptian culture. An archaeologist by trade, he has written several books, including two for children. There is no doubt that the future of Egyptology is secure as a new generation of readers fall in love with Egypt through his stories.

At the event, we asked him questions, while he also answered questions from the audience. A raffle was held, where lucky winners won iconic Egyptian prints signed by him. We even won one such print, and it definitely was not a fix like in that one episode of Fr. Ted. In a wide-ranging discussion, we discussed how hard it is to get things commissioned or published given that subjects that fall beyond the typical (like Tutankhamun) are less of a sure bet when it comes to making money. We also looked at how the Egyptian government are safeguarding the future of archaeology in the country by untangling the legacy of earlier, colonial expeditions.

What’s more, after speaking to him after the event, we can report that Dr Chris is a very nice guy. Incidentally, we will be back in the bookshop for María’s launch of her book: The Stuff of Life, and we have interviewed the wonderful bookshop owner David Price for the podcast.

Source: Chris Naunton’s website.

María José and her NGO

Our other wonderful interviewee helps women in Afghanistan present their cases in the hopes of being accepted as asylum seekers. In addition to her efforts, the Ministry of Defense is able to evacuate some of them or a Spanish Embassy in the Emirates, Pakistan or Iran manages their petitions under art. 38 of Spanish Asylum Law.

Generally speaking, she advises women and helps them prepare their documents, writs or statements; and sometimes she has helped by supporting them in third countries with small amounts of money until the moment arrives when they can obtain a Spanish visa so they can travel to Spain.

We are so grateful that this extraordinarily busy woman found the time to talk to us.


Álvaro Mielgo Gallego: Writing, Enya & Punks

Álvaro is from Zamora, Spain. As an editor, he has published three zines: Memories of Memories, Pink Blast, and Vesper 1. All of these can be found on his Sadwrn website, which takes its name from the Welsh for Saturn. In our interview, he was so passionate and articulate about his many influences and his preference for poetic prose, a literary style that can be found throughout his zines. Álvaro feels that poetry should be sacred words, something that elevates the language to a higher plane, while prose should be infused with a sense of wonder and adorned by writing that makes us fall in love with the subject.

One thing we love about his zines is that he focuses on finding this wonder in uncommon places. Take for example Pink Blast, which seeks to give invertebrates the credit they deserve. They exist as ignored creatures, but they form a crucial part of the ecosystem, but they also feature as protagonists in diverse stories, myths, and cultures.

Find out more on the podcast, which is linked below.

Source: Álvaro Mielgo Gallego.

And remember…

You can check out all of these interviews on our podcast by following this link. You will also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Our books are available on Amazon. And, as always, explore this blog for more varied stories and articles.

Thanks for reading!

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