Welcome to the Land That No Country Wants

welcome-to-the-land

In 2014, an American dad claimed a tiny parcel of African land to make his daughter a princess. But Jack Shenker had got there first – and learned that states and borders are volatile and delicate things. “Bir Tawil is the last truly unclaimed land on earth: a tiny sliver of Africa ruled by no state, inhabited by no permanent residents and governed by no laws. To get there, you have two choices. The first is to fly to the Sudanese capital Khartoum, charter a jeep, and follow the Shendi road hundreds of miles up to Abu Hamed, a settlement that dates back to the ancient kingdom of Kush. Today it serves as the region’s final permanent human outpost before the vast Nubian desert, twice the size of mainland Britain and almost completely barren, begins unfolding to the north.”

Written by Jack Shenker, read by Andrew McGregor and produced by Simon Barnard

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads | 1st April 2016

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