5 APRIL 1957, Page 24

Destination Mecca, by Sayed Idries Shah (Rider, 18s.): the author,

a nobly, born Moslem

educated at Oxford, speaking a kind of Esperanto of sophistication, and able to meet on personal— not journalistic—terms almost anyone he cares to call on in the Midle East, describes a journey

there which includes his pilgrimage as a believer to Mecca, where, at risk of his life, he took photo- graphs (though this was incidental to his, religious motives), An intensely interesting book bOth for its unusual subject and for the author's outlook—

worldly, astringent, high-spirited, whether visiting the late King Ibn Saud or meeting the prosperous and respectable cigarette-smuggling community of Tangiers.