Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart OBE, born 1973, is a Scottish writer. He was born in Hong Kong, raised in Malaysia, Vietnam and Scotland and educated at Dragon School, Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied history and philosophy. He was a summer tutor to Prince William and Prince Harry in the early 90s.

After a brief period as an officer in the British Infantry (the Black Watch) , Stewart joined the Foreign Office. He served in the British Embassy in Indonesia from 1997 to 1999, as the British Representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo campaign and as Coalition Deputy Governor of Maysan and Senior Advisor in Dhi Qar, two provinces in southern Iraq during 2003–2004. From 2004, he was a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard University, United States. He has travelled extensively, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2000-2002 he walked across Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal, a journey of 6000 miles (done in two stages because of problems with the Taliban but without leaving Asia [] ).

His first book, "The Places in Between" (2004), was a critically lauded account of his experiences in Afghanistan, and a New York Times bestseller. It won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, a Scottish Arts Council prize and the Spirit of Scotland award in 2005 and was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. The book was adapted into a radio play by Benjamin Yeoh and was broadcast in 2007 on BBC Radio 4.

His second book, "" (2006), outlines his experiences as deputy governorate co-ordinator (although Stewart has claimed his role was deputy governor [;] ) of the Iraqi province of Maysan and Senior Advisor in the province of Dhi Qar shortly after coalition forces entered Iraq and describes his struggles to establish a functional government in these regions. It was particularly well-reviewed in the UK and was short-listed for a number of major awards.

Stewart, whose family come from Crieff in Perthshire, has been awarded the OBE. Stewart currently lives in Kabul, where he is the Chief Executive of The Turquoise Mountain Foundation.

Turquoise Mountain is a not for profit, non governmental organisation whose mission it is to regenerate Afghanistan's traditional crafts and historic areas, creating jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of national identity.

Turquoise Mountain is working to regenerate Murad Khane, a district of Kabul’s old city. It has also established an Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul, which provides education for both men and women in traditional artisan skills, such as woodwork, calligraphy, ceramics and jewellery. In addition, it has a business development program which is working to revive Afghanistan’s traditional craft economy.

Turquoise Mountain has received financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), The Prince's Charities Foundation and a number of other private foundations and individuals, from the Middle East, Europe, the US and Canada.

Much of his journalism, as a guest columnist for the New York Times and in literary magazines such as the London and New York Review of Books has cautioned against over-ambitious foreign interventions, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a July 2008 cover for Time Magazine, Stewart, Senator McCain and Senator Obama held a three-way debate about foreign troop levels in Afghanistan.

On 25 January 2008 he was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, choosing the dubplate "Gunman" as one of his chosen discs.

In July 2008 he was made Ryan Professor of Human Rights at Harvard University and the Director of the Kennedy School's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He combines the role with his charitable work in Afghanistan and the filming of a BBC documentary. He will assume this post on 1st of January, 2009.

In August 2008, the UK media widely reported that Studio Canal and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B had bought Stewart's life rights. The actor Orlando Bloom will apparently play Stewart.

He has some acquaintance with French, Persian, Indonesian, Serbo-Croat, Urdu and Nepali.



* "The Places in Between". Picador, 2004-2006.
* "". Harcourt, 2006. ISBN 0-15-101235-0.
* "". Picador, 2006. ISBN 0-33-044049-7.

External links

* [ Rory Stewart Books] , official books site.
* [ The Turquoise Mountain Foundation]
* [ Biography and picture] , from Harvard's [ Carr Center for Human Rights Policy] .Articles
* [ "Degrees of Not Knowing"] , by Rory Stewart in the "London Review of Books", Vol. 27 No. 7 dated 31 March 2005. Concerning Iraq.
* ['s_enemies_ft_091804.htm "My enemy's enemies"] , by Rory Stewart. Reprinted from the "Financial Times", September 18, 2004. Concerning Afghanistan.
* [ "Diary"] , by Rory Stewart in the "London Review of Books", Vol. 23 No. 17 dated 6 September 2001. Walk across Iran.
* [ "Losing the south"] , by Rory Stewart in "Prospect Magazine", November 2005.
* [ "Dervishes"] , by Rory Stewart in "Granta", Jun 15, 2002
* [ "Iranian girls"] , by Rory Stewart in "Prospect Magazine", November 2001.Profiles
* [,9171,1612374,00.html "Stewart of Afghanistan"] , profile by Aryn Baker in "Time", April 19, 2007
* [ "In the thick of it"] , profile by David Robinson in "The Scotsman", June 24, 2006
* [ "Days of hope and hubris"] , interview by Robert Hanks in "The Independent", June 23, 2006
* [ "Can Rory Stewart Fix Afghanistan?"] , profile by Paul Kvinta in National Geographic Adventure Magazine

* [ "Authors @ Google: Rory Stewart"] . Discussion of his walk across Afghanistan and his NGO, the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, at Google.

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