June grew up in Malaysia and her imagination was fired by books like Fernand Braudel's Mediterranean, Jan Morris's Sultan in Oman, and Edith Wharton's In Morocco. She has been fascinated by the Homeric world of Odysseus and the Levant ever since.
After getting her MA from the University of California in Irvine, her love of Greek, Arabic and North African culture saw her return often to Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Oman.
She has also worked in Ankara, Turkey, where she lived near the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation in a converted bedesten (covered market). One winter, while on a break from learning Turkish, she travelled to Konya to learn about the whirling dervish rituals at the Mevlana Mausoleum.
When not exploring the ruins of Egyptian antiquity or the cobbled streets of Galata, Istanbul, June likes 'riverine' walks, be it the Nile, the Bosphorus, a falaj in Oman or the Thames.
I'll never forget when…
Sharing a simple but very old Eid tradition in Oman's Jebel Shams two days after Ramadan with a few villagers was very special. We were offered just grilled cumin-dusted mutton kebabs while exploring the mudbrick village of Misfah when we chanced upon men cooking over a makeshift BBQ. We really felt that the ghosts of Curzon and Gertrude Bell looked upon us approvingly that day.