In 2004, in an effort to counter the polarization of cultures, Mark set up Connecting Cultures, an innovative educational programme that was launched at the British Museum in London.

Using the powerful silence of the Arabian desert, together with the proven methods of experiential learning, each winter sees a series of 5 day desert journeys, on foot and by camel take place at the University of the Desert in Oman. These journeys that are supported by the Sultan Qaboos Higher Centre for Culture and Science in Oman, and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation in London.

Eighteen young people, all identified as future leaders and opinion formers gather for each journey; half from the Middle East region, and half from elsewhere. Connecting Cultures has been cited by the UN Alliance of Civilisations as one of the world’s leading civil society initiatives, and is endorsed by the Director General of UNESCO.

More than 300 young people have benefitted from the programme, the impact of which is monitored by Moray House school of Education at The University of Edinburgh.

For more information, visit or read the Ten Year Social Impact Report on Connecting Cultures.

You can also buy the Connecting Cultures book that covers the development of Connecting Cultures, and captures the feedback from some of the young participants.


Twitter reports: Please check your credentials (keys) ( Response: Forbidden )