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John McCarthy journeys back to Palestine for the first time since his five year incarceration.
The ancient places and stories of the Holy Land are so etched into our cultural landscape that it is hard to separate ancient tales from modern realities. Of course, this is part of the potency of the place, but also part of the illusion.
In captivity for many years, John McCarthy had only the Bible to read. While many of its stories are just that, stories - part-history, part-myth, evolved over many generations of oral story-telling - the accounts of conflict thousands of years ago made him realize that his own captivity was in some ways just another footnote in the endless saga of violent dispute over the Holy Land. This very small area has been fought over since the dawn of time, for trade, for politics, for God, as nations, empires and faiths have demanded the right to control Palestine.
So what is it like for modern people to live in that hall of mirrors, with its myriad distorted visions? How do you keep a sense of perspective, a sense of self? To find out, John McCarthy travels through Palestine and meets the people who live there. And to do so, he uses a map, not of the current "Palestinian territory" but one that shows how Palestine looked before The Cataclysm.