Leo Africanus; A Man Between Worlds

Uploaded on Oct 27, 2011

Born a Muslim called Hasan al-Wazzan in the 1480s, he became a christian called Leo Africanus. He was a 16th century historian, diplomat, author and a prolific adventurer.

Along the way he travelled the breadth of North African and the Arabian peninsula, was an ambassador for the Sultan of Fes, was captured by pirates and presented to the Pope in Rome and was even the inspiration for Shakespeare's Othello.

His most startling achievement was "The Description of Africa" - a geography of the continent that inspired generations of explorers and adventurers and remains one of the most widely published of all travel authors.

Journalist Badr Sayegh follows in his footsteps from his birth in the Arabic quarter of Granada and across the sea to Morocco; through the old medina of Fez and onto Rome the capital of renaissance Europe. In Mali he traces his journey along the river Niger to the misterious city of Timbuktu.

The film is presented and narrated by Badr Sayegh and directed by Jeremy Jeffs.