Fans Send “Surfing the Middle East” Author Jesse Aizenstat on Book Tour

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Aizenstat wants to add 3 more months to his marketing campaign to share deviant stories and what’s really going on in the Middle East

From Aizenstat's point of view, the purpose of the job is not done yet

With fresh tensions in the Middle East grabbing headlines and polarizing pundits hijacking the news cycle, author Jesse Aizenstat believes it’s more important now than ever to bridge the gap between East and West. His chosen method? SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST, just published. Aizenstat humanizes the conflict in the Middle East through his recent daredevil account of surfing the war-torn coast from Israel to Lebanon. Obviously Aizenstat thinks big; his “Humanizing the Middle East through Surfing” campaign on crowd-funding website Rock The Post raised over $1,000 within mere hours of launching. His goal is to reinvent how we learn about the world—not through talking heads and big media, but through the entertaining, irreverent, and even harrowing stories of individuals.

From Aizenstat's point of view, the purpose of the job is not done yet. With his Rock The Post crowdfunding project, Aizenstat's intention is to raise funds in order to redouble his efforts and make sure that the powerful, humanizing message of his work connects with the American public. Aizenstat wants to add 3 more months to his marketing campaign to get his important story to as many people as possible.

SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST: Deviant Journalism from the Lost Generation is the story of this young man’s quest for truth and surf. Whether it’s sneaking into a Hezbollah rally, catching a ride with American arms contractors in Jordan, and buying supplies for a Palestinian protest from a shop run by Hamas spies, Aizenstat’s daring brand of deviant journalism takes readers into the heart of the conflict, into the lives of Middle Easterners torn apart by war, but united in their love for catching waves.

When you decide to make history’s first ever attempt at surfing the war-torn coast between Israel and Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon, you have to be prepared to work around whatever hazards a war zone throws your way. So how does a dyslexic surfer with no job prospects, no press credentials, and no definite plan think he’s going to get the material for the most death-defying freelance article Surfer’s Journal has ever MAYBE agreed to publish?

As author Jesse Aizenstat discovers, it helps to have four separate backstories, four sets of visas, four sets of currency, and two US passports. And that laid-back California charm thing? That can open a lot of doors. So can a love of catching the perfect wave that unites surfers of all stripes—be they deeply orthodox Hasidic Jews, Hezbollah enthusiasts, former Israeli commandos, or just random friends of your floor monitor at Arabic language school. Because, as Aizenstat’s rowdy and riveting SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST: Deviant Journalism from the Lost Generation (Casbah, July 2012) proves, navigating a warzone in pursuit of truth and surf can be one hell of a trip.

In SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST, Aizenstat describes:

● Partying till dawn in a Lebanese bunker-turned-nightclub with the super wealthy and then stumbling into a poverty-stricken Hezbollah protest camp;
● Sharing booze and religious experiences with his Saudi Muslim roommate at Arabic language school in Beirut;
● Watching an elderly Jew who had fought as an Israeli soldier protest on behalf of Palestinians and get tear-gassed because of it;
● Bonding with a pair of Israeli/Palestinian best friends over the thrill of the wave;
● The mass grave and appalling living conditions in the 63-year-old Palestinian refugee camp the world has forgotten.

The pioneering Aizenstat is also at the forefront of the digital publishing industry. The SoCal surfer designed the book himself so that every element—from the text to the layout of the book’s fifteen pages of color photos and extensive maps—flows seamlessly together to give readers the impression that they are following along right beside him on his journey into territory he describes as “like Maui with rockets.” And for those who want to join Aizenstat in encountering clouds of teargas, tense border checkpoints, and blissful waves--without ever having to leave the safety of their own homes--well, there’s even an app for that. Readers who check out the digital version of the book and its accompanying interactive iPad book app will be able to immerse themselves in videos, audio clips, photos, maps, weblinks and more to complement their virtual journey. Reading experiences don’t get much more interactive than SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST—a book about politics, surfing, and understanding that’s revolutionary in every sense of the word.

SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST is available for purchase from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Surfing-Middle-East-Journalism-Generation/dp/0983700915
The SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST app can be found at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/surfing-the-middle-east/id420449900. Jesse Aizenstat is online at http://bloggingthecasbah.blogspot.com/.

About the author:
Jesse Aizenstat graduated with honors from the University of San Diego’s Political Science program. Seeking to further his education outside of the classroom, the 27-year-old writer spent time living with Aboriginal Australian tribes, and hitchhiked from Armenia to Georgia before taking on the Israel to Lebanon surfing challenge that would become SURFING THE MIDDLE EAST. His work has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, The Surfer's Journal and The Santa Barbara Independent.

About Rock The Post
Rock The Post is a crowdfunding website designed to fund small businesses and entrepreneus. It is the ideal tool for entrepreneurs to leverage networks, reach out to new contacts, and fill in the missing pieces of their projects. Rock the Post provides budding businesses with the means necessary to amass resources and flourish.

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