Is This How Men Fly? Memoirs of an Airborne Robin Hood
Original title: Est-ce ainsi que les hommes volent? Mémoires d’un Robin des airs
- 2 Seas Represents: World Excl French.
Traveling the world while encouraging local development: that has been Maurice Freund’s hallmark for over 40 years. This airborne Robin Hood would surely win the Nobel Prize for Tourism if there were one.
On Pierre Rabhi’s farm, the poet-farmer is chatting with his lifelong friend, Maurice Freund. They’re talking about re-opening gateways to Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Libya, the Kabyle and more… But people are afraid to go to Africa now, they know that. Terrorism has infiltrated travelers’ minds; and Maurice Freund’s planes, which used to provide access to the most isolated zones in the Sahara and West Africa, went from full to empty.
Maurice is on edge. Several months ago, he had to make a painful decision: resign as Managing Director of Point-Afrique, staying on only in the figurehead role of President. For him, the only important destinations are the ones where tourism can change the lives of the local people.
Maurice Freund is a charismatic character, someone who has been fighting for a different kind of tourism for 40 years, one that pairs travel and solidarity with new frontiers. His non-profit organizations, first Point Mulhouse then Point-Afrique, changed the map of travel, embarked hundreds of thousands of passengers and generated record-breaking sums that were all reinjected into developing new destinations. It was thanks to the Point that Pierre Rabhi was able to open the world’s first agro-ecology center, in Burkina Faso.
Maurice Freund has rubbed shoulders with heads of states and their advisers. He knows the ins and outs of French-speaking Africa, its scandals and its secret services. But from factory workers in Mulhouse to the nomadic Tuareg people in Mali, he has always been on the side of the underprivileged. Reading his life story lets us understand the itinerary of this airborne Robin Hood.
Preface by best-selling author and environmentalist Pierre Rabhi.
- The extraordinary story of a David who defied the Goliath of Air France, commanding the admiration of the entire French tourism industry, and stood up to both the French authorities and several African presidents to bring planes to the most fragile zones in the Sahara and West Africa, in order to help grow the economy and offer an alternative to fundamentalism.
- Annoying or endearing, but always sincere, with these memoirs, Maurice Freund offers an indictment of modern colonialism and the inequalities of international development, as well as a unique viewpoint on the world of air transportation and the practices of the major airlines.