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Frank Gardner

BBC’s Frank Gardner to feature in University of Exeter event celebrating languages and international cultures

BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner will be the guest of honour at a special University of Exeter event which celebrates languages and cultures around the world.

The journalist, who is an Arabic speaker, has reported on events from Afghanistan to piracy off the Somali coast to Arctic challenges. He has particularly covered Islamist extremist related terrorism.

Mr Gardner was shot six times at close range while on assignment in Saudi Arabia in 2004, leaving him severely wounded and dependant on a wheelchair.

The event, Languages in a Global World, is held annually and brings together members of the public, local modern foreign language teachers and their GCSE and A-level students, local University of Exeter alumni, and current staff and students of languages and international cultures at the University.

This year Professor Emma Loosley, from the Department of Theology and Religion, will discuss with Mr Gardner how he became interested in languages, and what influenced his decision to study Arabic at the University of Exeter. He will also discuss the benefits of languages while working in the media. Mr Gardner will also discuss his career, and the major world events he has covered.

The event will be chaired by Professor Sally Faulkner, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Film Studies in the College of Humanities and Assistant Deputy Vice Chancellor for Europe at the University.

The Languages in a Global World series has been developed to celebrate the study of languages and international cultures.Speakers are language graduates and use languages in their work.

Professor Loosley is an expert on the history and material culture of the Middle East and Caucasus with a particular specialism in Syrian Christianity. She lived in Syria for a number of years both in Aleppo and then between Nabk and Qaryatayn on the edge of the desert.

Mr Gardner was awarded an OBE by HM The Queen in 2005 and is now the author of three bestselling books ‘Blood and Sand‘, describing his Middle East experiences and ‘Far Horizons‘ describing unusual journeys to unusual places and Crisis, his debut spy thriller set in Colombia.

Mr Gardner has also written for the Economist, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Time Out and has been published in The Best of Sunday Times Travel Writing. He lives in London with his family.

The event will be held on Friday 10th January 2020 from 4.30pm to 5.30pm at the Alumni Auditorium on the Streatham campus. To attend sign up at

Date: 8 January 2020

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