Russell Casey has led tours for ASA since 2009. He has held a fascination for the Middle East, Persia, Central Asia and the Silk Route since studying Latin at school. With a keen interest in languages, Russell studied French, German, Japanese, Arabic, Persian and Chinese (Mandarin). Learning Japanese generated an interest in calligraphy and woodblock prints. Persian and Arabic studies added to the appeal of calligraphy and ‘The Art of the Book’, which in turn led to visiting some of the great libraries and museums of the United Kingdom and Ireland to view their collections. After independently visiting Turkey, Syria and Jordan, Russell travelled to Iran on the ASA Art and Culture of Persia tour in 2002. In 2005 after completing the ASA Silk Route tour, he revisited Iran to further his understanding of Persian speaking peoples and their arts – including textiles, architecture, gardens and cuisine. He holds a Queensland Ambulance Service first aid certificate, a Master’s degree in Medical Physics and is undertaking independent study in the art, history and culture of Central Asia, the Silk Route and surrounding regions. Russell consults in radiation protection and eHealth, including working as an expert advisor to the IAEA.
Russell first joined ASA as a tour manager in 2009 and has since led numerous ASA tours including:
- Southern Charms and Comforts: A Literary Tour of the Deep South of the USA – with Susannah Fullerton (2016)
- Crossroads of the Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia (2016)
- The Silk Route: from Xi’an to Tashkent (2009-2011, 2013)
- Uzbekistan: The Silk Road Cities (2010 & 2012)