Freya Stark (1893-1993) was an Anglo-Italian explorer and travel writer. She wrote more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as several autobiographical works and essays. She was one of the first Europeans to travel through the southern Arabian Desert. During World War II she worked for the British Ministry of Information in Aden, Baghdad, and Cairo, where she founded the anti-Nazi Brotherhood of Freedom. She was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972.