Noam Backner

China Instructor

B.A – Islamic and Chinese studies – Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Noam has always been fascinated by the span and depth of Asian history and culture. Holding a degree of Islamic and Chinese Studies, he worked in education for several years in schools and botanical gardens before venturing out to engage in sustainable tourism projects in China and Central Asia. An avid enthusiast of Turkish and Persian music, he is an amateur player of the Iranian setar, a skill which failed to get him an Iranian visa – but since he promised to improve, he keeps on carrying his instrument everywhere. Noam is also a student of Buddhist philosophy, history, art, and meditative practices and has great passion for the ancient traces of Buddhism in Central Asia, which he tries to track down as much as he can during his travels.

Now running his own tours in Central Asia and China, Noam is constantly traveling between east and west while never ceasing to study the history, languages, and religious traditions of this great continent, with an emphasis on Iranian, Tibetan, and nomadic cultures and their historical links to China. It is through this prism of ever-shifting ideas, populations, and technologies that Noam tries to touch some of humanity’s most basic questions while encouraging his students to rethink themselves in the context of culture, politics, modern narratives and human beings as a whole. His greatest passions while traveling are musical traditions, sacred sites, ethnobotany, and – of course – food.