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March 02 , 2008

Ninety-Nine Windows

Reflections of a Reporter from Arabia to Africa and Other Roads Less Travelled


News. Travel. Life. This is all inside Ninety-Nine Windows, a humane and engaging look behind the headlines with newspaper columnist Thomas Froese.

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It is shortly after the historic 9/11 attacks on the United States when Froese begins his reflections from the airport cargo office in Sana’a, Yemen. Ninety-nine columns later, he concludes from the intrigue of Uganda, Africa. In between, he skillfully navigates some of the world’s bumpier roads to explore themes ranging from culture to politics to spirituality. 

Whether he is commenting on the Iraq War or the terrorist murder of his friends, or on lighter issues like the taste of Mecca Cola or the beauty of the African bicycle, Froese writes with his signature personal style. His captivating photos and biographical addendums complete this exceptional collection. 

An educator and storyteller, a provocateur and wry humourist, Froese invites us onto his proverbial bus to discover these less-travelled places…and to stir the traveller in each of us.


“Thomas Froese’s encounters with the strange, the sad and the humorous while in the Arab world and Africa make richly rewarding reading.  He has an eye that is both whimsical and compassionate, a good combination in these volatile, colourful and sometimes dangerous regions.”

David Aikman, PhD, journalist, author, former Time Magazine correspondent


“These incredible columns chronicle life, death, poverty, war and faith: a compilation from a guy wearing a Team Canada cap on a remarkable journey. Thomas Froese and his wife, Dr. Jean, are ‘treasures in jars of clay.’ This is your chance to travel with them.”

Casey Korstanje, Canada & World Editor, the Hamilton Spectator


“Thomas Froese has a wonderful way of leaping from witty sayings into musings on this wide world. He’s followed his heart, even to a so-called ‘terror state,’ and we are taken on the journey. Read this and be enlightened in the true sense of the word.”

Julia Bicknell, former BBC World Service Producer


“These ninety-nine commentaries are truly like open windows. Froese fans his journalism outward as readers are drawn inward. The result is an exchange, rich in personal reflection and cross-cultural experience, with a well-travelled writer as guide. Fascinating and illuminating.”

Larry Cornies, Prof. of Journalism, former editor at the London Free Press and the Globe and Mail


“Moving from St. Thomas, Canada, to the harsher developing world, Froese prods and wrestles with life’s larger questions. His columns tread the transcendent. Yet he never forgets where he comes from: hockey, changing his daughter’s diapers and the Red Green Comedy Show are all in this unique package.” 

Anna-Liza Kozma, Cross Country Checkup Producer, CBC Radio One


Thomas Froese was born in Berlin, Germany, and grew up in Canada’s Niagara Region. He was a reporter at the St. Thomas Times-Journal before becoming an international freelance columnist. While in Sana’a, Yemen, he was a senior editor at the Yemen Times. 

His travels have led him to write from five continents and his work has garnered numerous journalism awards. It has appeared in the Hamilton Spectator often, and in other publications including the London Free Press, Toronto Star, Waterloo Region Record, and New Vision in Uganda. 

     Froese lives with his wife, Jean, and their two children, Elizabeth and Jonathan, in Uganda most of the year. When not in Africa, the family makes its Canadian home in Hamilton, Ontario

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