Then
400

Malika VI: Sayyida Al-Hurra

When she governed the Moroccan coastal city of Tétouan, the Spanish accused her of organizing piracy, while at home she won respect from both Moroccans and post-1492 Andalusian émigrés. On land and sea, hers was a life charted by crisis.
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400

Rousseau's Turban

Late in his life, one of the most celebrated minds of the European Enlightenment, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, donned Turkish attire. It was a personal expression of the mobility between Western Europe and the Muslim world—and the new ideas these crossings engendered, which he articulated in writings that changed history.
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400

The Great Migration of the Bani Hilal

In the 10th century, herders fled drought in Arabia, but the sultan of Egypt used them against his rivals. Their story went viral—oral-folklore style—as Sirat Bani Hilal, or the Romance of the People of the Crescent Moon.
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  • Creatives
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400

Malika V: Nur Jahan

Wife and mother, businesswoman, fashion designer, real estate developer, garden plan-ner, philanthropist devoted to women, battle commander, tiger hunter: For the woman with a royal name meaning “Light of the World,” those were all part of Nur Jahan’s main job—running the Mughal empire.
 
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400

Epic Nation

The script could have been lifted from one of Central Asia’s traditional oral epics: A nomad woman spends her 97-year lifetime defending, ruling and ultimately uniting dozens of tribes, losing a husband and a son to enemies while laying the foundation for a nation. But it’s true: Kurmanjan was her name, and her country is Kyrgyzstan, where a new film tells her story to the world.
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  • Creatives
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400

Malika IV: Hürrem Sultan (Roxolana)

Though her Turkish name Hürrem meant “laughing one,” she proved better at breaking barriers —first by marrying the sultan, and later by directing more of the Ottoman Empire’s affairs than any woman before her.
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