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Ambassadors of Art

When the Museum of Art at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, hosted “Phantom Punch,” it marked the fourth show in a multi-year, multi-city exhibition tour of the United States by an eclectic group of some two dozen artists from Saudi Arabia, where over the past decade, a once-marginal contemporary art scene has become one of the world’s fastest-growing creative movements. Thought-provoking, socially engaged and at times whimsical and even satirical, the works vary from painting and rubber stamps to sculpture, assemblage, photography, video, calligraphy, performance and installation pieces. All share what one curator calls as “an honest need for explanation, an exploration of the world we live in and a desire to understand.”
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  • Creatives
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Iftar Potluck Baltimore

In a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, 15 families with origins across the world gather in the author’s backyard for iftar, the evening meal breaking the day-long fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It’s an American-style potluck, and each family brings not only food from homelands and traditions, but also stories and recipes. “Iftars are to me very much a party,” says Francesca Pagan, who has prepared an Italian stew of escarole and beans. “Food is one of those things that you do without during the day so you can get spiritually closer to God, but the reward of enjoying it after the sunset takes it to a whole new level.”
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  • Tastes
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Saudi Film Days

Screened before red-carpet audiences in Hollywood, the premieres of seven short films by seven young directors from Saudi Arabia proved an international debut for some of film’s newest and most promising talent.
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  • Creatives
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400

Yuna In Song and Style

"I'm more interested in something you can hold onto forever," says Malaysian-born Yuna, who released her third album last year to global acclaim while expanding her fashion lines from a new home in Los Angeles.
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  • Creatives
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Walnuts and the First Forest Farms

Harvesting genetic samples across the breadth of Asia, researchers are finding that the portable, long-lasting, tasty and nutritious walnut may have spread because it was an ideal traveler’s snack along the Silk Roads.
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  • Voyages
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Cracking Coconut's History

Ocean currents and maritime traders first brought coconuts to nearly every tropical coast. Now global food producers are bringing them to nearly every grocery shelf. Heritage cuisine, health fad or a little of both? Five recipes from five lands can help you decide.
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  • Tastes

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