Milestones to Makkah and Madinah

Milestones to Makkah and Madinah

In 622 CE the Prophet Muhammad and his first followers rode some 450 kilometers from Makkah to Madinah along a segment of the caravan route that had long linked the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa and the Levant. In 2005 the discovery of an isolated monolith led to a 15-year archeological quest that has identified 55 similar and regularly spaced stones that appear to predate the ninth century CE. The discoveries are now helping locate with precision historic sites, thanks to the measure of distance between the milestones: 1,609 meters, give or take a few. Whether intact or broken; standing, fallen or partially buried, each stone is now being studied, and together they tell stories of history, faith and science.
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Pakistani Art Trucks on a Bridge of Culture

Pakistani Art Trucks on a Bridge of Culture

Colorfully painted trucks are everywhere in Pakistan, but in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a single truck by a renowned artist is helping an arts nonprofit jump-start international cultural appreciation in schools.
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Five Centuries of Jerusalem Soup

Five Centuries of Jerusalem Soup

Nearly 470 years ago, the wife of the Ottoman sultan founded this soup kitchen as an endowed religious charity. Ever since, its cooks have arrived before dawn to begin simmering soup to ladle out later to all who come looking for a warm lunch.
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The New York of Anthony Jansen van Salee

The New York of Anthony Jansen van Salee

His 19th- and 20th-century descendants became some of New York’s most glittering glitterati, but when this son of a pirate arrived in the fledgling colonial outpost of New Amsterdam in 1629 and became the first Muslim to own property in the future U.S., conflicts with Dutch authorities nearly undid his ambitions.
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Spice Migrations: Ginger

Spice Migrations: Ginger

Native to lands across Southeast Asia, ginger has long been used there and across the Middle East and North Africa in savory dishes, while Europeans and Americans have more recently popularized it in sweets. In Detroit, Michigan, chef Warda Bouguettaya does both.
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2022 Calendar: Muqarnas

2022 Calendar: Muqarnas

Dazzling, prismatic and intricately symmetrical, muqarnas is a stunning three-dimensional decoration unique to Islamic architecture.

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Flavors: Creamy Broccoli and Arugula Soup

Flavors: Creamy Broccoli and Arugula Soup

This soup was inspired a few years back by Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good collection of clean, good-for-you recipes. Our version incorporates local spices that add warming, Middle Eastern flavors, and we use the broccoli stem as well as the florets to achieve a more substantial, filling soup without adding any potatoes or cream.
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FirstLook: A Lens and a Legacy

FirstLook: A Lens and a Legacy

As a young man in 1948, Shaikh Amin traveled from newly established Pakistan to accept a job in the storehouse of Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He had put away part of his salary, and within a few years of joining the oil company, he saved enough money to buy a Rolleicord twin-lens reflex camera. He enrolled in a photography course by correspondence from the US and began to pick up freelance jobs, and in 1965 he qualified for a trainee post with the company’s Photo Unit.
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Woman of the Steppe, Pride of the Nation

Woman of the Steppe, Pride of the Nation

Born in 1893 in a village near Kazakhstan's border with Russia, Akkagaz Doszhanova in 1922 became the first woman from her homeland to graduate from a medical university in the Soviet Union. Over the decade that followed, she advocated for women’s access to education and health care, as well as famine relief and rural health care, until her death from disease, perhaps contracted in the course of her profession, at age 39. Pioneer, role model, heroine—these are the words used to describe her in Kazakhstan today. Yet her legacy was almost another casualty of Soviet purges of the late 1930s. Only now are her descendants and historians uncovering her story.

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