Creatives

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

We all use them. Most fasten; some decorate. A search for origins points toward the Indus Valley and China. By the Middle Ages, buttons reached Europe along with other garment techniques and fashion influences from lands east. Their stories are as interwoven as the textiles they make possible and as varied as their infinite designs.
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Artists Answer COVID-19

Artists Answer COVID-19

Amid this year’s travel bans, museum and gallery closures, lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing, visual artists are responding with fresh imagery and creative collaborations across new platforms to articulate this moment and carry culture forward into the next.
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Sitar Master of Maryland

Sitar Master of Maryland

With a lifetime of training from leading sitar virtuosos, Alif Laila is one of few women to achieve international recognition with the mesmerizing instrument whose sound evokes the musical identity of the greater Indian subcontinent. She is as passionate about music as she is about encouraging other women.

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FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964
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The Dialogues of Don Quixote

The Dialogues of Don Quixote

Amid the fearful turbulence of the 17th century, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes invented a plot, characters and names that seemed innocently comical, but they cleverly cloaked his insistence that Spain recognize its historical diversity—and Don Quixote became the bestselling novel ever published.

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FirstLook: Waleed’s Birthday

FirstLook: Waleed’s Birthday

Everything is different this year. Including my father Waleed’s birthday. He works in Oman and comes home to Bahrain every weekend. As expected, his routine changed this year. When travel was banned he was stuck in Oman. 
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FirstLook: Hambori, Mali

FirstLook: Hambori, Mali

I have many memories of road trips where the possibility of stopping for a casual photo was impossible. I’ve passed by landscapes, seascapes, storefronts, bazaars, people and events where I didn’t have the time to capture images.
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Green Mosques Generate Positive Energy

Green Mosques Generate Positive Energy

From Jordan and Morocco to Indonesia, the uk and more, communities and governments are supporting eco mosques. The goals: education and thrift. “We want to lead by example,” says the manager of Masjid Az-Zikra in Indonesia.
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Mappila Rhythms, Monsoon Connections

Mappila Rhythms, Monsoon Connections

It was mainly the pepper in Kerala, at the southwest tip of India, that lured early traders to ride seasonal monsoon winds across the Arabian Sea. With the mariners came music that mixed with Keralan sounds to become the complex, percussion-driven traditions of today’s Mappila culture.
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