Few survive, some just in fragments: In the 15th century, the Mamluk sultan in Cairo built up the city’s carpet workshops. The large masterpieces they produced soon graced palaces—notably in Italy and Spain.
One heirloom connects Muslim families of Cape Town to heritage more than any other: a kitab. Historians and linguists value them, too, as some preserve the first written form of the Afrikaans language, which was in Arabic script.
Three kilometers offshore from Tartus, Syria, lies Arwad, the sole island along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, a tiny rocky fastness with an outsize history.
One born destitute, the other to opulence, two malikas, or queens in Arabic, open our six-part series on some of the most notable historic women leaders in Muslim lands.
Founded in 641 CE as Egypt’s first Islamic capital, Fustat was much like the modern Cairo it helped give rise to: polyglot, multi-confessional and, in its time, prosperous.
Braving sniper bullets, Mustafa Jahi and friends carried the historic volumes of the Gazi Husrev-beg Library from one hiding place to another throughout the three-year Siege of Sarajevo. Last year, the library found a new, permanent haven—close to where it was founded nearly 500 years ago.
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