People

Reviving the Art of Tunisian Glass

Reviving the Art of Tunisian Glass

In the mid-1980s, Sadika Keskes fired up the first artisanal glass furnaces in Tunisia in 600 years. Since then she has revived a once-thriving heritage craft and, through her teaching, lit up imaginations among a new generation of artisans.
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Was Enheduanna the World’s First Author?

Was Enheduanna the World’s First Author?

Four thousand years ago she was a princess and high priestess in the Sumerian city of Ur in modern-day Iraq. She was also a poet whose verses scribes wrote down in cuneiform on clay tablets and then did something new: They attributed the work to her by name—and now Enheduanna is more famous than ever.

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Ons Jabeur’s Court of No Fear

Ons Jabeur’s Court of No Fear

Her hands have known tennis rackets since age 3 and now, 24 years later, Ons Jabeur of Tunisia is the first Arab ranked in the world's top 10. Each new title is also a break point in her longer game to inspire a new generation of young women.
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The Marsh Guide and the English Explorer

The Marsh Guide and the English Explorer

Amara bin Thuqub was a teenager in 1952 when he guided British explorer Wilfred Thesiger through the marshes of southern Iraq. Now 91, he is full of memories.

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The Muralist–Teakster

The Muralist–Teakster

At once playful and disciplined, Hatiq Mohammed—“Teakster”—uses traditional Islamic motifs, Arabic calligraffiti and deep colors to “join communities together” in public projects of collaborative creativity that energize cultural dialog.

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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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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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Egyptology’s Eloquent Eye: Mohammedani Ibrahim

Egyptology’s Eloquent Eye: Mohammedani Ibrahim

As a young man in 1906, Mohammedani Ibrahim joined the work crew of US archeologist George Reisner, who used cameras to record systematically what shovels and picks were unearthing. Ibrahim mastered the technology, and over 30 years he made more than 9,000 exceptionally artful images.
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The North African Eye of Yves Saint Laurent

The North African Eye of Yves Saint Laurent

The French fashion designer frequently mentioned Morocco as his muse for colors, collection design and even models from around the world, but Yves Saint Laurent’s eye trained early while growing up on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria.
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