People

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.

Read
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.

Read
The Staying Power of 4stay

The Staying Power of 4stay

As an 18-year-old from Tajikistan new to Washington, DC, Akobir Azamovich Akhmedov could barely afford the city’s high rents. A dozen years later, he is cofounder and CEO of 4stay, where his plug-and-play approach to long-term accommodations is reshaping the market.
Read
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.
Read
Hassan Hajjaj's Hot Remix

Hassan Hajjaj's Hot Remix

With brilliant colors, bold patterns and unbridled exuberance, photographer and designer Hassan Hajjaj has become one of the world’s most popular artists, remixing esthetics from Marrakesh to London, from heritage to hip-hop, with a playful, subversive swagger.
Read
The Middle East on a Plate

The Middle East on a Plate

His roadside discovery of a discarded Lebanese license plate kindled the author’s 30-year passion for license plates from the Middle East and North Africa. Along the way, he often found pleasant and humorous stories, as well as bright artifacts of the diversity of daily life.
Read
The Arabian Journey of Geraldine Rendel

The Arabian Journey of Geraldine Rendel

In 1937 Geraldine Rendel became not only one of the first non-Muslim women to traverse the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also, quite possibly, its first tourist. She and her husband, George, a British diplomat, were invited by King Abdulaziz Al Sa`ud, and 83 years later her account is being published for the first time.
Read
The Emperor from Africa

The Emperor from Africa

One of two sons of a wealthy, politically ambitious, olive-farming family, Septimius Severus grew up in Leptis Magna, along what is now the coast of Libya, in the second century ce. At first not the most promising of teenage scions, he matured to take high command posts on the Danube frontier and, at 48, became the Roman Empire’s first emperor born on the African continent. Over his 18-year reign, he rarely sat on a throne in Rome, preferring travel with the legions to frontiers and far reaches where his efforts expanded the empire to its greatest extent and left legacies in law and architecture that endure today.

Read
Making Lawrence of Arabia

Making Lawrence of Arabia

In 1919 American journalist and filmmaker Lowell Thomas glamorized British Army officer Thomas Edward Lawrence first in war propaganda and then in commercial cinema. His show traveled the world and gave birth to one of the most popular modern legends of Western involvement in the Middle East.
Read
1 2 3

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest features, events, reviews, teaching aids and digital-only content. 

To take advantage of all features on this website, it is recommended that you allow all cookies.
Read more