Places

“Prince of Casablanca”

“Prince of Casablanca”

Working with civic reality as an architect and personal imagination as a novelist, Alaa Halifi has, at age 23, already won awards in both fields. His subject: his city, Casablanca.
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The Long Wandering of the Damascus Rose

The Long Wandering of the Damascus Rose

Widely regarded as the most fragrant of roses, the Damascus rose bloomed first in Central Asia and came to the Levant and Anatolia via the Silk Roads. Today it is cultivated most intensively in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley, where it thrives as both export and heritage.
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FirstLook: Beni Isguen, Algeria

FirstLook: Beni Isguen, Algeria

As a young college student in the 1980s, George Steinmetz hitchhiked in the desert lands of north-central Algeria along the Sahara. In 2009 he revisited the region, now as a world-renowned photojournalist working on a book about the world’s extreme deserts and the human adaptations and settlements in them.
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Going Pirogue, the Boats Feeding a Nation

Going Pirogue, the Boats Feeding a Nation

As long as a minibus and as thin as a canoe, curved like a banana and painted a rainbow of hues, the handbuilt wooden pirogue remains the watercraft of choice among half a million people who support the artisanal fishing industry along the coast of Senegal in West Africa. Pirogues were originally designed narrow for easier paddling, and their long, curved keels help them glide into surf and swell, where every morning hundreds of crews cast nets with the hopes of a good day's catch.
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Kingdom of Art

Kingdom of Art

In less than a decade, Saudi Arabia has emerged as one of the world's fastest-growing centers of contemporary art. Both for Saudi artists and international creatives invited to exhibit, install, screen, teach and produce, more than 100 new events sponsored by more than two dozen new arts organizations now offer opportunities across the country. Artists such as Dana Awartani, whose neoclassically symmetrical installation "Where the Dwellers Lay" (above) nestled at the outdoor exhibition Desert X AlUla 2022, and dozens of others are showing at recently opened, large-scale venues, including Riyadh's JAX District, Jiddah's Hayy Jameel cultural center and Red Sea Film Festival, and Dhahran's cultural center, Ithra.
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Is the Sky the Limit for The Gambia's Groundnuts?

Is the Sky the Limit for The Gambia's Groundnuts?

From co-op farms and export-driven factories to market stalls run by young entrepreneurs, continental Africa's smallest country is adapting its globally popular crop of groundnuts peanuts to changing climate, changing markets and rising aspirations.
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FirstLook: Deep Descent

FirstLook: Deep Descent

In 2011 I moved to the United Arab Emirates. and I joined a group of cave explorers. After Several weeks of training, we traveled to Oman's Eastern Hajar Mountains, some 150 kilometers south of the capital, Muscat.
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Berlin’s Transcultural Jam

Berlin’s Transcultural Jam

A musical wave has been swelling for a decade in the German capital, which one local analyst now calls “the city of choice for a new generation of cultural talent from the Middle East and North Africa”—part of the greater demographic shift that has made people of Arab backgrounds Berlin’s fourth-largest ethnic-identity group. In street jams, clubs, studios, concert halls and online, new mixes of musicians are blending notes and ideas into genre-bending, transcultural fusions. “What we as artists in Berlin can do is tear down the borders in our head and invite others to do the same,” says musician Jamila Al-Yousef.

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Sustainability’s Dubai Beta Lab

Sustainability’s Dubai Beta Lab

Expo 2020 Dubai closed in March after showcasing buildings and displays designed to maximize sustainability, one of the Expo’s top themes. Creative systems for power generation, water conservation and city planning all addressed global challenges.

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