Coins of Two Realms

Coins of Two Realms

When Arab Muslims came to rule formerly Byzantine lands in the mid-seventh century CE, they continued using local coins and only gradually issued their own: The story was similar in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia. Viewed through a numismatist’s magnifying glass, it was an age not only of conflict and change, but also of accommodation and pragmatism. 

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Brill’s Bridge to Arabic

Brill’s Bridge to Arabic

It started out as many successful businesses do: with a bit of vision, a prime location and some family connections. From its first Arabic text in 1732 to today, Brill’s books helped build the scholarship of what is today broadly called Middle East and Asian studies. 

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If I Forget You, Don’t Forget Me

If I Forget You, Don’t Forget Me

To reconstruct memories of her late father’s generation, the artist and author interviewed her father’s peers and made artifact-based portraits of his “unique generation that saw Saudi Arabia at its poorest and later at its richest,” a generation that understands “what it means to build your dreams from scratch.” 

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Capital of Baklava

Capital of Baklava

In a city where baklava chefs train for 10 years, you know dessert- making is being taken seriously. Add competition from 500 other baklava specialists, and you can only be in Gaziantep, Turkey. 
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Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part III: Ibn al-Shaykh and the Lighthouse of Alexandria

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part III: Ibn al-Shaykh and the Lighthouse of Alexandria

Over his 90-year lifetime, this chronicler of fact and unabashed fancy trekked, sailed, caravanned, studied and traded from the far Arab West to the northern- and easternmost reaches of the 12th-century Islamic world.
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Cave Artists of Sulawesi

Cave Artists of Sulawesi

When a hand stencil-painting in the caves on this island recently dated to 39,900 years ago, Indonesia took a place alongside France and Spain as a site of the earliest known representational art. Now we must ask not only how and why we began making pictures, but how and why we did so on two continents, at the same time.
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