FirstLook: Learning from the Pattern-Masters

FirstLook: Learning from the Pattern-Masters

Welcome to FirstLook, which kicked off in the November/December 2015 print edition. We start in Fez, Morocco, as blue dusk settles in minutes after maghrib, or the sunset call to prayer. Find all FirstLook images amid others @aramcoworld on Instagram, as well as on our Facebook page.

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Stories My Father Told Me

Stories My Father Told Me

A daughter’s lifetime of hearing her father’s tales and anecdotes about growing up in 1930s and ‘40s Syria and Lebanon inspired a collaborative oral history and art project.
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Capturing the Light of the Nile, Egypt's First Photograhs

Capturing the Light of the Nile, Egypt's First Photograhs

The announcement in 1839 of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s formula to fix a camera’s image on a metal plate set off a race to be the first to produce daguerrotypes of the world’s great monuments. High on the list–Egypt.
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The Art of the Dowry Chest

The Art of the Dowry Chest

Wooden chests have been carved, painted, studded with metals and inlaid with colorful woods and mother-of-pearl for centuries, producing heirlooms from West Africa to the Middle East, India and Indonesia. Many of the most elaborate ones were produced to hold a woman’s dowry.
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Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part VI: The Double Lives of Ibn al-Khatib

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part VI: The Double Lives of Ibn al-Khatib

Minister in the Nasrid court of Granada both before and after exile in Morocco, Ibn al-Khatib was a poet, a polymath and an insomniac whose writings earned him renown and a prominent inscription on a wall at the Alhambra.
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In Search of Ibn Battuta’s Melon

In Search of Ibn Battuta’s Melon

Peel of green, flesh of red and sweetness extreme, the 14th-century traveler’s five-star food review from Central Asia led, 681 years later, to a market-by-market journey, from a farmer’s field in California to melon stands along the road from Tashkent to Khorezm, Uzbekistan: Yes, Central Asian melons are that good. 
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2016 Calendar: Mosaics

2016 Calendar: Mosaics

Exuberant, eclectic and recently conserved, more than two dozen mosaic patterns dating from the early eighth century lie largely intact in the ruined Umayyad palace of Khirbat al-Mafjar near Jericho, unsurpassed masterpieces of their era.
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