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Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part 1: The Travel Writer Ibn Jubayr

Our six-part series begins with a two-year pilgrimage by one of the great founders of the literary genre of rihla, or travelogue. Over later centuries, his style was widely emulated (and plagiarized), and today the rihla of Ibn Jubayr uniquely illuminates a 12th-century Mediterranean world of paradoxical complexity.
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  • History
  • Culture

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part 1: The Travel Writer Ibn Jubayr

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Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part II: Abu Hamid Al-Garnati’s World of Wonders

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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  • Creatives

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part II: Abu Hamid Al-Garnati’s World of Wonders

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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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  • Creatives

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

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Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part IV: al-Ghazal: From Constantinople to the Land of the Vikings

Good looks and a fleet wit gave Al-Ghazal his name, which means “gazelle,” and in later years the poet and courtier of Córdoba proved a reluctant though dutiful envoy both east and, more notably, north.

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  • History
  • Culture

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part IV: al-Ghazal: From Constantinople to the Land of the Vikings

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Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part V: Ibn Hazm’s Journeys of Exile and Love

Socially acerbic, survivor of 11th-century politics that drove him from three homes, Ibn Hazm wrote prolifically on many subjects, but he is remembered most of all for his bittersweet classic, Tawq al-Hamama, or The Ring of the Dove.

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  • History
  • Culture

Travelers of Al-Andalus, Part V: Ibn Hazm’s Journeys of Exile and Love

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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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  • History
  • Culture

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


2021 Calendar: Flavors

2021 Calendar: Flavors

Cooking at home: Many of us are doing more of it than ever. Stories and recipes selected from our own regular “Flavors” section show just how delicious 12 months of discovery can be.
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The Westward Journeys of Buttons

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

We all use them. Most fasten; some decorate. A search for origins points toward the Indus Valley and China. By the Middle Ages, buttons reached Europe along with other garment techniques and fashion influences from lands east. Their stories are as interwoven as the textiles they make possible and as varied as their infinite designs.
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Artists Answer COVID-19

Artists Answer COVID-19

Amid this year’s travel bans, museum and gallery closures, lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing, visual artists are responding with fresh imagery and creative collaborations across new platforms to articulate this moment and carry culture forward into the next.
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The Future’s Golden Fiber

The Future’s Golden Fiber

Jute grows in tropical wetlands worldwide but nowhere as organic and plentiful as the deltas of Bangladesh and India, where its golden-hued fibers are inspiring a new generation of biodegradable products from carpets to car seats, clothing to “bioplastic” grocery bags.
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A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own

In the era when baseball emerged as "America" National Pastime," the sons of Syrian Lebanese immigrants were smitten by the sport too— including a leftie slugger in Port Arthur, Texas, named Bill Anawaty.
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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.

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FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964
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Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

An easy Sudanese recipe for this great snack or mezze/appetizer that is probably as popular in the West as in the Middle East, where it originated.
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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.

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