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Our stories increase cross-cultural understanding by broadening knowledge of the people, cultures, histories and geography of the Arab and Muslim worlds and their global connections.


FirstLook: My Grandmother’s Tlaba

FirstLook: My Grandmother’s Tlaba

In my hometown of Yefren, about 200 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, Libya, in the Nafusa mountains, my cousin Mira wears our grandmother’s tlaba (wool garment) to connect to her family roots. The photo is part of a documentary project I started to depict Amazigh women from Libya.
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Hi Jolly – Uncle Sam’s Camel Captain

Hi Jolly – Uncle Sam’s Camel Captain

As a young man in Ottoman Turkey, Hadji Ali became an expert camel handler. In 1857 he accepted the US Army’s offer to assist its deployment of camels in the southwestern deserts, where his name was Americanized to “Hi Jolly.” His skills proved valuable, and yet he died penniless. Today his memory endures in legend as much as in fact—and on one miniature pyramid in Arizona.
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The Quest for Blue

The Quest for Blue

Rare in nature and difficult to extract from minerals, blue eluded artisans for centuries until Egyptians invented the world’s first synthetic pigment. Formulas for blues from cobalt and indigo followed, and the results have delighted our eyes and evoked the sacred, the royal, the opulent and the mysterious ever since. And the quest is not over.
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Habibi Funk’s Musical Revivals

Habibi Funk’s Musical Revivals

Across North Africa a few back-street stores still sell records pressed in the ’70s and ’80s. There Jannis Stürtz has been digging for local classics to rerelease on his digital-and-vinyl label, Habibi Funk, bringing them to global audiences and illuminating some the era’s most vibrantly hybrid music scenes.

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The Alhambras of Latin America

The Alhambras of Latin America

From the 1860s to the 1930s, architects throughout South America and the Caribbean took inspirations from the Islamic design heritage of southern Spain, where the most inspiring building of all proved to be the Alhambra palace.

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For the Love of Reading

For the Love of Reading

From its first read-aloud in Jordan in 2006, We Love Reading has become one of the world’s most-recognized nonprofit organizations encouraging reading among children. Behind its success stand more than 7,000 local volunteer “reading ambassadors”—mostly women—in 61 countries and its founder, a scientist whose own four children inspired her. 

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Discover Video

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How to Make Islamic Geometric Patterns

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Sitar Sounds With Alif Laila

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Sepak Takraw's Kick in Minnesota

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Ithra: A House For the World

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Introduction to the 'Ud with John Vergara

  • 06:23
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How To Use an Astrolabe

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Mappila's Monsoon Music

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Edna Adan: Somaliland’s Midwife

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Cave Artists of Sulawesi

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