Discover Stories

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.


Could Phoenicians Have Crossed the Atlantic?

Could Phoenicians Have Crossed the Atlantic?

Two thousand years before Columbus and 1,500 before Erikson, the Phoenician maritime empire covered the Mediterranean and west to the Canary Islands. In 2019 a replica Phoenician ship set its sail to find out if they could have gone farther.

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Amir Zaki's Sculpture of Skateparks

Amir Zaki's Sculpture of Skateparks

It takes a landscape photographer’s eye to step down into a cement skatepark and turn the lens not on skaters but on the ramps, waves, valleys, bowls and tunnels that are the terrain of the park itself, and it takes a skater’s experience to do so in a way that captivates both art critics and skateboard stars. California native and photographer Amir Zaki grew up skateboarding on streets in suburban Los Angeles, and recently he began visiting skateparks to produce sweeping, large-format images that offer textured meditations on the beauty of light on curved concrete.

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Preserving Arabia’s Bedouin Poetry

Preserving Arabia’s Bedouin Poetry

Throughout central Saudi Arabia, Bedouin tribal histories and folklore lie largely in oral poetry known as Nabati. In 1989, diplomat and linguist Marcel Kurpershoek set out to meet poets and record their verses. It became a lifetime project that continues to illuminate roots of the Arabic language and Arabian Peninsula cultures.

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The Liverpool Effect

The Liverpool Effect

Around the turn of the 20th century, an acrobat from Morocco named Achmed Ben Ibrahim settled near the thriving port of Liverpool, UK. Forgotten until the recent discovery of his 1906 tombstone, his story foreshadows the cultural impacts of the city’s most famous 21st-century resident—Egyptian soccer star Mohammed “Mo” Salah.

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Spice Migrations: Nutmeg

Spice Migrations: Nutmeg

In the Banda Islands, picking, peeling, drying and selling nutmeg to Arab and other traders was an aromatic business for centuries until the Dutch arrived. Nutmeg’s early fans used it more for health than cooking, but today it’s a kitchen staple, used in the West mainly in desserts but elsewhere in both sweet and savory dishes.

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FirstLook: The Sphinx Imagined

FirstLook: The Sphinx Imagined

Two summers ago I was browsing several hundred vintage postcards contained in narrow boxes all piled up in a Stillwater, Minnesota, antiques store...I came across several postcards that each featured an imagined sphinx as seen in natural rock formations.
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Discover Video

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Iftar Potluck in Baltimore

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El Seed Time-lapse Houston, Texas

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How to make Harisa

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Camels and Culture–A Celebration

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A Meeting with Norman MacDonald

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Migrant Cuisine of Marseille

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How To Use an Astrolabe

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