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.


Milestones to Makkah and Madinah

Milestones to Makkah and Madinah

In 622 CE the Prophet Muhammad and his first followers rode some 450 kilometers from Makkah to Madinah along a segment of the caravan route that had long linked the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa and the Levant. In 2005 the discovery of an isolated monolith led to a 15-year archeological quest that has identified 55 similar and regularly spaced stones that appear to predate the ninth century CE. The discoveries are now helping locate with precision historic sites, thanks to the measure of distance between the milestones: 1,609 meters, give or take a few. Whether intact or broken; standing, fallen or partially buried, each stone is now being studied, and together they tell stories of history, faith and science.
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Pakistani Art Trucks on a Bridge of Culture

Pakistani Art Trucks on a Bridge of Culture

Colorfully painted trucks are everywhere in Pakistan, but in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a single truck by a renowned artist is helping an arts nonprofit jump-start international cultural appreciation in schools.
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Five Centuries of Jerusalem Soup

Five Centuries of Jerusalem Soup

Nearly 470 years ago, the wife of the Ottoman sultan founded this soup kitchen as an endowed religious charity. Ever since, its cooks have arrived before dawn to begin simmering soup to ladle out later to all who come looking for a warm lunch.
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The New York of Anthony Jansen van Salee

The New York of Anthony Jansen van Salee

His 19th- and 20th-century descendants became some of New York’s most glittering glitterati, but when this son of a pirate arrived in the fledgling colonial outpost of New Amsterdam in 1629 and became the first Muslim to own property in the future U.S., conflicts with Dutch authorities nearly undid his ambitions.
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Spice Migrations: Ginger

Spice Migrations: Ginger

Native to lands across Southeast Asia, ginger has long been used there and across the Middle East and North Africa in savory dishes, while Europeans and Americans have more recently popularized it in sweets. In Detroit, Michigan, chef Warda Bouguettaya does both.
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2022 Calendar: Muqarnas

2022 Calendar: Muqarnas

Dazzling, prismatic and intricately symmetrical, muqarnas is a stunning three-dimensional decoration unique to Islamic architecture.

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Discover Video

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The Art of the Seal: How to Make a Cylinder Seal Impression

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Empty Vessel, the photography of Amir Zaki

  • 07:12
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El Seed Time-lapse Houston, Texas

  • 00:47
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How to make Harisa

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Iftar Potluck in Baltimore

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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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