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.


Mesopotamia’s Art of the Seal

Mesopotamia’s Art of the Seal

Compact in size yet complex in the scenes they depict, stone cylinders—many no larger than your thumb—were a popular medium for Mesopotamian artisans talented enough to reverse-carve semiprecious stones and produce unique, often mythological tableaux in astonishingly sensitive, naturalistic detail. Their craft gave each seal’s owner a personalized graphic signature for use with the most popular media channel of the third millennium BCE: damp clay. Seal impressions certified ownership, validated origins, attested to debts, secured against theft and more. Many seal cylinders were drilled so they could be strung and carried as amulets and status symbols—uses that may find echoes among today’s compact, personalized communication devices.
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The North African Eye of Yves Saint Laurent

The North African Eye of Yves Saint Laurent

The French fashion designer frequently mentioned Morocco as his muse for colors, collection design and even models from around the world, but Yves Saint Laurent’s eye trained early while growing up on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria.
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Streaming Ramadan TV to the World

Streaming Ramadan TV to the World

New platforms, new stories and more subtitles are making the comedies, thrillers, biopics and dramas of what has long been TV’s peak season in Muslim majority countries into a year-round, binge-ready global window on popular cultures.
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The 1001 Tales of Hanna Diyab

The 1001 Tales of Hanna Diyab

Thanks to recently published translations of a Syrian storyteller’s handwritten travelog, we now know that it was conversations between him and a French writer that laid the foundations for the final four volumes of the most-famous fabulation ever published in Europe.
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Spice Migrations: Cloves

Spice Migrations: Cloves

Stems like tacks, buds like gems and scented so richly that their sweet redolence wafted far out to sea, cloves have come to the kitchen from the island of Ambon, the archipelago of Zanzibar, and many places between and beyond.
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Flavors: Spinach and Ginger Salad

Flavors: Spinach and Ginger Salad

I have childhood memories of my mother making this for me and telling me about its beneficial health effects!

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Discover Video

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

  • 06:30
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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

  • 02:36
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Iftar Potluck in Baltimore

  • 04:20
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Camels and Culture–A Celebration

  • 06:25
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A Meeting with Norman MacDonald

  • 05:36
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Migrant Cuisine of Marseille

  • 02:15

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