History
400

The Handwritten Heritage of South Africa’s Kitabs

One heirloom connects Muslim families of Cape Town to heritage more than any other: a kitab. Historians and linguists value them, too, as some preserve the first written form of the Afrikaans language, which was in Arabic script.

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  • History
  • Culture

The Handwritten Heritage of South Africa’s Kitabs

400

Montpellier’s Multicultural Medicine

Founded in the 10th century in southern France, Montpellier grew on commerce and knowledge. In the 12th century, Christian, Muslim and Jewish scholars opened what is today Europe’s oldest continuous school of medicine.
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  • History
  • Culture
  • Places

Montpellier’s Multicultural Medicine

400

Women Behind the Lens: The Middle East's First Female Photographers

Some took portraits of women or worked in the labs of family studios. Some worked across the region with employers or family members. A few struck out on their own. None received much notice—until recently. Three historians introduce leading women photographers of the early 20th century in the Middle East.
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  • Creatives
  • History
  • People

Women Behind the Lens: The Middle East's First Female Photographers

400

The Age of Ivory

Some were found at the bottoms of wells. Some were scattered about palace rooms. Thousands of exquisitely carved works of ivory, all produced nearly 3,000 years ago in and around what is now Iraq, make up one of the most beautiful and enigmatic legacies of Assyria.

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  • Creatives
  • History

The Age of Ivory

400

Cairo’s House of Knowledge

Shortly after the founding of Cairo, Egypt, in 969 CE, its ruler started a research center whose legacies—particularly in optics and astronomy—helped shape the world we know today.

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  • History
  • Places
  • Science & Nature

Cairo’s House of Knowledge

400

David Dorr's Window East

Like other “Grand Tour” travelers of the 1850s, David Dorr visited Europe, Egypt and Palestine. But unlike others, Dorr did not travel freely. His book, A Colored Man Round the World, is the only known account of Middle East travel by an American slave.
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  • Culture
  • People

David Dorr's Window East

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