In the Dead Sea, nature shapes ions and isotopes into strange and often lovely shapes, turns an airy froth into textures of silk and spits up asphalt from hidden depths.
Sami Khalifa, "the Cairo kid," played baseball in Missouri, Libya, and Arizona and in 1985, brought up to play shortstop for Pittsburgh Pirates, became the first Arab known to make the major leagues.
In South Yemen UNESCO is again trying to save a unique treasure: hundreds of five- and six-story mud-brick "skyscrapers" built long ago but now crumbling from age and neglect.
In the 1800's Herman Melville and Mark Twain - two of the giants of American literature - both traveled through the Middle East, one already in decline, the other on the verge of a forthcoming fame.
Scribes in ancient Egypt and Rome couldn't do without papyrus - and neither could Nile boat-builders. Now, in Africa, Irish specialists think papyrus may become a valuable - and renewable-fuel.