Brought by the conquering Arabs in 661, Islam has ever since played an important role in Afghanistan's turbulent history, and is central to Afghan life today.
Standard weights, public health and safety, and good order generally were the purview of the Muhtasib and his deputies in the Arab empires.
Stamp collectors can now look forward to a new specialization: the collection of beautiful Middle Eastern postage stamps on themes from The Arabian Nights .
The warfront wastelands along the Suez Canal are being rebuilt, and imaginative planners hope to make the area a bustling new economic center for Egypt.
Fifty years of travel, an elegant style and affectionate, clear-eyed perception have made Dame Freya Stark the doyenne of Middle East travel writers.
The Turks have been wrestling at Kirkpinar for over 600 years, but with a unique variation they adopted from the Byzantines: olive oil.