Her taste for power, and the means she used to keep it, made her the epicenter of intrigue in the Seleucid kingdom for some 20 years. But it did not save her from obscurity.
When the Marib dam collapsed in the sixth century, its waters, in effect, washed away the last traces of a great trading civilization. Today, new studies promise a revival of the area's fertility.
Ebla was a blank page in the early history of the Middle East - until the staggering discovery of some 16,500 cuneiform tablets: part of the state archives of an unknown kingdom.
From the ancient star and crescent to the flag of the Arab League, banners of the Arab world have been colorful emblems of Islam, Islamic states and Arab independence.
The stuff of legends and the staff of life on the Arabian Peninsula, the date palm - its products have been vital elements in agriculture throughout the Middle East and parts.
To preserve their culture, channel their generosity - and have fun - many American descendants of the founder of Ramallah meet annually in one of the biggest family reunions anywhere.