Though few Westerners know it, Bedouin dress, like Bedouin jewelry, is an art form as lovely as it is practical and reflects, like architecture, a rich esthetic sensibility.
The first American in the Middle East got there by way of Dartmouth College, Alaska and Russia, with a little help from friends like Captain Cook and Thomas Jefferson.
In the 15th century a party of Mamluks from Egypt set off for Samarkand with a gift for the fearsome Tamerlane: a giraffe. The Mamluks rode, but the giraffe had to walk.
Believing that the world's seas pined, not separated, man's early civilizations, the explorer sets out on his third marine expedition in a reed boat - this time from Mesopotamia to the Indus and back to Africa.
According to tradition the Three Wise Men - or the Three Kings - came to Bethlehem from the East. But where in the East? Who were they? And what was the meaning of their gifts?