Last May, a cast of 1,500 staged a spectacular production of Aida at Egypt's Luxor Temple - actual setting of Verdi's opera. But popular belief that it was written for the opening of the Suez Canal is false.
Nine winning entries from American universities made the United States the largest contributor to the King Fahd Award competition and its goal: recognizing studies that encourage Islamic architecture.
Overlooking India's Ganges basin stands the former Moghul capital of Fatehpur Sikri. But the emperor who built it abandoned it after 14 years to leave the world's most beautiful ghost town.
The Ottoman Empire and its art both reached their zenith during the 16th-century reign of Sultan Süleyman, when the Ehl-i Hiref produced work celebrating "the perpetuity of spring."
Magnificence on The Mall
Though eclipsed in importance by Damascus, Aleppo, in northern Syria, preserves more purely the essence of a traditional Arab city. Her captivating vitality is still visible - and still needed.
Established to promote the work of young people, the first contest for the $100,000 King Fahd Award for Design and Research in Islamic Architecture drew 360 entries from 40 countries.