|A Career at Raqqa|
|Written by Pat McDonnell Twair|
Photographed by George Baramki Azar
A mysterious platform in northern Syria, the size of a city block, is the only surviving structure built by Caliph Harun al-Rashid. It is also one of several sites, excavated under the direction of one man over 24 years, that illuminate an era and a region between two empires.
|Family Affairs: Weddings in Egypt|
|Written by Patti Jones Morgan|
Photographed by Cheryl Hatch
The bride's white dress and the groom's neat suit may look familiar, but wedding traditions throughout Egypt incorporate centuries-old rituals and regional customs, and express, above all, a deep devotion to families incorporate centuries-old rituals and regional customs, and express, above all, a deep devotion to families.
|Land of the Naphtha Fountain|
|Written by Zayn Bilkadi|
Illustrated by Bob Lapsley
Thus did the historian al-Mas'udi call the region around the southern Caspian Sea, and from Georgia to Afghanistan, where abundant oil—seeping, gushing and occasionally flaming out of the ground—gave rise to a famous oilfield still productive today.
|Lords of the Sandstone Canyons|
|Written and photographed by Khushal Habibi|
Elusive by nature and hunted almost to extinction, the Nubian ibex has been given a legally protected refuge in the canyons of Saudi Arabia's Tuwayq Escarpment, where its numbers are estimated to have tripled in less than a decade of careful conservation.
|On the Flatbread Trail|
|Written by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid|
The staff of life may be leavened or unleavened; made from wheat, other grains or legumes; baked on a griddle, in a tandoor or simply beneath the campfire—in every case it is delicious, sustaining and the very symbol of hearth and home across the globe.
A Flatbread Glossary
|Playing in Interesting Times|
|Written by Susan T. Rivers|
Photographed by Chad Evans Wyatt
Whether on a University of California campus or a New York stage, ethnomusicologist, performer and composer Ali Jihad Racy works to preserve traditional Arab music and, at the same time, to create the intercultural sounds of the musical future.