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Volume 46, Number 5 September/October 1995

In This Issue

September/October 1995
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.

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.