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Volume 47, Number 6 November/December 1996

In This Issue

November/December 1996
Constantinople's Volcanic Twilight
Written by Lynn Teo Simarski
Illustrated by Michael Grimsdale

Inside and outside the city's walls, morale was sagging after seven grinding weeks of siege. Then the moon foretold Constantinople's fall, flames danced around the dome of Hagia Sophia, and dawn skies were lurid. Could all this have been caused by a volcano in the South Pacific?

The Digital Middle East
Written by George Baramki Azar

Iraqi recipes, a travel guide to Morocco, Saudi editorials, the text of the Lebanese constitution, historical maps, Babylonian star charts, newspapers in English and Arabic... There's no end to what you can find—or join in discussing—if you travel the Internet to the Middle East.

The Dome and the Grid
Written by Jerrilynn D. Dodds
Photographed by Ed Grazda

The mosques of New York City are as varied as the multinational Muslim community that they serve. How their architecture relates to their neighborhoods, and to the city's relentlessly orthogonal grid, tells us a lot about their builders—but not, perhaps, the most important thing.

Forging Plowshares in Eritrea
Written by Louis Werner
Photographed by Lorraine Chittock

After 30 years of war, peace is at hand. A constitution is being drafted, elections are scheduled and Eritrea's 3.8 million citizens are working hard to build a nation, literally making bread-ovens out of oil drums and I-beams out of tanks. Self-reliance is the watchword.

A Ray of Light in Atlanta
Written by Bill Strubbe

In Atlanta, a gazelle-legged Syrian heptathlete became the third Arab woman ever to win Olympic gold. Though she is already a national hero at home, she looks forward to matching her multiple skills against the world record holder.