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Volume 49, Number 4 July/August 1998

In This Issue

July/August 1998
Canada's Pioneer Mosque
Written by Andrea W. Lorenz

Despite the Great Depression of the 1930's, a small circle of Muslim women in Edmonton, Alberta raised the funds that built the Al Rashid Mosque, Canada's first. Though bearing a strong resemblance to a Russian Orthodox church, it served the tight-knit prairie community for 50 years. Today it is preserved among the provincial capital's historic buildings.

Oasis of Turquoise and Ravens
Written by Jane Waldron Grutz
Photographs courtesy of International Merv Project

As the Seljuqs' eastern capital, Merv was one of the great Silk Road cities, but it fell into obscurity after the Mongols devastated it in the early 13th century. Built over two millennia on four successive, contiguous sites, Merv is today Central Asia's largest archeological site. Opening it to the world has become the mission of a six-year-old international research effort led by archeologist Georgina Herrmann.

The Suqs of 'Asir
Written by Ni'Mah Isma'il Nawwab
Photographed by Peter Sanders

Innumerable variations in craft, cuisine, spice and scent distinguish Saudi Arabia's southwestern Asir province, where traditional markets are still held in each regional center on a different day of the week. Among them, the Tuesday market in Abha, the capital, is one of the most colorful.

White Bean vs. Tiger Cub
Written and photographed by Eric Hansen

"One hour and 30 minutes had elapsed.... White Bean and Tiger Cub continued to spin, side by side, and spectators began to crowd in tightly." Top-spinning, in the villages of Kelantan state on Malaysia's east coast, is a league sport, a contest of craftsmanship, athleticism and sociability.