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Volume 52, Number 2 March/April 2001

In This Issue

March/April 2001
Arabian Memories in Portugal
Written by Habeeb Salloum
Photographed by Tor Eigeland
From the eighth to the 13th centuries, Arab rule and the cultural flowering of al-Andalus also included much of Portugal, and the Arab legacy suffuses modern Portuguese music, food, art and language: To this day a Portuguese verb for diligence and tenacity is mourejar, "to work like a Moor."
Djibouti: A Future in Arabic
Written by Louis Werner
Photographed by Lorraine Chittock
Atop the shaky tectonic rift that cleaves the Horn of Africa lies one of the continent's smallest nations and one of the world's hottest places, a land that was known to humanity's oldest ancestors. Today Djibouti is also a cultural confluence, with a legacy in the salt trade, searching for prosperity amid the region's no less tectonic politics. "Anyone who says that life is hard," wrote French poet Arthur Rimbaud during his sojourn in Djibouti, "should come here to study philosophy."
Flying the Furrow
Written by Alan McGregor
Illustrated by Benjamin Freudenthal
After World War I, commercial aviation in the Middle East came to seem both possible and necessary to Europe's colonial powers. To keep aviators on course between Baghdad and Cairo, the British Royal Air Force in 1921 plowed a 500-kilometer line across the deserts of Iraq and what was then called Transjordan. Until the advent of radio in the next decade, navigation by "FTF"—"follow the Furrow"—made possible the first airmail and passenger service in the Middle East, and provided a trunk line linking Europe with India and eastern Asia.
The Mystery of Algarve's Chimneys
Written and photographed by Tor Eigeland
Some do look like minarets, and nearly all look as though they belong more to North Africa than to Europe. But historians and local lore maintain that the Arabs who ruled Portugal's southern-most province for half a millennium never used chimneys at all. So why do chimneys rise in a seemingly infinite proliferation of "Moorish" styles from nearly every Algarvian roof? There was only one way to find out: Go there.
New Doors to the Kingdom
Written by Peter Harrigan
Photographed by Brown W. Cannon III
The words “tourism” and “Saudi Arabia” never appeared in the same sentence until recently, but the kingdom—the beckoning goal of pilgrims for more than 14 centuries—is embracing a new category of foreign visitors. Though the numbers are still small, commercial tourism is Saudi Arabia’s fastest-growing industry, and it is expected to become the country’s second-largest, after oil. Today’s tourists include some 2.5 million pilgrims per year, Saudi families on vacation, and since 1999, bus-tour visitors from Japan, Europe and North America.