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Volume 52, Number 5 September/October 2001

In This Issue

September/October 2001
Arthur Rimbaud, Coffee Trader
Written by Richard Goodman
Illustrated by Norman MacDonald

With his unprecedented virtuosity, originality and brilliance, young Arthur Rimbaud left an indelible mark on French literature in less than five years of poetic activity. Then, for unknown reasons, he amputated his literary sensibility, left behind his literary life and his country, and spent the rest of his years as a pioneer coffee merchant in Yemen and Ethiopia. His shift from the sublime to the commercial is one of the most perplexing mysteries in modern literature.

The Ivories of Al-Andalus
Written by Shelia S. Blair

Only some 30 known examples remain of a craft tradition that the 10th- and 11th-century rulers of Muslim Spain held in highest esteem: small, magnificently carved ivory boxes and cylindrical containers. Dedications and signatures tucked in amid labyrinthine motifs hint at history, intrigue and royal aspirations.

Karim Rashid’s Global Cooling
Written by Susan Mandel

If the popular and brazen author of I Want to Change the World keeps on getting his way, a lot more of the artifacts of daily life will be curvaceous and colored orange—or pink, or mauve, or shiny metallic. He's the new century's first celebrity product designer.

New Stamp Celebrates 'Id
Written by John Marlowe
Photographed by Kathleen Burke

The first United States stamp to mark an Islamic holiday was issued September 1, but the campaign that made it a reality began five years ago in the determination of an Arab-American fifth-grader, whose nationwide children's letter and art campaign won the support of the US Postal Service.

The Red Tea of Egypt
Written and photographed by John Feeney

Although it adds flavor to many commercial blends of herbal tea, Hibiscus sabdariffa is little known in the West for its own refreshing merits. But the Egyptians and the Sudanese know it, and both nations quench hot summer days with chilled glasses of the ruby-red iced hibiscus tea known in Arabic as karkady.