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Volume 53, Number 2 March/April 2002

In This Issue

March/April 2002
Art Rocks in Saudi Arabia
Written by Peter Harrigan
Photographed by Lars Bjurström

Rising inconspicuously in a dry valley tucked among vast and barren lava fields, a weathered sandstone outcrop shows images of long- and short-horned cattle, cheetahs, hyenas, oryx, ibex, ostriches, horses, mules and camels, human figures and geometric shapes—evidence of a long history of human settlement in a once-verdant land. Yet the site is so remote that the art was discovered only last year. Called Shuwaymas, it is the latest of more than 2000 rock-art sites to be found in Saudi Arabia, the least-known of the world's repositories of prehistoric art.

Brothers of the Javelin
Written by Louis Werner
Photographed by Thorne Anderson

The modern field sport called cirit has evolved out of the javelin-training exercises of the Ottoman cavalry. Long a local sport in eastern Turkey, cirit is ready for much wider popularity, according to Nihat Gezder, president of the National Cirit Federation. At this year's national championships, brave men and well-trained horses showed that he might, in time, be right.

Esteban of Azemmour and His New World Adventures
Written by Kitty Morse
Photographed by Owen Morse

From famine-stricken Morocco under Portuguese military occupation, a young Muslim man was sold into Spanish slavery, given the name Esteban and taken with his master on a disastrous expedition to the New World. With a handful of others, he survived for years, was enslaved again by local Indians, won fame and respect as a healer, learned six languages, escaped, guided Spanish expeditions—and met death in the form of a Zuni arrow on a riverbank in New Mexico. The time was the early 1500's.

The Minaret: Symbol of Faith & Power
Written by Jonathan M. Bloom

Cylindrical, square, stair-stepped or helical, plain or ornamented, the minaret is the most ubiquitous symbol of Islam—so much so that new mosques today often include one strictly for reasons of tradition. Yet the first mosques had no minarets at all, and many famous ones, such as the Süleymaniye in Istanbul, whose courtyard is shown here, have more than one. For the origins of the myriad designs, one must look to Islam's early days, and beyond.

Momo: Beyond Couscous
Written by Sylvia Smith
Photographed by Rena Pearl

An elegant restaurant with unfamiliar cuisine, a trendy tearoom stuffed with high-end crafts, a lush new cookbook-cum-travelogue and eclectic, personal music mixes are making Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz, a.k.a. Momo, a one-man cultural emissary to central London.