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Volume 54, Number 5 September/October 2003

In This Issue

September/October 2003
Granada's New Convivencia
Written and photographed by Tor Eigeland

On July 10, the first new mosque since 1492 was dedicated in Granada, the southern Spanish city whose bright medieval legacy in one of the coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews who created the culture that fed Europe's Renaissance. In a modest way, the mosque marks Granada's comeback as a multicultural metropolis, powered by new Arab oriented businesses and artist, the faith of Spaniards who have become Muslims and a resurgence of the country's Muslim heritage.

History's Curve
Written by Lee Lawrence
Photographed by David H. Wells

As graceful as sculpture, yet packing enough power to pierce armor, the recurved bow was the top cavalry weapon of pre-industrial Asia.  Over centuries, Arab, Persian and Turkish bowyers learned to join wood,  horn and sinew and to shape bows with tips that "recurved" forward.  The results were compact enough to be used with accuracy from a galloping horse.  Now, American bowyer Lukas Novotny is try to find out how they did it.

Islam: FAQs
Written by John L. Esposito

Are all Muslims the same? How is Islam similar to Christianity and Judaism, and how is it different? Are women second-class citizens in Islam? Here, in a pull-out section designed especially for classrooms and workshops, are 19 abridged excerpts from the author’s popular book What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam. “Jews, Christians and Muslims are all children of Abraham, part of a Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition,” he writes. “Our common future demands a sense of pluralism and tolerance built on mutual understanding and respect. To achieve that, we need accurate knowledge of what Islam teaches and what Muslims believe about Islam.”

The Nonya Cuisine of Malaysia: Fragrant Feasts Where the Trade Winds Meet
Written and photographed by Eric Hansen

In Malay, nonya is an old word of respect and affection, a bit of “madame” and a bit of “auntie.” The culinary tradition of that name harkens back to Malay women who married Chinese traders from the 14th to the 17th century, and whose intercultural experiments in the kitchen have since worked their way onto the tables, and into the hearts, of the country.

World Atlas
Written by Chris Nickson
Photographed by Annu P. Matthew

From British rock to the Egyptian vocal brocade of Um Kulthum—with sojourns in “ethno-techno,” electronica and Cairene sha’bi —Natacha Atlas’s musical career is as polycultural as her East-West background. This summer, she headlined the “Vive La World!” tour that played 10 cities across the United States and Canada.