The House of Pepper
People changed the grand game. Iberians would rediscover old lands and find ones they called new — changing the fates and fortunes of people in Arabia, South Asia and beyond in the process. And they did all of that for, and with, a bit of the black spice.
A Divine Sort of Jazz
Ahmad Jamal’s style was so formative to the development of jazz that Miles Davis once revealed that the Pittsburgh-born pianist, who died in April 2023 at the age of 92, was the source of all his inspiration. Thrumming below his success, though, was a distinctive part of his identity that is often treated as biographical trivia rather than a meaningful insight about art: his conversion to Islam.
A Fetih Accompli: How Erdogan Married Religion and Nationalism
Where observers focused on the divide between religion and nationalism, Erdogan grasped how effectively they could be wielded together. And he proceeded to fuse these overlapping traditions through a series of real and imagined battles against such common enemies as Western imperialism, Greeks and left-wing Kurds. The result is a potent ideological current that will continue to bedevil Turkey’s democratic aspirations and relations with the West long after Erdogan exits the scene.
Between the US and Mexico, a Forgotten ‘Desert of the Chinese’
There is a much broader story about the laborers who perished en route to Mexicali — and the Chinese migrants who continue to arrive to the U.S.-Mexico border each year. It’s one that goes back to the earliest history of Asian immigration to the region, as tens of thousands from China embarked at the turn of the 20th century in search of opportunity along the borderlands.
How Plans to Move Palestinians to Egypt Backfired
While often overlooked, the March 1955 Intifada was a critical juncture in the history of Palestinian politics. Through coordinated protests, Palestinians in Gaza reasserted their existence as political actors — no longer willing to be seen as passive, idle refugees in need of resettlement and economic rehabilitation.
The Sudanese Mahdiyya: When Doomsday Visions Fortified the Struggle for Independence
When taken in a wider regional context, it becomes clear that the association of the Mahdi and his coming with a time of unbearable oppression and Muslims’ eventual military triumph against all odds made it the perfect story to motivate an impossible fight.
Ahead of the British Coronation, an Indian Jewel Takes Center Stage (or Not)
Ahead of King Charles III’s coronation, the Kohinoor diamond, possibly the most infamous and divisive stone in history, has once again come under the limelight, this time due to its absence from the ceremony. However, questions about its repatriation have made a comeback, as always.