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Essays

Who Invented Paper? A New Discovery in Egypt Upends the Consensus

Rewriting History

A startling new discovery at a long-neglected archaeological site suggests the ancient Egyptians used paper more than 2,000 years before the Chinese, upending the scholarly consensus.

The Long Shadow of the Last Ottoman Sultan

The Last Sultan

The death of Sultan Mehmed VI appeared to mark a catastrophic rupture in Ottoman history. Yet, on the centenary of his departure, Ottoman imperial symbols remain alive, while the unresolved tensions between him and President Atatürk continue to define Turkish politics.

A Century-Old Egyptian Whodunnit Resurfaces

A Century-Old Egyptian Whodunnit Resurfaces

Over a century ago, in the red-light district of Egypt’s port city Alexandria, two sisters partook in a series of murders. Raya and Sakina became synonymous with pure evil. But did they really kill sex workers for a few gold bracelets? New evidence suggests otherwise.

Historical Perspectives on Russia’s War Crimes in Ukraine

Historical Perspectives on Russia’s War Crimes in Ukraine

Across liberated areas of Ukraine, relatives are unable to achieve the closure of a respectful burial. As with the Katyn massacres during WWII, the Kremlin is deploying a combination of terror, brutality and psychological violence against the population it hopes to subjugate.

Islam and the Case Against Cultural Amnesia

Islam and the Case Against Cultural Amnesia

Hamline’s firing of an instructor for showing Islamic medieval images of the Prophet Muhammad is akin to a Calvinist taking offence at an image of Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling, and the university administration siding with the Calvinist and calling the incident "anti-Christian."

Jesus’ Birth Between Islam and Christianity

Jesus’ Birth Between Islam and Christianity

The birth of Jesus of Nazareth has found veneration not just from Christians but in Islam as well. Regardless of the important differences they attribute to this event, Muslims honor Jesus’ birth almost as much as Christians themselves.

The Show Trial of the Century?

The Show Trial of the Century?

Republicans appear to be invoking Frank Church’s legacy not to push for real solutions, as the late senator did, but to obtain impunity for themselves and punish their enemies. In the process, they’re misrepresenting the committee's storied history.