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Culture

The Shifting Cultural Role of Clothes

The Shifting Cultural Role of Clothes

Every society has its traditional clothing and almost every society has moved radically away from these traditions in recent times. Nevertheless, clothes play a significant cultural role in creating a sense of belonging, unity and collective identity.

Syrian Kitchens Come to Life in the Winter

Syria in a Pot

Winter is the season of naranj, these small bitter oranges that used to grow in most traditional houses in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s competing cities on everything culinary.

Archaeology Turns Political to Benefit a Trio of Middle East Strongmen

Archaeology Turns Political to Benefit a Trio of Middle East Strongmen

Both Saddam and Assad recognized the value of their countries’ archaeological heritage and adapted it to suit their interpretations of what they thought the Baath Socialist Party should be.

On the Screen, Libyans Learned About Everything but Themselves

On the Screen, Libyans Learned About Everything but Themselves

From California to Cairo, none of the films that featured my country, Libya, could step out of an Orientalist vision of camels, belly dancers, an endless desert and, of course, our iconic “Brother Leader.”

Istanbul’s Most Beguiling Cocktail

Istanbul’s Most Beguiling Cocktail

Among all the foods in Istanbul’s giant foodscape, perhaps the one with the most complicated and long history and provenance is boza.

The New Kurdish Right

The New Kurdish Right

Within Kurdish politics in Turkey, there is an emerging style of right-wing discourse. No longer content to be a silent partner of the governing Turkish right-wing coalition, the new Kurdish right defines itself in opposition to both the Turkish state and the PKK’s left-liberation mythos.

Turks in America

Turks in America

The 1940s and ’50s were a golden age for Turkish travel writing. These were boom years for the Turkish publishing industry, and visitors invariably wrote up their experiences in books and newspaper columns with titles like “Letters from America,” satisfying a hungry audience.