The Foreign Stars of an Egyptian Art
Foreign belly dancers, who hail from Eastern Europe, Latin America and the United States, were brought in to fill the space left by Egyptian dancers and now uphold what is viewed as a quintessential Egyptian art.
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
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
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
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
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
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.