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VIDEO: What People In Jerusalem Wish For

May 8th, 2013 at 4:00PM: When the news talks about the people of Jerusalem, it's usually to highlight their differences. While those certainly exist, there's more to it than that. People all have their own opinions and priorities and the folks living in Jerusalem are no exception. In this video, a group of Jerusalem residents are asked all the same question: if you had one wish, what would you wish for? Their answers...

Not Constantinople: 9 Misconceptions About Istanbul, Turkey

Not Constantinople: 9 Misconceptions About Istanbul, Turkey Mar 7th, 2013 at 11:00AM: The country of Turkey has been getting a lot of bad press this year, due to the tragic disappearance and murder of American Sarai Sierra in Istanbul, and the suicide bombing at the U.S. Consulate in Turkish capital city Ankara, which was quickly linked to a Marxist group protesting the Turkish position on the war in Syria (a Turkish security guard was killed, no Americans were harmed). Both...

Visiting The Sacred Sites Of Shia Islam

Visiting The Sacred Sites Of Shia Islam Nov 17th, 2012 at 1:00PM: "She wants you to take her picture," a man said when the old woman in the black abaya came up to me. We were standing in the mosque of Imam Husayn in Karbala, Iraq. This is one of the holiest shrines for Shia Islam. It was near here that Imam Husayn, son of Imam Ali, was killed along with his supporters by the Caliph Yazid. The Shia believe that Ali and Hussein were the rightful successors to...

Video Games With A Refugee

Nov 16th, 2012 at 10:00AM: "Are you American?" The little boy with the big brown eyes was sitting at the couch next to mine in the lobby of my hotel in Najaf, Iraq. He was dressed in jeans, a button-down shirt and sneakers. He peered at me over the edge of his iPad. I looked up from my email. "No, I'm Canadian. You Iraqi?" "I'm Lebanese but I live in Syria. We move back to Lebanon now." "Your English is...

Muqtada Al-Sadr Promotional Posters--Why Saddam's Hanging Makes For Good Advertising

Muqtada Al-Sadr Promotional Posters--Why Saddam's Hanging Makes For Good Advertising Nov 15th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Like it or not, Muqtada Al-Sadr is the new face of Iraq. Posters of him are everywhere in the Shia areas, alongside the faces of his father and father-in-law, who both rose to the rank of Grand Ayatollah. They appear on the upper corners of this poster. His father was murdered by Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who oppressed the Shia. Iraq has always been divided between the minority Sunni and the...

Video Of The Day: Ramadan Iftar Feast, Olympics Edition

Jul 19th, 2012 at 7:00PM: Tomorrow, July 20, thousands of Muslims will wake up around the world and begin a month-long fast for the occasion of Ramadan. From sunrise to sunset, they will abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking, while breaking the fast with lively Ramadan iftar feasts at night. This year is special as it will coincide with the London Olympics, and UK mosques will be welcoming people from all over the...

People Of Mali Fight Back Against Fundamentalists Destroying Their Heritage

People Of Mali Fight Back Against Fundamentalists Destroying Their Heritage Jul 12th, 2012 at 2:00PM: We've been covering the turmoil in Mali for some time now. Three months ago, rebels in the north of the country took advantage of a coup in the capital to break away and set up the nation of Azawad. This new nation, as yet unrecognized by any other, was supposed to be a homeland for the Tuaregs, a people who complain of poor treatment from the central government. All did not go as planned....

Keeping Kosher In Muslim Istanbul

Keeping Kosher In Muslim Istanbul Jun 20th, 2012 at 12:00PM: Before I lived in Turkey, I thought roasted chestnuts just existed in old Christmas carols. In Istanbul, they are sold on many street corners, priced by the gram and varying in quality. They have also been a major form of sustenance for several of my houseguests. My friend with a gluten allergy bought a bag of them nightly, saying they were the closest food to bread she could still eat. They...

Video: Finding Love In Iran

Jun 6th, 2012 at 2:30PM: When people think of Iran, dating isn't the first thing that comes to mind. It's a conservative country with a strict form of Islamic law. Natural urges are unconquerable, though, and young people will always find a way to hook up. This video from Alessio Rastani describes how the young and well-off find love in Tehran, Iran's capital. Rastani talks with his cousins, who live there, about how to...

Photo Of The Day: Indonesian Dancers

Photo Of The Day: Indonesian Dancers May 20th, 2012 at 6:00PM: There's a wonderful sense of pattern and repetition in today's photo by Flickr user don.wright. Shot at a dance ceremony in Banda Aceh, the largest city on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the photo's subjects each carry a unique expression that adds personality and charm. Some break into a bashful smile, some are expressionless, some – like the woman in the center of the frame –...

A Photo Tour Of Cape Town's Colorful Bo-Kaap

A Photo Tour Of Cape Town's Colorful Bo-Kaap Apr 3rd, 2012 at 10:00AM: Cape Town might be the world's most visually striking city, between its dramatic coastal setting perched precariously against the looming Table Mountain and the town's riotous collision of Europe and Africa, and from textiles to colonial Dutch architecture. Perhaps no Cape Town neighborhood better represents the sensory feast that is Cape Town than the Bo-Kaap, a wildly colorful enclave of...

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Islamic art

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Islamic art Feb 27th, 2012 at 2:00PM: This year, several major exhibitions and new galleries are focusing on Islamic art. The biggest news comes from Paris, where the Louvre is building a new wing dedicated to Islamic art. This is the biggest expansion to the museum since the famous glass pyramid. The new wing will have room to display more than 2500 artifacts from the Louvre's permanent collection as well as notable loans. It will...

Mutlu Yillar (Happy Holidays) from Turkey

Mutlu Yillar (Happy Holidays) from Turkey Dec 25th, 2011 at 3:00PM: Christmas Day has arrived, and here in Istanbul, it's just another Sunday but you could be fooled by all the festive decorations. Much of the city is festooned with colorful lights and ornamented trees, but with a Turkish twist. Most of the population is Muslim, while unlike in more conservative countries, many families will roast turkeys, decorate trees, and exchange gifts on New Year's Eve....

Photo of the Day - Barcelona jamon

Photo of the Day - Barcelona jamon Oct 27th, 2011 at 6:00PM: The humble ham and cheese sandwich is a basic staple of the travel diet. In nearly every country I've traveled to, I can count on finding a cheap and tasty toasted ham and cheese at a snack bar or cafe while exploring a new city. With a nice glass of local wine or a cold beer, this simple sandwich can be sublime. The Spanish, however, have made ham an art form, noted by this display in Barcelona...

Ramazan pide: a Turkish tradition

Ramazan pide: a Turkish tradition Aug 14th, 2011 at 12:00PM: We're halfway through the month of Ramadan (called Ramazan in Turkish), an important time for religious Muslims but also a time of many celebrations. Turkey is a largely secular country, thanks to founder Ataturk, who brought the country out of the Ottoman Empire into the modern world 90 years ago, and many Turks do not observe the fasting but do enjoy many of the traditions associated with...

Ramadan begins today: what travelers can expect

Ramadan begins today: what travelers can expect Aug 1st, 2011 at 12:30PM: Today begins the Islamic holiday of Ramadan, a month long period of prayer and reflection, fasting and sacrifice, as well as feasting and acts of charity and kindness. Travelers should exercise extra patience and flexibility this month where Ramadan is celebrated, but enjoy the special atmosphere and festivities. If traveling in a Muslim country during August, expect closures, a slower pace,...

Muslim civil liberties org calls for apology from Air France

Muslim civil liberties org calls for apology from Air France Jun 22nd, 2011 at 3:30PM: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on Air France for a formal apology after a Muslim passenger service agent at Washington Dulles International Airport allegedly fell victim to the fashion police and was told she could not wear her head scarf because of an Air France dress code. After refusing to disregard her religions beliefs and practices by taking off her hijab, a...

Syria unrest: will there be another massacre in Hama?

Syria unrest: will there be another massacre in Hama? May 11th, 2011 at 12:30PM: Syrian army tanks 'moving towards Hama'. Just another headline about unrest in the Middle East. I've read so many, but this one made me shudder. One thing travel does for you is make the world more than just a headline. I've been to Hama. I visited Syria back in 1994 as a young college graduate with a backpack, a bit of Arabic, and no responsibilities. I spent a month exploring...

Become a monk or Muslim for a month

Become a monk or Muslim for a month Apr 29th, 2011 at 10:30AM: If you really want to "go local" on your next vacation, have you considered changing your religion? A new program in Turkey offers guests a chance to be Muslim for a month in order to foster cultural awareness. The term month is used loosely - guests can choose from nine- and twenty-one-day programs, including visits to some of Istanbul's most famous mosques, lessons on Islam and Sufism (famed...

France's burqa ban goes into effect

France's burqa ban goes into effect Apr 11th, 2011 at 12:00PM: Today France has taken a controversial move and instated a burqa ban, aimed at the traditional religious covering worn by conservative Muslim women. The ban will potentially affect up to 2,000 women who wear a full-face veil in public, though it is unclear how the enforcement will work as police cannot remove the veil. Women who refuse to lift the burqa or niqab may be taken to a police station...

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