Tag Archives: Culture

Fakes and Facsimiles

Last week CNN produced an article headlined Great Fakes: Top Tourism Replicas. This article was highlighting a number of replications of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Michelangelo’s David, mostly in China. Among the “fakes” were several facsimiles of the tombs of Tutankhamen, Thutmose III, a Caravaggio painting, and the cave paintings at Lascaux. However, […]

The Reverse Marco Polo

In the West everyone knows the story of the Croat, Marco Polo, who traveled from Italy to the court of Kublai Khan in China in the 13th century. Whilst it has become a fairly common belief that Marco Polo, in fact, didn’t go to China, but instead took his stories of China from merchant sailors, […]

Yazidis, at risk minority in Mesopotamia and their extraordinary culture.

In northern Iraq in what is perhaps the most dangerous region in the world, Mosul, lives the majority of the tribal culture of Yazidis. Amongst the sectarian strife between Sunni and Shiite, political divisions between Baathist and Kurd, the Yazidis maintain their ancient religion and practices. The roots of Yazadinism are mysterious as with all […]

The Forgotten Blackbird

Abu Hasan Ali Ibn Nafi was born near Baghdad circa 789. The son of a freed Ethiopian slave and a Kurd would become one of the most influential men in history, a paragon of the culture of the Empire of Islam, and yet he is almost completely unknown in the Western world. In the histories […]