The Beit Beirut Barakat building in Lebanon.
Culture | Interviews | Mideast

Mona Hallak on ‘Beit Beirut’

One of the few remaining structures bearing the scars of Lebanon’s fifteen year civil-war (1975-1990) is Beirut’s Barakat Building. This once stately and aristocratic edifice straddles a key intersection near the centre of the capital. The four-story avant-garde building was designed by two architects in the 1920s and 30s and fused Art Deco elements with […]

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Exploration | Mideast | Travel

Muhammed al-Idrisi

Muhammed “al-Sharif” al-Idrisi (c. 1100-1165) was a major Muslim scholar, geographer and mapmaker of the medieval Islamic period. He was born in the town of Ceuta, in Morocco, and was descended from a line of nobleman who traced their lineage to the Prophet Mohammed. Al-Idrisi took an interest in foreign lands and travel early in […]

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Book Reviews | Culture | Mideast | Travel

Review: ‘Mirrors of the Unseen’

Travel writing may often entertain and sometimes astonish, but seldom does it take the reader past a constellation of anecdotal experiences into the true essence of a place beyond all preconception. Jason Elliot’s Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran takes aim at the blunting assumptions and false perceptions of this little understood country, slipping […]

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