Culture

Rain Returns Life to Iraq’s Marshland, For Now

Rain Returns Life to Iraq’s Marshland, For Now

Climate change, dams, and warfare have pushed Iraq’s legendary southern marshes to the edge. Rains revived them after they nearly dried up last year, but the wetlands’ uncertain survival depends on international cooperation.
Ramadan: What is it?

Ramadan: What is it?

  The Five Pill...
22nd Annual Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Honored Morocco on Opening Night

22nd Annual Sephardic Jewish Film Festival Honored Morocco on Opening Night

In our divided times, the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival creates space for much needed international and interfaith dialogue.

New York Welcomed Morocco to American Sephardi Music Festival

The American Sephardi Music Festival was one of several events celebrating Sephardi Jewish culture in New York City across February and March this year. Such events are instrumental in promoting tolerance and inter-cultural understanding.
The Revival of Somalia’s Lost Era of Funk

The Revival of Somalia’s Lost Era of Funk

Somalia had a vibrant, funky musical culture in the 1970s and ‘80s, but decades of civil war silenced it. Though the war continues, an impassioned few are reviving what could have been consigned to memory.
Interfaith Music in Morocco Sacred or Profane

Interfaith Music in Morocco: Sacred or Profane?

During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Morocco, a stunning interfaith musical medley performed for the pontiff and Morocco’s king sparked controversy.
Moroccan Woman Pioneer Creates Social Enterprise to Empower Rural Women

Moroccan Woman Pioneer Creates Social Enterprise to Empower Rural Women

Manal Elattir, founder of Morocco-based social enterprise ASILA, is using traditional handicrafts and fashion to promote women’s empowerment, ethical fashion, and sustainable development in the North African country.
Ancient Leblouh Tradition Continues to Endanger the Lives of Mauritanian Women

Ancient Leblouh Tradition Continues to Endanger the Lives of Mauritanian Women

Mauritania’s age-old practice of Leblouh, the tradition of force-feeding girls for the sake of beauty and marriage, continues to deprive its women of some of their most basic human rights.
What is Sufism and Why Do Islamic Extremists Reject it?

What is Sufism and Why Do Islamist Extremists Reject it?

Sufis shun materialism and use prayer, music, and occasionally dance in their quest to get closer to God. Despite their dedication to divine love and peace, Sufis have increasingly become targets of extremist Islamic movements who view their practices as being incompatible with “true Islam.”
"Khat" it Out: Is the Narcotic Plant Holding Back Djibouti's Development?

“Khat” it Out: Is the Narcotic Plant Holding Back Djibouti’s Development?

Khat is an important part of life in Djibouti. Although many in the small East African nation enjoy the euphoric effects of the narcotic plant, the social, political, and economic hardships caused by its abuse may begin to persuade Djiboutians to abstain from consuming it.