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Persian Women dancing. From a wall painting at "Hasht Behesht Palace" (Palace of 8 heavens), Isfahan, Iran.

My Mother’s Persian Stories: Rose and Marigold

The custom of telling bedtime stories is ancient. Over the ages, they have passed from one generation to another through oral tradition. Each generation has embellished them in new ways by adding or...
A shepherd (Jesus? Tammuz? Other?) with his flock.

Tammuz and Jesus: More Than a Distant Connection?

Christianity has its origins in a Middle Eastern religion, Judaism, so it is little surprise that there are some residual similarities between Christian theological thought and ancient Middle Eastern...
Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

For proof that the ney (also spelled nay) is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use, you need look no further than the great Sumerian city of Ur. Archeologists have found the delicate...
The Untold Story Behind Sardinian Banditry

The Untold Story Behind Sardinian Banditry

Sardinian banditry is a phenomenon associated with the island of Sardinia located in the Mediterranean. Part of Italy today, this island is generally believed to have taken its name from the Latin...