Category Archives: Travelog



Iraq, together with UNESCO, has concluded a comprehensive aerial survey of Iraqi heritage destroyed by the Islamic State (IS), paving the way for further cooperation to restore various Iraqi sites, particularly at the 13th-century Assyrian capital of Nimrod. In mid-May, Italian Culture Minister Dario … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Moving the Earth

THUMBNAIL Bahrain, Archaeologist c.Richard Duebel

By Sylvia Smith   The title of the international conference might not be one to get the pulse racing. In fact Islamic Archaeology in Global Perspective could have been the cure for insomnia except for a clutch of excellent speakers. … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog

Sword making in Bahrain


Sylvia Smith Along with reciting poetry the love of the sword, the emotional pull of a handmade, highly decorated dress sword that has its own name is something that seems unique to the Arab world. This short video is dedicated … Continue reading

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One man’s epic quest to recover a stolen painting by ‘Iraq’s Picasso’


The president of the Iraqi Artist’s Society is on a mission to return a painting by Faeq Hassan—who he calls “Iraq’s Picasso”—to the Iraqi state. Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Africa Heats Up The French Capital


Sylvia Smith Perhaps it is the number of mainstream venues that have devoted their spring shows to the subject; or perhaps again it is the extraordinary quality of inventiveness whether it be sculpture, painting, video or design – but it … Continue reading

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Book review: Where the line is drawn


Where the line is drawn Crossing boundaries in Occupied Palestine By Raja Shehadeh Published by Profile Books ISBN: 9781781256534 Price £14.99 hardbacke As a young boy, Raja Shehadeh was entranced by a forbidden Israeli postage stamp in his uncle’s album, intrigued … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

It’s Show Time


By Sylvia Smith. The Arab world seems to be popping up everywhere these days – from contemporary art exhibitions to music festivals and from poetry competitions to circus performances. In each case audiences in the West are lapping up the … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog

Book review: A State Built On Sand

A Sate built on sand

How Opium undermined Afghanistan By David Mansfield Published by Hurst & Co ISBN 9781849045681 Price £25.00 paperback Variations in opium poppy production in Afghanistan had long been associated with how the state was perceived at the time of the 2001 invasion. … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Long lost statue of Ramses II discovered in the Cairo mud


Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany have found an eight-metre (26ft) statue submerged in groundwater in a Cairo slum that they say probably depicts revered Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, according to reports from the Reuters … Continue reading

Category: Travelog

Banksy’s new Bethlehem hotel offers the worst view in the world


The Walled Off hotel may sound utilitarian, even bleak. Its owner says it has “the worst view of any hotel in the world”, while its 10 rooms get just 25 minutes of direct sunlight a day. But, nestled against the controversial … Continue reading

Category: Travelog