Travel


This Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset (MCADD) consists of a collection of books, journals and maps related broadly to the Himalayas and its outlying attached ranges including the Hindu Kush, the Karakorams, the Pamirs, the Tian Shan and the Kuen Lun as well as the Tibetan highlands and the Tarim basin. These materials are housed in this site, and are freely available for personal non-commercial use and downloading.

Some of this material was originally downloaded from the Google Books website, but often this material from Google has been augmented by the addition of maps and other oversize materials that were excluded when the original Google scans were done and/or the addition of missing pages. For example, the Google scans of the 50 volumes of the Royal Geographical Society Journal, published between 1830 and 1880 do not include any of the oversize maps—these maps have all now been scanned and some 450 maps added in their proper location to each of the journal volume pdf files on the PAHAR website.

Various aids to searching specific topics, such as indexes of articles related to the MCADD geographic area (Himalaya, Tibet and Central Asia) have also been prepared for the more prolific journals, such as those of the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Central Asian Society, and the Asiatic Society of Bengal. (more…)

The Republican Party, inebriated with tea partisanship, seems to shoot itself in its elephantine trunk in attracting presidential candidates. This certainly worked to Romney’s favor last time around, as he certainly looked far more presidential than “what-was-the-third-one” Rick Perry, Call 999 and pay your taxes Mr. Cain, Sarah “I can see Alaska from my bedroom” Palin, Ron “I will run even when I am in my grave” Paul and the other circus acts that paraded through the primaries in 2012. Once again we are seeing a run (at the mouth some times) of former Governor and Fox News celebrity Mike Huckabee. He is apparently willing to overlook the fact that having two presidents from the state of Arkansas within only a couple of decades is going against Las Vegas odds. But here he is again, hitting the mash potato and Bible verse quoting circuit and about as Iowa bound as a candidate can get.

The latest bit of Huckabeeswax has a nasty sting to it. Echoing the Gold Meir canard that there are no “Palestinians” on his most recent Bible Land tour (I suspect that Huckabee is guilty of not reading Twain’s Innocents Abroad), the Arkansas traveler said that there aint no such thing (well he is reported to have said “is” no such thing but who knows what the meaning of “is” really is) as a Palestinian. “The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,” Huckabee said.

So if there are no “Palestinians” but only “Arabs” who made up the term to spite Israel and drive them into the sea, who exactly was living in Eretz Israel before 1948. Here are some scenarios. (more…)

There are many beautiful cities in the world, but Istanbul is near the top. Check out this online album of photographs.

MessyNessy has put a page about the Marsh Arabs with some fabulous pictures. Check it out here.

It was Iraq’s ‘Garden of Eden’; unique wetlands in southern Iraq where a people known as the Ma’dan, or ‘Arabs of the marsh’, lived in a Mesopotamian Venice, characterised by beautifully elaborate floating houses made entirely of reeds harvested from the open water.

[Webshaykh’s Note: This study is perhaps a bit dated and overstretched, but it can help explain why Iraq and Syria still matter (well, sort of…). I sort of doubt all the handsome men were farmers back then… or could it be that handsome Turks turned the eyes of lassies in Ireland independent of their farming expertise?]

Most Britons descended from male farmers who left Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago (and were seduced by the local hunter-gatherer women)

By David Derbyshire for MailOnlineUpdated: 13:37 GMT, 20 January 2010

Most Britons are direct descendants of farmers who left modern day Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago, a new study has shown.

After studying the DNA of more than 2,000 men, researchers say they have compelling evidence that four out of five white Europeans can trace their roots to the Near East.

The discovery is shedding light on one of the most important periods of human history – the time when our ancient ancestors abandoned hunting and began to domesticate animals. (more…)


The Prince of Wales and group at the Pyramids, Giza, Cairo, March 1862 Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Prints from first photographed royal tour go on show at Buckingham Palace. Click here to see ten images.

A gallery of 40 photographs of Istanbul during the late Ottoman period is available online at http://ilmfeed.com/40-photos-of-ottoman-istanbul-from-the-1900s/. Here is a small sample.
(more…)

The Sundance Institute has announced the six projects set for this year’s New Frontier Story Lab, a hands-on initiative for developing content that converges at the intersection of “film, visual art, media, live performance, music and technology.” The 2014 creative teams and projects are Karim Ben Khelifa and Chloé Jarry (The Enemy), Dandypunk and Darin Basile (Heart Corps), Tracy Fullerton and Lucas Peterson (Walden, A Game), Braden King and Matthew Moore (Weather), Hasan Minhaj and Greg Walloch (Sakoon/Paint The Town) and Navid and Vassiliki Khonsari (1979 Revolution). Previously supported projects include #PostModem (from 25 New Faces Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva), Kill Shakespeare, 18 Days in Egypt and The Silent History.

Workshopping at the Lab, which runs from October 22 – 27 at the Sundance Resort in Park City, includes individualized story sessions, conversations about key artistic, design and technology issues, and case study presentations from experts in diverse related disciplines. Detailed descriptions of each project can be found below.

The Enemy

Karim Ben Khelifa and Chloé Jarry

The enemy is always invisible; When he becomes visible, he ceases to be the enemy. Two combatants from opposing sides observe each other. Each of them explains why they are fighting – what made them decide to take arms in order to defend their beliefs, their family, their country, their clan or their faith.

Karim Ben Khelifa is an award winning photojournalist and war correspondent who has freelanced regularly for Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, Le Monde, the New York Times Magazine, Stern and dozens of others. He was the 2012 Carroll Binder Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where he has also given talks and lectures.
He is currently a Visiting Scholar and Artist-in-Residence at the Open Documentary Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. (more…)

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