Photo of Shira



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Index to Cultural Information on

the Middle East and North Africa


Table of Contents



The Near East Today

General Cultural Notes


The Arabic Language


Resources for Learning Arabic



Movie Posters and Ads

Actors, Actresses, Producers

Hind Rostom


Family Life

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This diorama at the Agricultural Museum in Cairo depicts what a rural wedding in Egypt would have looked like in the 1950's. This photo was taken in 2016. Shortly after the photo was taken, the museum was closed for renovation. As of 2019, I don't know whether the museum has reopened, or whether the diorama is still there. I hope so because I really liked the view it gave into rural Egyptian history. Photo copyright 2016 by Shira, all rights reserved.


Food and Drink



  • Selling Dates During Ramadan. By Priscilla Adum. Includes both English and Spanish.
  • New! Selling Dates During Ramadan: 2013. Names of celebrities given to dates being sold during Ramadan show who is popular, who is out of favor. This update came 2 years after the above article was written. Placed online August 4, 2019.
  • Updated! Beverages to Enjoy in Egypt. Herbal teas, fruit juices, beer, and more. On Shira's travel blog at Updated May 19, 2019.


Holidays, Festivals, and Moulids

Although some of these are celebrated worldwide, the articles in this section are particularly based on how they are observed in Egypt. That's largely because I know Egypt better than I know other places where these celebrations may also occur.


Other Festivals

  • New! Eid al-Adha. How the Islamic holiday known as the "festival of the sacrifice" is celebrated in Egypt. Placed online June 8, 2019.
  • New! Sham el Nessim. How Egyptians welcome spring. Placed online May 23, 2019.
  • New! Luxor, Egypt: A Parade with its Roots in Antiquity. References the Dora that serves as the finale for the Abu el-Haggag moulid. Photos, history, and observations. Placed online June 25, 2019.


Other Cultural Notes


Farida Fahmy


These links will take you to posts in my travel blog about Morocco, which is on a different web site at

Essaouira, Morocco



There are nearly 300 items (articles, song translations, etc.) on this web site related to Middle Eastern music. Click here to access the Index to Music Section.


Book & Video Reviews Related to
The Near East Today



History of the Near East

Turkish Dervishes


Book Reviews on Near Eastern History



The Ancient Near East

Ancient Religion, Art, and Culture

On My Travel Blog at "Roaming Jewel"

The Three Musicians


Book Reviews Related to the Ancient Near East



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Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

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