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

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This sketch of Shagaret el Dor was scanned from a 1966 Lebanese book titled Saladin: The Story of the Conflict Between East and West During the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries AD.

The Arabic Language


Resources for Learning Arabic


Cinema and Theatrical Stage

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




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


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



Copyright Notice

This entire web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

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.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.



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