When the explorer and writer Sir Richard Burton died in , his wife Isabel burnt dozens of his unpublished works. In a letter to the Morning Post , she confessed to destroying his new translation of a medieval Arabic sex manual, The Perfumed Garden. The target audience was very different: written between and for a minister of the Sultan of Tunis, the treatise is a sex guide for married Muslim men. The premise is that women are always unfaithful when left unsatisfied by their husbands.
Photos revealing hidden histories of the Middle East
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A new online archive launched by the Arab Image Foundation offers new perspectives on the Middle East, revealing forgotten moments and untold stories, writes India Stoughton. From same-sex kisses and men in drag, to nude portraits and children posing with assault rifles, the Arab Image Foundation is replete with startling and sensationalist photographs of the Middle East. For more than 20 years, the foundation has preserved its archives, published books and organised exhibitions, but its collections have been difficult for the public to access. Now, the launch of a new online platform has made thousands of previously unseen photographs accessible to the world, revealing forgotten moments and untold stories. More like this: - Beautiful photos of sadness and longing - The man who photographs his nightmares - How to create an iconic image. The non-profit foundation was established in Beirut in to research, protect and preserve the photographic history of North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf.
A great Syrian film. It is about the director's home town of Quneitra, on the borders of the Golan Heights, which was almost completely destroyed by the Israelis after the war and remains in ruins. The film is a historical-autobiographical epic of three generations, taking you from the Syrian fight for independence against the French in the s, through the war with Israel, and into recent times.