Tag Archives: History

The History of Alcohol in Islam

Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol. But why? In objectively reviewing for the ban in the Koran, one can only leave bewildered. Occasional passages that do not refer to alcohol as it is known today is interpreted as being a … Continue reading

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Time Travelling with Google Maps

Dubai is famous for its rapid development and construction projects. It turns out that you can see some of these projects on Google maps by merely zooming in and zooming out. For example, take the “Business Bay” project, which involves … Continue reading

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Abandoned Wooden Wonders

Via English Russia comes these photos of abandoned “wooden miracles,” houses built in pre-revolutionary Russia deep in frozen forests and were abandoned during the upheaval of the Soviet takeover. They have been so well preserved because they were built in … Continue reading

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Oman’s Unique Foreign Policy

Oman is an outlier in the Persian Gulf and in the Arab World. The people are mainly Ibadhi Muslims, a unique sect that is neither Sunni nor Shia. It is the only Arab state with a Sultan (as opposed to … Continue reading

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The Grope that Ended a Dynasty

Charlie Wilson, the quiet Congressional backer of the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan during the Soviet War who recently passed away, is known primarily for his work in Afghanistan, popularized through the recent film Charlie Wilson’s War. What is not well known … Continue reading

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Queen Victoria walks into a bar…

Andy Zaltzman delivers the longest historical joke ever for The Bugle Episode 104a: Please, John, come back. Maybe you prefer your queens to be a little more randy? Check out the bit that Curzon posted a few weeks ago: It’s … Continue reading

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Modern Saudi Arabia, Part 2: Great War Opportunism

The Historical Geography of Saudi Arabia – Part 1 The Middle Eastern Theater of the Great War opened with the British capture of Basra, which was vital to securing oil supplies for their forces. After that, the war was stuck … Continue reading

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Curzon’s Father

I have recently read with fascination about Curzon’s upbringing. It struck me that, while I knew much of Curzon’s political and diplomatic career, I knew little of his early life. Curzon’s father was Reverend Alfred Curzon, the 4th Baron Scarsdale … Continue reading

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The Geography of Modern Saudi Arabia, Part 1: Ibn Saud Takes Power

- Prelude: The Historical Geography of Saudi Arabia – Most summaries you read about modern Arabian history focus on the Trucial States, the Arab Revolt, Pan-Arabian nationalism, and the modern political instability. Saudi Arabia is never mentioned until the discovery … Continue reading

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R.I.P., Charlie Wilson

Only in America could a whiskey-loving, cocaine-snorting, womanizing badboy and flamboyant wisecracker, elected to serve in the US Congress from a rural backwater district situated deep in Dixie Christian fundamentalist territory, find an idealistic spark that made him determined to … Continue reading

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