Africa & the Middle East

Infamously fierce, rhinoceroses, pictured is a black rhino in Kenya, are victims of rumors that have driven the price of their horn to hundreds of dollars an ounce.

Defending the Rhino

As demand for rhino horn soars, police and conservationists in South Africa pit technology against increasingly sophisticated poachers

The Arab Spring uprisings tell only part of the story.

The Struggle Within Islam

Terrorists get the headlines, but most Muslims want to reclaim their religion from extremists

Table Mountain is a flat-topped granite and sandstone massif that rises 3,562 feet above Cape Town, South Africa.

Take in South Africa From Table Mountain National Park

High above Cape Town, this craggy wildlife preserve provides sprawling views and thrilling hikes

Cape Coast Castle is one of several Ghanaian colonial-era compounds in which captured Africans were held in dungeons during the slave trade era.

Ghana’s Monument to Sorrow and Survival

At Cape Coast Castle, visitors walk in the footsteps of African slaves

In his new book, iDubai, Joel Sternfeld publishes scores of photographs from his iPhone.

Seeing Dubai Through a Cell Phone Camera

At a shopping mall in Dubai, Joel Sternfeld documents the peak of consumer culture with his iPhone

Mud-brick homes dot the hillside along the road from Bamyan City to the Bamyan Family Park.

A Short Walk in the Afghan Countryside

On their way to a park built in the shadow of Bamiyan’s Buddhas, two Americans encounter remnants of war and signs of promise

A cliff-face cavity is all that remains of one of two sixth-century Buddha sculptures, sublime expressions of Bamiyan's ancient kingdom.

Searching for Buddha in Afghanistan

An archaeologist insists a third giant statue lies near the cliffs where the Bamiyan Buddhas, destroyed in 2001, once stood

Legend has it that camel jumping began many generations ago with a dare between two Zaraniq tribesmen.

The Sport of Camel Jumping

In the deserts of Yemen, Zaraniq tribesmen compete to leap camels in a single bound

Love it or hate it, the vuvuzela is the voice of South African soccer fans and will be on display at the 2010 World Cup.

Vuvuzela: The Buzz of the World Cup

Deafening to fans, broadcasters and players, the ubiquitous plastic horn is closely tied to South Africa’s soccer tradition

Isolation allowed the Kurds to survive for thousands of years while other cultures faded from history.

Kurdish Heritage Reclaimed

After years of conflict, Turkey's tradition-rich Kurdish minority is experiencing a joyous cultural reawakening

"The numbers are incredible," says photographer Suzi Eszterhas of the multitudes of migrating wildebeests that cross from Tanzania to Kenya and back each year.

For Wildebeests, Danger Ahead

Africa's wildebeest migration pits a million thundering animals against a gantlet of perils, even—some experts fear—climate change

Mali's long history as a sub-Saharan trade route underlies its artistic traditions.

Looting Mali's History

As demand for its antiquities soars, the West African country is losing its most prized artifacts to illegal sellers and smugglers

Working like "little pistons," donkeys keep the medina humming.  An estimated 100,000 people in the Fez area depend on the animals for their livelihood.

Morocco's Extraordinary Donkeys

The author returns to Fez to explore the stubborn animal's central role in the life of this desert kingdom

Scott Wing points out the red and gray strata visible in the distant hills.

Day 2: Uncovering Earth’s History in the Bighorn Basin

Secretary Clough tours the different Smithsonian excavation sites and discovers some prehistoric fossils while there

Secretary of the Smithsonian, G. Wayne Clough, traveled to Worland, Wyo. to observe Scott Wing and his team mine the fossil lode they found.

Day 1: A Geological Trip Back in Time

Smithsonian Secretary Clough flies to Wyoming to learn about a period of intense global warming that occurred 55 million years ago

Aptly named superb starlings enjoy the bird feeder at Mpala Ranch.

Day 5: Bird Watching and Animal Tracking

Living among the African wildlife, Smithsonian researchers are busy studying the symbiotic relationships between flora and fauna

Migratory animals such as elephants cover long distances over both public and private lands.

Day 2: What Can Researchers Do To Save the Savannah?

Between water shortages, erosion, and human population growth, the ecosystem and the animals of Kenya face serious risks

Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough travels to Nairobi, Kenya to understand the research programs and opportunities at the Mpala Research Centre.

Day 1: Seeing Kenya from the Sky

Despite many travel delays, Smithsonian Secretary Clough arrives in Kenya ready to study the African wildlife at the Mpala Ranch

Four hundred years ago, Isfahan was larger than London and more cosmopolitan than Paris.  The city's most famous bridge, Si-o Seh Pol (Bridge of 33 Arches) is nearly 1,000 feet long and 45 feet wide.

Isfahan: Iran's Hidden Jewel

Once the dazzling capital of ancient Persia,Isfahan fell victim to neglect, but a new generation hopes to restore its lost luster

Now ancient Famagusta, tucked into a modern city of 35,000 people, is largely forgotten, except, perhaps, as the setting for Shakespeare's Othello.

Endangered Site: Famagusta Walled City, Cyprus

Once located in the midst of high-volume shipping lanes, a forgotten city with multiple European influences could be lost forever without an intervention

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