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Posts tagged middle east

Sana’a: View from a rooftop at sunset panorama in Yemen,” panoramic photo by Stefan Geens, 360 Cities, 2 May 2009 :: via GOOD Blog

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a kottke.org post, 22 July 2009

The 10 oldest cities which are still inhabited. Includes a few you've probably heard of (Damascus, Jericho, Jerusalem) and a couple of surprises.

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"Spice Display," by Aldo36, 19 November 2008 :: via Flickr/Intelligent Travel
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"Gaivota," live TV performance by Amália Rodrigues
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"HIV/AIDS episode compilation," The Station Nigeria, produced by Common Ground Productions, Lagos, Nigeria
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"The Arabic Singing Dispora," by Brian Eno, in the exhibit Bye bye blackboard ... from Einstein and others, April–September 2005 :: via VSL Science
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To Schmidt and others, these new findings suggest a novel theory of civilization. Scholars have long believed that only after people learned to farm and live in settled communities did they have the time, organization and resources to construct temples and support complicated social structures. But Schmidt argues it was the other way around: the extensive, coordinated effort to build the monoliths literally laid the groundwork for the development of complex societies.

The immensity of the undertaking at Gobekli Tepe reinforces that view. Schmidt says the monuments could not have been built by ragged bands of hunter-gatherers. To carve, erect and bury rings of seven-ton stone pillars would have required hundreds of workers, all needing to be fed and housed. Hence the eventual emergence of settled communities in the area around 10,000 years ago. “This shows sociocultural changes come first, agriculture comes later,” says Stanford University archaeologist Ian Hodder, who excavated Catalhoyuk, a prehistoric settlement 300 miles from Gobekli Tepe. “You can make a good case this area is the real origin of complex Neolithic societies.”

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"A Palestinian woman sorts olives during the harvest in a grove next to Israel's separation barrier near the West Bank village of Abu Dis, on the outskirts of Jerusalem," by Ashraf Abu Turk (AP), The Big Picture, 15 October 2008
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"Arabesques: incrustations en stuc sur pierre (du XVIe. au XVIIIe. siècle)," from L'Art arabe d'après les monuments du Kaire depuis le VIIe siècle jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe par Prisse d'Avennes, NYPL Digital Gallery :: via BibliOdyssey
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AP Photo by Karim Kadim, from "Scenes from Iraq," The Big Picture, 3 September 2008
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a Saudiwoman's Weblog post by Eman Al Nafjan, 25 August 2008 :: via Global Voices

They are called Mashghal  in Arabic which literally means a working place, from the Arabic noun shoogal (work in general). This term was coined to refer to little shops where a group of usually Pakistani tailors make women dresses. About 30 years ago readymade women clothes were mostly unavailable to the general public and women drew designs on paper and took then to these tailor shops with fabric bought by the meter from areas similar to outdoor malls. For measurement, they would give the tailor a previously made dress that fits and he would use it as a measurement model. And that’s to avoid any physical contact between the tailor and the customer. I know now you’re wondering where did women get there first well measured dress and I too wonder.

These little tailor shops started to evolve into closed women shops where the tailors are women from the Philippines. The shops became bigger and the décor slightly better. However these women only shops are pricier, so the male version stuck around. The women mashghal started to quickly expand into the beauty salon business. So a women could go get her hair done and have a dress made at the same time. But when Al Eissaee, a big name in the fabric import business, started to also bring in quality readymade clothes, he started a huge trend that snowballed into our current mega malls. This in turn affected the tailor business for both the male and female shops. The male mostly went out of business except for a lucky few and the female shops concentrated more on the beauty salon side of the business, so much so that some even closed the dress making side. But for some unexplainable reason they are still called a mashghal  even on official ministry of commerce licensing papers.