Karbala in Istanbul: Scenes from the Ashura Commemorations of Zeynebiye

Ashura is a day of mourning marked by Muslims around the world to commemorate the martyrdom of the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, Hossein, and his compatriots. As a day of commemoration, it has been marked by people of all faiths across large swathes of South, Central, and Western Asia for centuries. This photo essay documents presents a look at the ritual in Istanbul’s Zeynebiye neighborhood in 2013, the center of the city’s Shia population.
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Curtains of Iron or Curtains of Silk? Soviet Artwork in Conversation with West and South Asia

The post-Soviet art of Central Asia and the Caucasus comes out of a Soviet-era conversation of artistic styles that looks not just to Moscow but also to Mecca. An understanding of the high and low registers of this Soviet cultural heritage allows the humor and self-confidence of the work to be appreciated — aesthetically as well as financially — by audiences.
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Baku-born, Diaspora-bred: How Yura Movsisyan went from Refugee to 21st-century Armenian Hero

Yura Movsisyan came to the United States as a refugee from violence in his formerly-cosmopolitan, formerly Soviet, hometown of Baku. Now one of the best young soccer players in the world, he has become a national treasure for Armenians and for Americans. As a Hometown Hero for a worldwide diaspora community, Movsisyan has become a unique young man who is the symbol of a new 21st century Armenianness.
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