Here i keep the various books i own. The floor is covered with soft brightly-colored rugs. Two walls are lined with elaborately carved and painted shelves and cupboards filled with books, scrolls, papers... One side of the room has filigree shutters over windows facing onto the Courtyard. The shutters are open now, letting in a stream of comfortable warm light. Under the windows are divans and cushions on which to sit. In front of them are round, shell inlaid, wooden tables on which to put the reading matter. On the fourth side there is a larger low rectangular table with writing implements, a small sharp knife for carving reeds into pens, jars of colored inks, and under the table is a box of linen paper.
You will no doubt find some of this highly opinionated. Let's see what's here...
SCA Near & Middle Eastern Cultural Myths
A point by point discussion of some of the misunderstandings I've heard while in the SCA from people who have Near or Middle Eastern personae. Covers language, religion, ethnicity, clothing, etc.
The Near East. Not the Middle East
Why a limited term ought to be replaced by a more expansive and inclusive term. Think you know what "Middle East" means? Take a look at the Limited Middle East, the Inclusive Near East, and the Expansive Dar Islam. Also wander off to Indonesia - and my suggestions for taking on an Indonesian persona if you are somewhere hot and humid.
A Brief History of al-Maghrib
home of the Setting Sun, from pre-history to modern times.
A Brief History of al-Anadalus
from Roman times to the a golden age of Muslim culture in Medieval Spain, to the Reconquista that ended in 1492.
So, You Want to be a Near Easterner?
See "Wide Choice of Time and Place" on how you have a huge geographical range to choose from, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Mediterranean southward, as well as anywhere in time from 622, when Mohammed had his revelations, or earlier if you don't want to be Muslim, up to 1600. Why "You Don't Have to be a Muslim". I ask, "Honey, Won't You Shake that Thing...", and say how belly dance as we know it did not exist and what you can do about it.
Know Your Turks!
So many SCA Near and Middle Easterners just refer to "Turks", as if there is only one kind. But in the Medieval Near East there were several important groups of people who were Turkic. So, which ones do they mean? because the Ottomans aren't the only important Turks in relation to most of the rest of the cultures within the SCA.