The “Grandfather of Israeli Hiking” Discovers an Ancient Incense-Trading Route

March 16 2018

In the 3rd century BCE, the Nabataean kingdom—located in an area comprising what is now the Sinai Peninsula, northwestern Saudi Arabia, and most of Jordan—was a major conduit for the trade in incense, which was produced in Yemen and transported up the Arabian coast, through Nabataea, and then to the rest of the Middle East. The Incense Route also stretched to Gaza, from where the merchandise could be exported to Europe and North Africa. For many years, archaeologists have sought to find a missing segment of the ancient road; it appears an eighty-six-year-old hiker has solved the mystery. Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Rome, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Jordan, Nabateans

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy