The Minarets are Closing In

A soapstone impression of Istanbul’s world-renowned Blue Mosque, this one, the second-largest in the Emirates, is going to wear its lines most handsomely into old age.
In fact, when all around is but an historical artefact seized back by the hungered and encroaching desert, geologists of the distant future will be looking upon the defiant structure of its mighty minarets (by then three will be fallen but one will still be standing tall and proud). As for its architectural centrepiece – the dome – the birds might have moved into the cracks of its pocked surface, but the dome will still be a dome while the world remakes itself.
Some things in life were built to last.

Outsourcing the Instinct to Hunt

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With the intense eyes, the long stately face, and the taciturn demeanour, this subject is a natural. Underneath the mantle of the modern man in a newly-modern desert kingdom there is still a vestige of the old Bedouin culture.

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You can take the man out of the desert, but you cannot take the desert out of the man.

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His partner-in-crime, the peregrine falcon (the one you see here in the picture is a smaller sub-species of its European cousin, adapted better forĀ a hot, arid climate) is often captured in the desert, then trained by the Bedouin falconer to catch and return.

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The bird is revered in Arabia for its speed, its agile grace in flight and of course its beauty.