A valley in the northwest corner of Pakistan renowned for its serenity has seen only turmoil in recent times.Taliban militants gradually took over Swat Valley three years ago, beheading local leaders and burning girls' schools. An army offensive to oust them last year displaced 2.5 million people.
The tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar is often overshadowed by its neighbors. But the country is gaining its own reputation -- as a player in the art world.Qatar is on an ambitious construction schedule to build some half-dozen museums by 2016.
"Most of the good things that have happened in my life happened because of books," says Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist and historian Garry Wills -- and that includes meeting his wife. They met on a plane -- he was a passenger, she was a flight attendant.
When you think of immigration and New York City, it's usually an East-West story: Thousands of Europeans cross the Atlantic and pass through Ellis Island to finally land in New York.But what about the South-North story?
In 2002, during my final semester of university, I went to the Caribbean on spring break. Settling into my seat on the airplane, the girl next to me introduced herself. Her name was Nalah, she proudly proclaimed, and she was Palestinian. "What's your background, David?"There it was. The question.