There are 12 monarchies left in Europe. Obviously some don’t really count: Andorra’s “co-rulers” are the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France; the Vatican is ruled by an elected Bishop. Of the hereditary monarchies left, all but three descend from either Queen Victoria of Great Britain or Ki Read more
Presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump recently caused waves when he referenced a 1950s program that deported thousands upon thousands of illegal (and legal) Mexican immigrants from the United States. The operation which Mr. Trump so obliquely referenced was dubbed Operation Wetba Read more
The tragic events that transpired in Paris this past month are inexcusable. The terrorist attacks that took place on September 11th were horrendous and killed thousands of innocent lives. In 1998, the US Embassy in Nairobi and the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam killed scores of locals who had nothing t Read more
Before World War I, European immigrants to the New World had two choices: New York City or Buenos Aires. That is not a joke. In the early 1900s, Argentina was the seventh richest country in the world, more affluent than France, Germany and Italy. The fertile and vast Pampa was Argentina’s version of Read more
Iran (formerly Persia) has been called a pariah state, a member of an axis of evil, and one of the most dangerous countries on the planet. It has also been described as, “still…the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated culture in the Middle East.”  The Times of Israel has said it its people are “both Read more
For the most part, the various states of the American Union passed from Native American hands to European hands to American hands. Three states, however, hold the distinction of being independent countries before becoming a mere state: Texas, Hawaii, and Vermont. The Republic of Texas and the Kingdo Read more
Beirut seems to be having a sort of renaissance. The city teems with smartly dressed young people sipping wine in one of the city’s new cafes. Gleaming new buildings line the city’s famed corniche. Since the end of Lebanon’s two decade civil war in 1990, Beirut has seen impressive and rapid revitali Read more
In the 1920s and 1930s a group of rich white aristocrats lived a life in the highlands of Kenya that would make Hugh Hefner blush. At the end of the 19th century, an influx of British nationals moved to various parts of Kenya. The area became popular with rich aristocrats because their already consi Read more

Why is Texas Full of Germans?

Nov 24, 2015
Amir Roohi - Contributor

Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1835. Although they wanted to become part of the United  States, this did not happen for another ten years. Growing up, most Texan school children are taught that the people of the great state wanted independence from Mexico because Mexico City was too far f Read more
The Sykes-Picot agreement has been endlessly discussed in the news since ISIS released a video where they referenced the agreement. The boundaries set up by the  agreement, partially revised, were ironed out at the San Remo Conference and ratified by the League of Nations. The agreement is very stra Read more
Two countries in the Middle East have more or less existed as cohesive cultural entities within their current borders for millennia: Iran and Egypt.  Countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq had been divided into various provinces of the Ottoman Empire since the 16th century and only became m Read more

The $33 million Egg

Nov 19, 2015
Amir Roohi - Contributor

In 2014, the Third Imperial Fabergé egg was put on display in London after being ‘lost’ for close to 100 years. It was later sold for an astounding $33 million. Carl Fabergé was the Russian court jeweler. The Romanovs of Russia made the Windsors of Britain look like peasants. Their insatiable appeti Read more

Meet the Woman who Created Iraq

Nov 17, 2015
Amir Roohi - Contributor

By now everyone knows of the ethnic and religious rifts that exist  in modern day Iraq. The Shiites in the south, the Sunni’s  in the middle, and the Kurds in the north. It has always been this way and it will likely always be. As I have mentioned in my previous blog post, the days after the end of Read more
If anyone has heard of Ciudad Juárez it is because it was, until recently, the most violent city outside of a war zone. Thousands of civilians were caught in the middle of a turf war being waged by opposing drug cartels. Even before the drug war, the city made the headlines because hundreds of women Read more
Conspiracy nuts are always talking about the invisible hand of the United States Central Intelligence Agency in events overseas. Obviously, any educated person would scoff at the idea that the CIA is behind every revolution, civil war, or internal strife. From time to time, however, the CIA declassi Read more
November 9, 2015 marks what would have been Hedy Lamar’s (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) 101st birthday. To honor her, Google created what the Washington Post has hailed as the “greatest Google doodle.” Lamar first became famous when, at 18, she starred in the film Ecstasy. In it, she simulated the Read more

When Iran Ruled Washington

Nov 02, 2015
Amir Roohi - Contributor

The thawing of relations between Iran and the United State has been recent headline news. The US and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since Jimmy Carter severed them in 1979; the storming the US Embassy in Tehran was an effective end to what was once a delightful friendship. What many don’t re Read more
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, seems to be obsessed with the famous-for-no-reasons-except-maybe-a-sex-tape Kardashian sisters. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, another set of sisters dominated both the social and literary worlds. These sisters, however, had reason to be famous. One was the reputed lover Read more