Join us as we follow the alluring Scheherazade in telling some of the magnificent stories of the Near East in order to entertain, beguile and inspire. The Near East, more usually called the Middle East today, is a region that many associate with either its ancient archaeological past or its contemporary reputation for conflict and insecurity. However, beyond these Western preoccupations about the region, and our own orientalist and romantic fantasies, lies a rich and complex world with many stories to tell.
Image: Persian School (16th century) Ms D-212 fol.285a Alexander Visits a Hermit, illustration to The Book of Alexander by Elias Nezami, 1191 c1550 (detail). Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg, Russia/Bridgeman Images
The melancholic pleasure of ruins
Of poets and mystics