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Palmyra was an ancient city in central Syria. Located in an oasis, it had long been a vital caravan stop for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. In the 2nd millennium BC, it was a trading city in the extensive network that linked Mesopotamia and northern Syria. Palmyra is mentioned in the Bible as part of Solomon's Kingdom. by Rikko77

1. Kaaba You may have seen a rectangular Black Stone on TV wherein lots of Muslims go around and chant. This Black Stone is called the Kaaba. It is the most sacred place in the Islam religion and Muslims feel super blessed just to be in the same area with the Kaaba. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the chance to see the Kaaba in person as it is located in Makkah (Mecca). But it is the most visited landmark in all of Saudi Arabia.

Out in the Blue is Tom Barger's story of his first three years exploring the deserts of early Saudi Arabia for an embryonic oil company that had yet to discover oil. In his travels he visited ancient places that have now all but disappeared and met Bedouin living a pre-Biblical nomadic life that was soon to irrevocably change in the face of modernization. Told through the letters he wrote home to his young bride of only two weeks before he left for the Kingdom, Out in the Blue is the story…

Emily Rostkowski, Arts '05, and Jimmy Tobyne Arts, '03, took part in a diplomatic delegation from Georgetown University to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For 10 days they visited companies, universities and organizations and had conversations with government officials, business leaders and academics. This photo was taken atop a dune near the Arabian Desert city of Jeddah. Video of their trip: