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Tom Verde

Freelance Writer

Pawcatuck, CT

Tom Verde

Freelance Journalist, specializing in Religion/Culture/History
M.A. Islamic Studies & Christian-Muslim Relations

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Enduring impressions

In August of 1902, a handful of artists summering in Lyme staged the nation’s first summer art colony exhibition in what is now the reading room of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. The artists cleverly printed train schedules on the bottom of the flyers – a gambit that attracted buyers from New London, New Haven, Boston, New York and even as far away as Chicago.
The Day Link to Story
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Retirement Savings, the Muslim Way

When faced with a loss in the market versus a lapse in his faith, Nabeel Hamoui, 37, a radiologist in Chicago, will invariably opt for the loss. This is because Dr. Hamoui manages his retirement portfolio in accordance with halal, or religiously sanctioned, Islamic guidelines. “I chose halal investing based on my religious beliefs, and try to remain in compliance with those beliefs,” Dr.
The New York Times Link to Story
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The White Olives of Malta

Greeting me at the gate of his farm in the hilltop village of Wardija, Sam Cremona ushered me to the porticoed dining and kitchen area where he holds olive oil tastings. Opening a cupboard, he showed me several dozen jars of his rare bajda, or white olives, blushed by brine to a pale ivory-pink. "I wish I could give you some, but the Maltese government has asked me to save all I have to give as a gift to the president of the eu," he said with an apologetic shrug.
AramcoWorld Link to Story
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Islamic Civilization in Thirty Lives: The First 1,000 Years

This substantive text takes the “Who’s Who” approach to history to a higher level. Vast in scope, it profiles major Muslim writers, philosophers, scientists and political leaders who shaped Islamic civilization from its origins to the height of the Ottoman Empire. Each entry adds insightful context and color while “disentangling the legendary from the reliable.”.
AramcoWorld Link to Story
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The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

A Gaza cookbook may seem a frivolous idea for a land of deep political strife. Yet the “clamor of pots,” laughing voices and “the splatter of hot oil” emanating from Gazan kitchens transcend politics. Some of the 140 recipes in this colorfully illustrated volume are predictable: Mjadarra (rice and lentils, a Levantine standard), Felafel and Imtabbel Bitinjan (baba ghanooj).
AramcoWorld Link to Story
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When Others Die, Tontine Investors Win

Living a long life is its own reward. But when you invest in a tontine, there’s an added benefit: You collect money that would have gone to people who have died. That is part of the macabre appeal of the tontine, a 350-year-old investment vehicle that fell into disfavor more than a century ago but is now getting fresh consideration as a way to help people receive steady income in retirement.
The New York Times Link to Story
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Dog Watch Cafe

Lazy Summer Night Dinners; Local chefs share mouth-watering recipes that are easy to prepare. Best of Foodie Crawls; Touring Newport, RI.
Foodies of New England Summer 2017 Link to Story
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Abundance: Mediterranean Cuisine Recipes by Alumni and Friends of the American University of Beirut

Alumni cookbooks can be hokey affairs: spiral-bound slap-togethers that lack culinary authority. Not so with this “collection of reliable, tested, and tasted family recipes” from graduates and friends of the American University of Beirut. The recipes are both health-conscious and diverse, within the fairly wide purview of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cuisine.
AramcoWorld Link to Story
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The Aleppo Cookbook: Celebrating the Legendary Cuisine of Syria

Considering the recent fate of Aleppo, it is easy to be distracted from the fact that for much of the city’s long, vibrant life (Aleppo is one of the world’s oldest inhabited places), it has been “steeped in tradition, history and culture,” writes Marlene Matar. Its “reputation as a culinary magnet” is equally venerable, as reflected by Aleppo’s very name: milk (haleb in Arabic).
AramcoWorld Link to Story
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Essential Turkish Cuisine

The earthy diet of the Central Asian nomadic tribes from whence the Turks sprung focused on meat, milk and yogurt, and it developed along with the reach of those tribes over the centuries. Spices from the Mediterranean and Persia, such as “[c]umin, coriander, and herbs such as mint, dill, tarragon, purple basil, and green fenugreek infused traditional dishes with new flavors and aromas.”.
AramcoWorld Link to Story
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Andalusian Queens

DIG into History Link to Story
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Ibn Tulun: His Lost city and Great Mosque

This elegant, richly illustrated volume covers the history, architecture, folklore and cultural significance of Africa's "longest surviving" mosque. Built by Abbasid Governor Ahmad Ibn Tulun between 867 and 879, it was the centerpiece of his new city of al-Qata’i, northeast of Fustat, the earliest Arab settlement in Egypt (both now part of Cairo).
AramcoWorld Link to Story

About

Tom Verde

Specialties: Islam, Middle Eastern history, interfaith relations and dialogue, early Christian history, and comparative religion. Have written and published extensively on religion, culture, the environment, and travel in major national and international publications (New York Times, Boston Globe, AramcoWorld, Biblical Archeology, National Geographic Adventure, Travel & Leisure, Wildlife Conservation, et. al.) as well as broadcast networks including NPR, Public Radio International and the BBC. Worked with the British Council, the Social Science Research Council, and the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University to develop a secondary school curriculum entitled "Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean." Recent awards: 2017 Clarion Award, National Federation of Press Women, and Connecticut Press Club Communications Contest; Finalist, Religion Newswriters Magazine Writing Award, 2015; Folio Award for "Best Single Article" 2013; Clarion Award for "Best Magazine Article" 2011; also past winner of New York Festivals, National Headliner, and National Federation of Community Broadcasters awards.

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Skills

  • Editing
  • Writing
  • Curriculum Development
  • Lecturing