Tom Verde

Freelance Writer

Pawcatuck, CT

Tom Verde

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


There’s Community and Consensus. But It’s No Commune.

The Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community in Amherst, Mass., is multigenerational, but some cohousing developments are mostly or exclusively occupied by senior residents. Matthew Cavanaugh for The New York Times. In December, Mr. Johnson, along with his wife and their newborn twins, moved to a two-story, three-bedroom house in the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community that is 120 yards away from his parents, Jane and Kit Johnson.
The New York Times Link to Story

Allowing guns in church flies in the face of tradition and Scripture

When knights in the service of King Henry II showed up at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 looking for Archbishop Thomas Becket, monks tried to block the door. But Becket forbade the effort, declaring that the church was “a house of prayer” and not “a fortress.”. As a result, Becket was hacked to death, practically at the foot of the church’s holiest spot, the altar.

Which New England Schools Have The Oldest Thanksgiving Football Rivalry?


Sorry, Roy Moore. Joseph Wasn’t Twice Mary’s Age.

POLITICO Link to Story

Arab Translators of Egypt’s Hieroglyphs

On September 27, 1822, 31-year-old Egyptologist and philologist Jean-François Champollion stood before the members of Paris’s Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and proclaimed that “after 10 years of intensive research … we can finally read the ancient monuments.”. I have … a firm basis on which to assign a grammar and a dictionary for these inscriptions used on a large number of monuments and whose interpretation will shed so much light on the history of Egypt,” Champollion informed his astonished audience.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

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

Will New England's Craft Beer Bubble Burst?04:04

Business has been booming — and bubbling — at Grey Sail brewery in Westerly, Rhode Island. The sounds and smells of fresh beer, simmering away in brand new fermenting tanks, permeate the historic brick building. Owner Jennifer Brinton says the additional 60-barrel tanks were needed to keep up with demand for Captain’s Daughter and Flying Jenny, two of the brewery’s most popular ales.
90.9 WBUR Link to Story

Before Copernicus: The Cultures and Contexts of Scientific Learning in the Fifteenth Century

Few groundbreaking geniuses emerge out of nowhere. This book underlines that fact in its close review of the scholarship upon which the 16th-century Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus relied when formulating his theory of heliocentrism, the (then) radical and controversial proposition that the Earth revolved around the sun, and not vice-versa.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Cairo Inside Out

This richly illustrated book lovingly explores Cairo through insiders' eyes and lenses. Naylor and Dimitrova stroll through many of Cairo's most famous neighborhoods (Zamalek, Old Cairo, Downtown) and visit monuments and locales (the Citadel, Khan al-Khalili marketplace, the Pyramids) in the locations' quieter moments, often at dawn, when life is just stirring.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Camera Orientalis: Reflections on Photography of the Middle East; The Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography 1860-1910

These scholarly titles examine works of some of the Middle East's earliest and most influential native photographers. Not long after the introduction of photography in 1839, European photographers fanned out across Egypt, the Levant and Turkey, transforming the West's romanticized, Orientalist vision of the region "into images received as objective fact," writes Behdad.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Allah Commands

Traditional Himas are helping protect fragile areas in Muslim nations. “Verily Abraham declared Makkah a sanctuary and I declare Al-Madinah, that which lies between its two lava flows, to be a sanctuary; its trees shall not be cut and its game shall not be hunted,” he told his followers. This uniquely Middle Eastern nature conservancy plan, with roots in antiquity, is a locally managed preserve in which the members of surrounding communities control use of the land to conserve water, flora, and fauna.
Earth Island Journal Link to Story

Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It

Tena and Ray Bluhm in their new home in the Westminster retirement community in Lake Ridge, Va. The Bluhms moved in to their new home in early August, and needed to sort through items to determine what they needed and could fit in the smaller space. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times. Mothers and daughters talk about all kinds of things.
The New York Times Link to Story


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.



  • Editing
  • Writing
  • Curriculum Development
  • Lecturing