Tom Verde

Freelance Writer

Pawcatuck, CT

Tom Verde

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


Welcoming veterans to belated college careers with yoga and a dose of Taoism

Religion News Service Link to Story

The Taste of Egypt: Home Cooking from the Middle East

While this colorful volume includes many of the usual Egyptian ingredients—fava beans (fuul) and lamb, bulgur and eggplant—it is a far-from-conventional cookbook. To begin with, the author explains that she is “an Australian born to Egyptian parents” who learned many traditional recipes from her mother or relatives in Cairo while taping a Middle Eastern reality-TV cooking show.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook

Aside from a few examples from antiquity, it wasn’t until medieval times—between the 10th and 13th centuries—that cookbooks appeared, courtesy of Arab scribes. The texts addressed the public’s desire to know, as one early Baghdadi author put it, what “kings and caliphs and lords and leaders” ate.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqṣ Sharqī Revolution, 1890–1930

She argues that raqṣ sharqī was in fact a rebellion against foreign occupation, “a product of Egyptians actively defining and asserting their cultural and national identity.”. Drawing on Arabic primary sources including accounts by “Egyptians who created the dance themselves,” the book takes readers into the Arab-owned, colonial-era entertainment halls where raqṣ sharqī was presented.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

East/West: A Culinary Journey through Malta, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, and Andalusia

Noting the latitudinal boundaries of the countries in this handsome cookbook’s subtitle, students of history will quickly get the gist. This “East” to “West” culinary journey is “deeply rooted” in the author’s Phoenician heritage, a legacy of trade and travel dating to antiquity. Yet the equally adventurous modern cook will appreciate the creative range of recipes offered here, rooted in tradition, yet updated for the contemporary, albeit sophisticated, kitchen.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

For ICE detainees, access to clergy is infrequent or absent altogether, rights groups say

In May, Roberto Rauda, an undocumented immigrant, went to a New London, Conn., courthouse to pay a fine for carrying an open container of beer. Instead he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in a routine sweep and ended up in the Bristol County House of Corrections in North Dartmouth, Mass.
Religion News Service Link to Story

The Long Journey of the Aleppo Pepper

Early in the seven-year-old Syrian civil war, American imports of Syria’s signature dried, ground Aleppo chiles dropped drastically. The spice-trading city of the same name, where the fresh pepper was traditionally grown and processed, has been devastated in the fighting, which has destroyed lives and livelihoods.
The New York Times Link to Story

Egyptology’s Pioneering Giant

Weighing 3.6 metric tons and measuring nearly three meters from chest to crown, the 3,200-year-old red-granite bust of Pharaoh Ramses ii fairly lords over the British Museum’s Egyptian sculpture gallery. Napoleon’s troops had tried, yet failed to so much as to budge the toppled, fragmented figure from its sandy resting spot in the Ramesseum, the pharaoh’s vast mortuary temple in Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile near present-day Luxor.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Arab Translators of Egypt's Hieroglyphs

Nile Magazine Link to Story

Arabic Type-Making in the Machine Age: The Influence of Technology on the Form of Arabic Type, 1908-1933, Vol. 14

The first Arabic typefaces did not appear until the early 16th century. His deeply researched, wide-ranging history of mechanized Arabic script in the 20th century examines its challenging entré onto the modern, printed page. Highlights include the introduction of the Arabic typewriter (patented by Egyptian Selim S.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & the Caucasus

Combining engaging travel and food essays written by journalist Eden and recipes compiled by tv food editor Ford, this strikingly illustrated cookbook can be savored in the kitchen or the armchair. Described as a “celebration of the richness and diversity” of Central Asia and the “culinary heritage of its distinct populations,” it focuses on the cuisines of seven groups, among others, that “left their mark on Samarkand”: Tajiks, Russians, Turks, Jews, Koreans and Uzbeks.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Oklava: Recipes from a Turkish-Cypriot Kitchen

The title of this beautifully produced cookbook translates simply as “rolling pin,” a handy kitchen tool for making boat-shaped, stuffed pide, the “Turkish version of pizza.”. The book includes plenty of creative, vaguely Californian riffs on this cultural classic, such as chicken-and-garlic köfte pide with chili yogurt, smoked salsa, walnuts and feta.
AramcoWorld 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: 2018, Religion News Association Award for Excellence in Religion News Analysis; 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