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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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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
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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
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White House Budget Cuts Could Hit Libraries Hard05:02

President Trump's proposed 2018 budget calls for a 90 percent cut in funding for the arts. That includes money for museums, artists and libraries, which are already under siege at the state and local levels. New England, home to America's oldest public libraries, has been especially hard hit. Reporter Tom Verde (@writah1) has the story.
90.9 WBUR Link to Story
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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

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