Tom Verde

Freelance Writer

Pawcatuck, CT

Tom Verde

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



Malika II: Radiyya bint Iltutmish

From Bangladesh to Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan to Nigeria, Senegal to Turkey, it is not particularly rare in our own times for women in Muslim-majority countries to be appointed and elected to high offices—including heads of state. Nor has it ever been. Stretching back more than 14 centuries to the advent of Islam, women have held positions among many ruling elites, from malikas, or queens, to powerful advisors.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Saving Sarajevo’s Literary Legacy

The appointment was a gift to the 41-year-old general from his cousin, Sultan Suleiman i (“the Magnificent”), who regarded Husrev-beg (Hoos-rev-bey; the suffix beg is an honorific, akin to the English “Sir”) as one of his most trusted military officers and diplomats. The new governor likely entered Sarajevo across a stone bridge over the Miljacka, just east of the Careva Džamija or Sultan’s Mosque, among the first structures built by his predecessor and Sarajevo’s founder, Isa-Beg Ishaković (ih-sha-ko-vich).
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Malika I: Khayzuran & Zubayda

The historian al-Masudi writes that on state occasions Zubayda “could scarcely walk under the weight of her jewelry and dresses.”. She endowed more charitable works for pilgrims to Makkah than any ruler of her era. From Indonesia to Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan to Nigeria, Senegal to Turkey, it is not particularly rare in our own times for women in Muslim-majority countries to be appointed and elected to high offices—including heads of state.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Nile Magazine Vol. 1 No. 5 Nov-Dec 2015.pdf

An historic journey to Memphis
Nile Magazine Link to Story

Brill’s Bridge to Arabic

Amsterdam’s 1883 International Colonial and Export Exhibition was a lavish, five-month celebration of Dutch colonialism and capitalism that drew more than a million visitors from around the world. Still, Amin ibn Hasan al-Halawani al-Madani al-Hanafi, who had traveled all the way from Cairo, was disappointed.
AramcoWorld Link to Story

Amelia Earhart's 'Secret' Connecticut Wedding

“Aviation Pioneer Amelia Earhart married George P. Putnam here in Noank, Connecticut, February 17, 1931” reads the carved, wooden plaque on the front of the old Latham/Chester general store, now a property of the Noank Historical Society. Like so much of Earhart’s enduringly fascinating life, these seemingly straightforward facts raise more questions than they answer.
Connecticut Magazine Link to Story

An Irish Tale of Hunger and the Sultan

he story goes like this: In 1847, the worst year of the Irish potato famine, an Irish physician in service to the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul beseeched the sovereign to send aid to his starving countrymen. His pleas moved Sultan Abdülmedjid i to pledge £10,000 sterling; however, upon learning that England’s Queen Victoria was sending a mere £2,000, the Sultan, out of diplomatic politesse, reduced his donation to £1,000.
Aramco World Link to Story

3-D Printers Bring Historic Instruments Back To The Future

UConn researchers can digitally remove dents and cracks in original instrument pieces, as they duplicate antique mouthpieces. They just don’t make 'em like they used to, unless you put a bunch of Ph.D.s in a room with a 3D printer. Engineers at UConn have teamed with musicologists to produce -- or rather, re-produce -- key parts of vintage musical instruments, literally breathing life back into antique saxophones and the like.

© 2014, The Westerly Sun & Sun Publishing Co., Westerly, RI 02891

Herreshoff’s elegant design captures the spirit of Watch Hill. Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories about local craft that are in a different class than the average boat. The … Published Jul 14, 2014. Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of stories about local craft that are in a different class than the average boat.
The Westerly Sun Link to Story

Hayy Was Here, Robinson Crusoe

The story is so familiar it has become a genre: One man, marooned on a desert isle, learns to survive by his wits and his mastery of the island’s resources. After years of isolation, he encounters a native from a neighboring island who becomes his companion and pupil, and together they form their own literally insular society.
Saudi Aramco World Link to Story

The Connecticut Gardens of Beatrix Farrand

Famed gardener Beatrix Farrand, a founding member of the 115-year-old American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), never liked the term “landscape architect.”. If anything, the skill of the “landscape gardener,” as she preferred, was closer to that of a painter than a draftsman. “A garden, large or small, must be treated in the Impressionist manner,” she once wrote.
Connecticut Magazine Link to Story

In the Footsteps of Mandela: a Trip to Robben Island

Official memorial services for late South African president Nelson Mandela will be held this week, in Soweto, in Pretoria, and in the remote village of.
WNPR/CT Public Radio 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, Saudi Aramco World, 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: 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