Welcome to Bint Battuta Diaries

A collection of tales filled with beauty and hope.

Together, we will journey through inspiring worlds and follow golden threads that normally we may not have the time to pursue.

Now, settle down in a comfy chair, with a hot cup of tea and let’s begin.


Reel Palestine: A precious look into the story of Palestinian cinema

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Cinema has been in my life as long as I can remember. I am the daughter of a man who has a passion for film,...

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AlBalad Souvenir: A magical window onto the Historical Area of Jeddah

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

This gem is about two things that I value deeply and which bring a lot of joy and hope to my heart. One is the...

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RPS Studio: the art of making games that connect us and nurture our imagination

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Thursday, December 26th, 2019

Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) is a games company co-founded by Rola and Rafah. Since I first discovered their charades game in Virgin Megastore, Dubai, it...

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Kees Chic: A journey of one conscience stepping up and making a difference

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, December 13th, 2019

Diana Rayyan the founder of the project “Kees Chic”,  was trained as a pharmacist and her first job had her attending every event related to...

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Manya Jewelry: A unique approach to art and creativity

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, November 29th, 2019

I saw that my friend Manya had an incredible gift with jewelry making from the moment I set eyes on her work with its signature...

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Dish Dash: A journey of Love, Excellence and Service through Middle Eastern Cuisine

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, November 15th, 2019

This gem is beautifully layered in a way that honors age-old values and relationships and is therefore so inspiring and close to my heart! It’s...

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The Spiritual Treasures of Bosnia: Old Mosques in Old Town Sarajevo and Beyond

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, November 1st, 2019

The old mosques of Bosnia are jewels of Islamic heritage that had to be gathered in one post to be seen and admired together! I...

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Holiday Bosnia: A Journey of the heart

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, October 18th, 2019

I count myself as a well-traveled person and it is by the grace of God that I was blessed to be so. Therefore, you can...

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Waqfs in Old Town Sarajevo: A beautiful legacy that still runs strong in the Muslim community

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, October 4th, 2019

It was quite something to walk into Old Town Sarajevo on that first day with the Cambridge Muslim College (CMC) Tour in 2018. They gave...

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The Bosnian War: The Tale of Bravery and Faith that Survived it

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, September 20th, 2019

When one thinks of Bosnia, one of the most important things about it is that it survived such a vicious and violent war with people...

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The Painters of the Orient: An Exhibit at the Marmottan-Monet Museum

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, September 6th, 2019

This gem is an interesting one as it comes within the folds of a not so positive legacy. Let me explain how I feel, as...

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Chris Gazaleh: Art with a message for social justice

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, August 23rd, 2019

This gem came actually came through another one, as it was Nabila Mango who took me to the fundraiser where Chris Gazaleh was a guest...

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Cafe Alula: An authentic Lebanese neighborhood restaurant

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, August 9th, 2019

Some gems are all the more delightful for how they reveal themselves to me. Cafe Alula was one such soft, genuine treasure. I fell in...

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The Decorated Word/ Writing and Picturing in Islamic Calligraphy – An Exhibit at The Met, NYC

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, July 26th, 2019

I have had a love for calligraphy since I was in school. And, I am so grateful that we had a subject in school to...

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Access California: a journey in the service of life with dignity

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, June 28th, 2019

During my masters, I took a very special class that introduced me to three incredible gems at the same time. One, was my humane professor...

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From Reem’s California to Dyafa: a Palestinian cultural culinary experience that nourishes both body and soul

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, June 14th, 2019

It’s such a pleasure to encounter a project done so well that it fulfils its potential on both a craftsmanship and a human level. For...

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America to Zanzibar – Muslim Cultures Near and Far

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, May 31st, 2019

On Eid, I love to celebrate what matters most to me. I was lucky enough, that last Eid, I was able to share the video...

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Raeda Ashour – A Saudi Artist’s Journey of Honoring Islamic Traditional Arts and Heritage

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, May 17th, 2019

There is much that I love about the Bint Battuta Diaries, especially the talented and inspirational people that I have the honor to meet, learn...

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Wahj exhibit- The art of adorning the page

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, May 3rd, 2019

This post is an ode to the age old Islamic craft of illuminating books. When one stops to think about the implications of the care...

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Aswat – Belonging to Arab and Muslim Culture Through Voices and Music

Posted by Hala Al-Kayyali | Friday, April 19th, 2019

There are some special people in this world who have phenomenal impact far greater than what is usual for one lifetime. Their drive, passion and...

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