Most of us take the desert and its sands for granted. We see the sand as just part of a scenic background and fall under its spell. But then the sandstorms come, and soon we are reminded of where we are and where we came from.In this special issue themed the Desert, we pay homage to a world of poetry, art, creativity and contemplation, rising from within the mirage of bareness of the sands. We had a conversation with the ‘Shakespeare of the Desert,’ HRH Prince Badr Bin Abdulmohsin Al-Saud and discover his other artistic side, one as colorful and dynamic as his poetry. The cover art piece is His Royal Highness’s homage to the many faces of the desert, and the peace one discovers in it as
one takes a respite amongst its sands. Many stories are buried in the desert. So, the next time you visit the desert, search for a particularly tall and deep dune, and as you descend down with your car, listen to ‘za'eeq al raml’ (singing or shouting sands). An orchestra of deep booming and groaning sounds will come alive, as the pressure of the vehicle's wheels force the sand beneath to sing out its hidden song. An ancient myth says the sound is that of the Jinn waking, while the 13th century traveller Marco Polo described it as "the sounds of all kinds of musical instruments." There is perhaps a less romantic explanation, but for now, let us just enjoy the magic of the desert.