Perhaps the most significant similarity between the Florence of yesterday and present-day Dubai is their surroundings. Just like Florence was home to the Renaissance when darkness dominated Europe, Dubai is a beacon of hope and enlightenment when we look at what is happening in neighboring Arab and Muslim countries.
As the first outfit from Ivory Coast's Dent de Man came out, I felt goosebumps, wowed by its beauty and style. Wax fabrics have always been a part of my life, as long as I can remember I wore them wrapped around my waist in the summer, at the beach, or had jackets made on a 125th Street in Harlem by the Senegalese tailors there.
One of the great sights in Florence, along with all the must-see museums, is the Mercato Centrale. The Central Market is thriving with traditional market stalls and competitive little eateries. At this tripe shop, it was easy to see that locals eat just about every bit of the cow... and some bits unique to the bull, too.
One of the brightest, loudest, flashing neon-style sign that humanity can indeed get along is the upcoming Middle East Now festival in Florence, Italy. Yes, Florence, where that original coming out of the Middle Ages happened hundreds of years ago, is the city I believe could also be at the epicenter of a new cross-cultural Renaissance.