A Letter From The Publisher, Dec. 23, 1946

From his office window last week, Harry Zinder, chief of TIME-LIFE International's Cairo bureau, could see the flocks of turkeys, geese and fat-tailed sheep, the herds of goats and gamoose (water buffalo) moving through the cluttered streets to the holiday markets. Christmas was at hand, and Zinder, as usual, was finding it a time of rejoicing and confusion.

Arab members of his bureau had already celebrated Courban Bairam, their holy festival; the Copts and Orthodox adherents would not celebrate theirs until Jan. 7. From past experience Zinder knew that by some miracle of cookery the turkey would come out right. The...

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