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Jacob Zuma in 2014
Jacob Zuma

Today in History

February 17: Independence Day in Kosovo (2008)

María de las Mercedes Barbudo (d. 1849) · Karen O'Connor (b. 1958) · Ed Sheeran (b. 1991)

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An inscribed oracle bone from Yinxu
An inscribed oracle bone from Yinxu

Today's Featured Article

Isabelle Eberhardt (17 February 1877 – 21 October 1904) was a Swiss explorer and writer. As a teenager, she published short stories under a male pseudonym. She became interested in North Africa, and was considered a proficient writer on the region despite learning about it only through correspondence. Eberhardt moved to Algeria in 1897, where she converted to Islam, dressed as an Arabic man and adopted a male name. Her unorthodox behaviour made her an outcast to European settlers and the French administration. Her acceptance by the Qadiriyya, an Islamic order, convinced the French that she was a spy or an agitator. In 1901 she survived an assassination attempt and was ordered to leave Algeria, but was allowed to return the following year after marrying her long-time partner, an Algerian soldier. In 1904, aged 27, she was killed by a flash flood in Aïn Sefra. Her manuscripts were collected and published posthumously, receiving critical acclaim. Streets were named after her in Béchar and Algiers. (Full article...)