Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in apricots, rind, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cardamom, if desired. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Cool. Remove apricots with a slotted spoon; set aside. Strain syrup through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Add orange juice and dates to syrup; cover and chill.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil in pan; gradually stir in couscous and salt. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cool completely. Spoon 1/2 cup couscous into each of 4 bowls. Arrange 8 apricot halves over couscous; sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons mint. Spoon 1/2 cup syrup over each serving.