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Online Magazine ISSUE 3

May/Aug 2012


without Borders

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St. Basil's Cathedral Location: Moscow, Russia When built: 1461; Height: 60
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We are Awlad and Ali, genuine Bedouins, born and raised in Farafra, the Egyptian Western Deserts smallest oasis.Atef Ali, the oldest brother, is based in Dakhla and runs the Badawiya Dakhla Hotel. Hamdi Ali, a teacher in Farafra prior to starting the company, always enjoys being active, and when hes not running the Badawiya Hotel Farafra, or supervising expeditions, hes likely to be found fixing the cars used for our jeep safaris.

Saad Ali left the desert, intending to study music in Austria and Germany. He quickly realized that music should remain a hobby and switched to agriculture. The techniques he learned in Europe are used on our familys organic farms today. After returning, he realized there was a need for training and responsibly guided desert tours, and thus the Badawiya Expedition Travel was born.

El Qasr Valley, El Wadi El Gadid, Dakhla, Egypt. Tel.: +(202) 092 7727 451/2 Fax: +(202) 092 7727 453

Badawiya Dakhla Hotel

Badawiya Expedition Travel

Gamal Abdel Nasser St., El Wadi El Gadid, Farafra, Egypt. Tel.: +(202) 092 75111 63 Fax: +(202) 092 75111 64

Badawiya Hotel Farafra

Gamal Abdel Nasser St., El Wadi El Gadid, Farafra, Egypt. Tel.: +(202) 092 7510 060 Fax: +(202) 092 7510 400
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Cairo Office

42, Road 104, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt. Tel.: +(202) 2526 09 94 Fax: +(202) 2528 72 73 Hotline 24/7 : +(2018) 288 0659

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Dr. Tamara Patton, Editor-in-Chief of Archaeology Times Online Magazine, works as an author, teacher and illustrator. She obtained her Cum Laude B.A and M.A from the U.S, as well as Ph.D. from the University of NC at Chapel Hill, acquiring considerable experience presenting a variety of lectures at academic conferences, such as Power of the Pyramids Redefined, and Moroccan-Hispanic Wreaks Havoc with American Indians-1529 (1995). She now resides in Cairo, having taught English, French and Spanish literatures, business language, ESL, among others, in over 6 countries. Scholarships from the French Embassy and American universities launched a lifelong study resulting in a comprehensive inter-disciplinary outlook on the exciting histories and people of our world and the importance of preserving this precious heritage for future generations. Wael Fathi Galal, is a Geologist (Manager of the Sedimentology Lab) in the Geology Department, Faculty of Science, at Assiut University, Egypt. He received his BSc (1991) and MSc (2005). His research interests include engineering, environmental geology and geoarchaeology. He earned his geological expertise through field studies, gaining expertise from several countries, and learning to apply diverse techniques and methodologies. He has participated in more than 44 national and international research projects, and he is a member of the International Working Group on the Paleocene/Eocene Boundary and Thebes International Geoarchaeology (TIGA) research project. Mercedes Gonzlez Fernndez, S.T. in Pathology, is the Founder and Director at the Instituto de Estudios Cientficos en Momias (IECIM), in Madrid, Spain. She has extensive experience in working with mummified remains: research, restoration and preventive conservation. As a professor she has presented courses and seminars related to Archaeology, Physical Anthropology and mummification, specializes in the conservation and restoration of mummies. She has also worked on several archaeological campaigns and designed workshops for children, which received much success "Mummification in ancient Egypt". She has presented her work in many national and international meetings, including the "Workshop of Preventive Conservation on mummified remains" at the International Congress of Paleopathology, Lima (Peru, November 2011). She is presently participating in several scientific projects, the most important of which is the conservation of mummified remains. Dr. Mohamed Moatamed Megahed, is a professor at the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Fayoum, now teaching at the Faculty of Arts at Thamar University, Yemen. He obtained his Ph.D. in Archaeology from Cairo University, worked as a Lecturer in Fayoum University, and was later promoted to Assistant Professor, specializing in Conservation and Restoration. Dr. Mohamed has produced over 14 research papers published in various scientific magazines and presented at various conferences. He was the head of the Sinai Restoration Department for the Supreme Council of Antiquities (1994-2006), and has established a long experience in the field of restoration and conservation for all materials in Antiquities.
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Dina El Sayed, is an Archaeologist from Suez, Egypt and the Curator of the Suez Museum. She holds a BA in Classics from Cairo University and also serves as the Graphic Designer who completed all the layout and artwork for the ARCHAEOLOGY TIMES magazine. Noha A. Qotb, is an Archaeologist from Cairo, Egypt, and obtained her BA in Egyptology at Cairo University. She has recently come on board as an Administrator for the WWA Interaction Group.

Bassam El-Shammaa, is a researcher in Egyptology and senior tour guide. In 2007 he started an online awareness campaign to highlight the conditions of the Sphinx and surrounding monuments and has also written numerous books on Egyptology. Dr. Andr J. Veldmeijer, is an Archaeologist/ Palaeontologist, Assistant Director for Archaeology/Egyptology NVIC, PalArch Foundation Amsterdam, Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam. Dr. Cristiana Barandoni, is from Italy and serves as Lecturer at the Restauro Archeologico (Archaeological Restoration), at the University of Florence. She also lectures at the Universit, Massa Carrara, Lucca and Livorno, and has published a number of publications on archaeology and heritage. Mohamed Akl, Director of Conservation at Tanta National Museum

Eman H. Zidan, is from Cairo, Egypt and works as a Conservator at the Egyptian Museum. She is the Founder of both the WORLD WIDE ARCHAEOLOGY COMMISSION and the Archaeology Times Online Magazine, of which she serves as Founder and Managing Director. Heba El Bayer, is a Curator of the Suez Museum, and obtained her BA in Greco-Roman at Ain Shams University.

Khaled Essam El-Din, Gratuaded from Ain Shams University in 2006 with a ( very good ) rank, Has registered for postgraduate studies ( Masters Degree ) in the same University, Worked as an Inspector for antiquities from December 2008 to June 2009, Currently, He has been working as curator at the Egyptian Museum from June 2009 until now.

Nermin Sami, is an Archaeologist from Alexandria, Egypt-B.A, with a BA in Archaeology, and a diploma on Tourist Guidance. She is also a talented photographer, and has established a Blog on archaeological topics, in which she writes in Italian and English. Rasha Mansoor, Tour guide and a big fan of Ancient Egypt and Tourism in general, with a major degree in Linguistics and Translation.

Heba kheir el din, is an External Relation Manager of the Children's Museum

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152| Tutankhamuns Open Shoe (270a) By Andre J. Veldemeijer

146| Isis Goddess of a Thousand Titles: On Alexandrian Coinage By Khaled Essam El-Din 104| Open Day at DAI Cairo: Archaeology-Hands on! Uncovering the Hidden History of Egypts Past 108| Biovision Alexandria, 2012 By Eman H. Zidan 98| Big Five Campaign By Bassam El Shammaa

Heritage without Borders: Influences of Christianity
Judaism and Islam on the following countries: 22| Afghanistan By Eman H. Zidan 14| France By Tamara Patton 36| Turkey By Heba El Bayer 30| Yemen By Mohamed M. Megahed

54| Influence of Islamic and Arabic scholars on the Foundations of Modern Civilization By Wael Fathi Galal

Museum Lovers, Celebrate International Museum Day With US!
140| The Childrens Museum By Heba Kheir El Din 130| The Crocodile Museum By Dina El Sayed 122| The Nubian Museum By Rasha Mansour 114| The Suez National Museum By Dina El Sayed 134| Special Coverage on the Journey of the Hajj Exhibition, British Museum, London By Cristiana Barandoni


40| The Civilization of the Word: An Egyptian Epigraph By Noha A. Qotb 46| Discover the Beauty of Calligraphy: Examples from Coptic, Hebrew and Islamic Scripts

78| Egypts Jewish Past... Pages of History By Nermine Sami 84| Egyptians Pride and Sorrow By Mohamed Akl



126| Geschichte von Nubia By Rasha Mansour 70| Sinai- Sacred Site of 3 Religions By Wael Fathi Galal
and Tamara Patton


Archaeology Times Archaeology Today Glossary Meet the Legend Names Made History Virtual Tour Recommended Books WWA Campaign
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Ahmed Ebn Toloun Mosque Cairo, Egypt

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heartfelt words

After the overdose of encouragement and flattery we received from the readers of ARCHAEOLOGY TIMES online magazine, the AT team discussed, through a virtual round table, ideas and suggestions for the upcoming issue. The AT Team (Archaeology Times Team) decided to include two featured topics in this issue, due to the delay of the third issues release. The first featured topic will present some influences that Christianity, Judaism and Islam had on worldwide heritage; influences in such fields as architecture, art, science and civilization. These influences, however, will be seen through the eyes of different lenses, to reveal little known truths about these regions. Regrettably we had to limit what countries or cultures to focus on, as it would be impossible to represent them all. Our focus was to bring forward certain relationships or interchanges that occurred in order to reveal a more complete representation and vision of humanitys attempt to contribute to the artistic and intellectual beauty of our world. Actually, realizing that this topic is so comprehensive, we knew that it would require more than one issue to discuss it completely, and therefore, we have decided to continue this theme in later issues. I also know that I will be confronted with a strong attack against the inclusion of articles on Jewish culture and religion in our articles, but I deeply believe that no one can ignore this aspect of our history, and whether or not it was acceptable by our readers, it definitely existed, as substantiated by historical evidence. The second featured topic is to celebrate National Museum Day by putting four Egyptian museums in the spotlight. On behalf of AT team, we would like to present informative topics within an interesting archaeological context and cultural frame. Hopefully we can whet your archaeological and cultural appetites. Dear readers and viewers, your support and your critiques are valuable to us, whether positive or negative, and will help us move forward, as we proceed in our optimistic team spirit, and in our search to highlight worthy and interesting archaeological and cultural news. Enjoy Being an Archaeology Time-er!

Eman H.Zidan
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message from the editor in chief

Dear readers, our first magazine feature this issue resulted from a call for articles on how Christianity, Judaism or Islam influenced other countries around the world. The reaction from our members worldwide, especially that of our daily bloggers, was mixed. Some questioned that the idea was too concentrated on Egypt, or the Middle Eastern countries, thinking our focus too narrow. However, after much discussion, we remained steadfast, believing that it is particularly during these times of continued cultural and political misunderstanding that more people be made aware of the extent of cross-cultural influences and contributions made by those, often time relegated to minor positions, and judging by certain news media portrayals, deemed unworthy of a significant role in the international ecological, world heri. tage, and political arena I recall my own excitement after discovering Arabic script depicted on some of the most sacred Christian artifacts, such as a representation of the Madonna and Child, located in the halos or the fabric edges of the clothing of the Virgin Mary, portraying messages from the Qoran (la illah ilalllah), meaning there is only one God. Although some scholars maintain that the presence of the Arabic script is an accident, I believe this discovery speaks volumes of the possible religious or cultural relationships and communication maintained in that particular period, and one no longer shared between these religions. They question to ask is: What have we lost inter-culturally? Shouldnt we strive for that kind of understanding and cooperation in our age? Some have argued that the Christians who imported the cloth from the famous Damascene textile makers, were in no way aware of the Arabic script on the borders of the Virgins clothing, but we rather believe that, since the message is of the monotheistic view of the importance of the one God (a view shared by Christianity, Judaism and Islam), that the Muslim message was, in fact, in harmony with the Christian and Judaic idea of the belief in one God. Of course we have many other interesting topics and much news in this issue to whet your archaeological and historical appetites, so please read on and enoy! And of course, as always, !tell us what you like and do not like, as this is how our AT Team grows

Tamara Patton, Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief,

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Heritage without Borders:

Influences of Christianity, Judaism and Islam

on Worldwide Heritage Featuring:

Afghanistan, France, Turkey, and Yemen


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Islamic Influence on Medieval French Culture and ?ArchitectureWas there any

. .
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Islamic Influence on Medieval French Culture and Architecture Was there any?
By Tamara Patton

Figure 1- Cathedral from St. Denis, France, originally a Benedictine monastery. Some claim as the origin of Gothic architecture in France. Ambulatory built by Abbot Suger.

If there is much misunderstanding in the West about the nature of Islam, there is also much ignorance about the debt our own culture and civilization owe to the Islamic world. The medieval Islamic world ... was a world where scholars and men of learning flourished. But because we have tended to see Islam as the enemy of the West, as an alien culture, society, and system of belief, we have tended to ignore or erase its great relevance to our own history... Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. (Prince Charles, Oxford University, 1993)
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esearching this topic produced baffling contradictions. Purposely not choosing Spain as the focus of Islamic influence, as there is an abundance of publications affirming its origin and presence, I chose France. On the one hand, article after article appeared on how little Islam influenced French architecture, culture and art, while on the other, a growing number of articles emerged on how Islamic culture indeed influenced French, as well as other European cultures, from architecture, art and cuisine, to most areas of scientific development. Why the discrepancy? And if the dichotomy is so large, how could they both be true? In an age where any type of information can be posted on the Internet, however serious or frivolous, it is the inexperienced reader who loses when only a minimum of references are considered. One must search on, ask questions and not settle for the easy answer. Enheartening is the abundance of new information and new discoveries being made on just about every topic in the universe, brought daily into our lives by the NET. The remarkable impact on history lovers is that these discoveries are not always brand new technological gadgets, but new information revealed about past historic events that corrects misinterpretations, and thus rewrites the history that had been previously passed down throughout the ages as solid truth.

Figure 2- Painting of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, often painted by the famous French artist, Henri Matisse.

At times, the slow acceptance by scholars and texts to include this new information into the mainstream resulted in negative repercussions. A multitude of topics come to mind of issues that governments and societies have had to reconsider and re-educate the public, in order to heal and move forward, to grant credit to those deserving recognition, or to right a previous wrong, rather than to marginalize and dismiss those making a claim. I believe the above resistance to new information, as well as the animosity that existed well before and after the historic period when Christian Europe finally expelled the last of the Muslim invaders and other nonChristian groups from Europe are contributing factors. The fact remains, however that Muslims (a group that includes Arabic and other groups under the Islamic umbrella) were, in fact, in Europe, and their ideas and accomplishments were very much a part of the cultures in which they lived, facts well documented, with growing evidence from both East and West, as well as from the other side of the Atlantic. What is interesting with France is that Islamic culture hailed over her in two major historic waves: once at the battle of Poitiers, in the eighth century, in which Charles le Martel (known as the Hammerer) defeated and expelled Arab invaders from France, and again in the late eighteenth century when Napoleon launched an expedition into Egypt. From the very first contact with Europe, until today, Islam has strongly impregnated the various cultures it made contact with. The exchanges were not one-sided, by any means, and benefitted both parties. It would be impossible to in one short article to enumerate the enormous quantity of knowledge and culture that the Islamic civilization brought to the West. Among these influences is that of Islamic art and more particularly, that of Islamic architecture, which some scholars consider the most remarkable contribution Islam made to the Christian or western world. Some scholars believe that one of the most visible influences that Islamic architecture brought to the western world is Gothic architecture. This architecture (see figure below), long boasted as an embellishment of Christian art, owes it fundamental architectural element- intersecting ribbed vaulting- to Islamic architecture. There have been a number of theories in the past to contradict this fact, theories, however, that have been refuted by the existence of a long tradition of European architects, who themselves have confirmed that their heritage of architectural knowledge came from the Orient.
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An English architect, Christopher Wren (1632-1723), established the theory, known as the Saracenic Theory, that affirms the influence of Islamic architecture on European architecture. Note his description below:
(what the Italians describe as not following the Roman model), and although the Goths were more destructive than being a nation of builders, this style should really be called the Saracen style, for the Gothic tribes were really neither interested in art nor reading, and after that we people of the West having lost those two things, we borrowed them again from them (the Muslims). By their Arab books, what they had with great diligence translated from the Greeks... the modern Gothic style, as it is called, is distinguished by the lightness of its architectural style, by the excessive purity of its elevations, and of its sections, and by the delicacy, profusion and extravagance of its ornaments, and the use of its refined pillars for particular purposes, as opposed to those massive structures used by the Goths of antiquity...How can one thus attribute to the Goths the origin of an architectural model, presented only in the 10th century of our era in Europe, and this several years after the destruction of all the kingdoms that the Goths had raised over the ruins of the Roman empire, and at a time when the very name of Goth had been completely forgotten? All these marks of a new Cathedral of St. Paul in London (built in 1087-1314), architecture cannot only in truth be attributed to depicting the interior ribbed vaulting Gothic style. the Moors; or, to say the same thing, to the Arabs, and to the Saracens; who have expressed in their... If anyone doubts these assertions, we need only to appeal to anyone able to admire the mosques and palaces of Fez, or some of the cathedrals of Spain, built by the Moors: one of the most notable is the church Burgos, and on this island exist other identical models: These buildings, however, have been vulgarly qualified to belong to the Gothic style, but their true origin is Arab, Saracen, or Moresque.

What we call the Gothic style of architecture

(Christopher Wren, Saracenic Theory, 1721) One may wonder why the emergence of such a style created so much awe and debate over the true origin of the Gothic-type architecture. One of the reasons is that until the rise of the pointed, vertical extending arch, the existent architecture appeared as heavy, massive structures, more closely grounded to earth, in which small openings penetrated the immense, solid walls. This new style seemed to soar into vertical plains, in which light seemed to triumph over the matter. With the pointed arch also came other architectural devices, which included flying buttresses, pinnacles and traceried windows, all features which were to typify all Gothic structures, ecclesiastical, as well as secular. Note the quote below, in which a clergyman from Spain, Frances neighbor, laments how his fellow priests have developed a preference and admiration of all things Arabic, depicting the extent to which Arabic culture at the time was esteemed and replicated: Dazzled by the magnitude of the Arabic language in Moslem Spain, a certain Spanish priest regretted, all the while lamenting miserably, what had happened to his fellow believers. It was the matter of Alvaro of Cordoue, who had shown his fear with regard to the Latin language and his fate inside the church: My fellow believers, he says, like to read the poems and the novels of the Arabs, they study the manuscripts of the theologians
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and the Moslem, not philosophers to refute them, but in order to perfect a correct and more elegant Arabic diction. (Mohammed Abbassa, Bilinguisme et traduction en Andalousie, Mostaganem, Algrie, Universit de Mostaganem) When the Arabs invaded the Iberian peninsula in 711, they also invaded France, in the area known as la Septimanie, or the Pyrnes-Orientales, Aude, Herault and Gard, thereby making them a province governed by a wali, and of which the capital was Narbonne. Although defeated by Charles le Martel in 732, Arabs continue to drive raids on ground and by sea in the Languedoc, as well as in the Provence, and ruled in Septimania (southern France) until 759. Even as late as the 9th century Muslim forces captured several bases in southern France, and were eventually expelled in the 10th century, in 975 (Manfred, International Journal of Middle East Studies. 1980) It is also documented that after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain again in 1609, approximately fifty thousand Moors entered France. (Lapeyre. Gographie de lEspagne morisque. 1959). An often overlooked point is that the Moors were established in France well before the Arab invasion, as well as the well-documented fact that the Roman empire rewarded its better legionnaires, some of them Moorish, by giving them colonies in conquered territories. The location Maurs (Cantal, Sanctus Petrus Mauricis, later became ad Mauros in 941), was a former Roman post occupied by Moorish mercenaries (Le, Blog abonn, Jan 6, 2010). The above references illustrate an ongoing Moorish (or Islamic) presence in southern France longer than is generally noted. An example of Islamic influence in France is depicted (figure below on the left) of a 12th century monastery, with pointed arches, a defining motif of basically all French church architecture, and which was later called Gothic in France, or Tudor, in the UK. Compare this structure with the design of the Tulun Mosque in Cairo (figure below on the right), built in 879, more than 300 years before the Cloisters in France was built. Another example of this influence is visible in the Basilica of the Sacr Coeur (figure below on the right), built in Paris, France in the 20th century. Compare the Sacr Coeur with the Mursi Mosque (figure below to the left), built in the 13th century, in Alexandria, Egypt, denoting the influence of the elongated domes of the Mursi Mosque on those of the later Sacr Coeur basilica.

All in all, many scholars maintain that what we term as Gothic architecture grew out of the previous Romanesque architectural genre, which was embellished upon by Islamic designs, incorporating their own artistic motifs, comprised of the many different styles from the various different regions and cultures of the Muslim empire. These remarkable structures bear witness to the skillful designs and artisans who made them possible and which, in turn, have made them withstand the tests of time, to remain, our gift.


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LInfluence islamique sur la culture et larchologie mdivales de la France, Y-en-avait-il rellement?

Par: Tamara Patton, Ph.D. dit par: Sophie Pelatan Sil ya beaucoup de malentendus lOuest sur la nature de lIslam, il ya aussi beaucoup dignorance au sujet de la dette que notre propre culture et la civilisation devons au monde islamique. Le monde islamique mdival ... tait un monde o les savants et les hommes de lettres ont prospr. Mais puisque nous avions tendance voir lislam comme lennemi de lOccident, comme une culture trangre, une socit, et un systme de croyance diffrents, nous avons ignor ou effac son grand intrt pour notre propre histoire ... Lislam fait partie de notre pass et de notre prsent, dans tous les domaines de lactivit humaine. Il a contribu crer lEurope moderne. (Le Prince Charles, LUniversit dOxford, 1993) La recherche sur ce sujet a produit des contradictions dconcertantes. Je nai volontairement pas choisi lEspagne comme sujet, car il y a dj une abondance de publications affirmant son origine et sa prsence. Jai choisi, donc la France. Jai observ dune part, un nombre important darticles montrant que lIslam a peu influenc la culture, lart et larchitecture franaises, mais aussi un nombre croissant darticles sur la faon dont la culture islamique, en effet a bien influenc la culture franaise, ainsi que dautre cultures europennes, au niveau de larchitecture, de lart et de la cuisine, et jusqu la plupart des domaines du dveloppement scientifique. Pourquoi une telle diffrence? Et puisque la dichotomie est si grande, comment ces contraires peuvent-ils tre tous les deux vrais? une poque o tout type dinformation peut tre affiche sur Internet, que ce soit frivole ou grave, cest le lecteur non-averti qui y perd, quand il ne considre quun minimum de rfrences. Il faut chercher plus, poser des questions et ne pas se contenter de rponse facile. Labondance de nouvelles informations et dcouvertes faites sur peu prs tous dans lunivers, chaque jour amen dans nos vies par le NET est encourageant. Limpact remarquable pour les amateurs dhistoire, cest que ces dcouvertes ne sont pas toujours des nouveaux gadgets, ou de nouvelles technologies, mais les nouvelles informations rvles sur les derniers vnements historiques qui corrigent des interprtations errones, et rcrivent, donc lhistoire qui avait t prcdemment transmise travers les ges comme une vrit solide. certains moments, la lente acceptation par les savants inclure cette nouvelle information dans le courant dominant a rsulte parfois en rpercussions ngatives. Une multitude de sujets vient lesprit a propos de questions que les gouvernements et les socits ont d revoir, afin de gurir et daller de lavant, et de corriger les torts, plutt que de marginaliser et de rejeter. Je crois que la rsistance aux nouvelles informations, voque ci-dessus, ainsi que lanimosit qui existait bien avant et a subsidie aprs que lEu-


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rope chrtienne a finalement expuls le dernier des envahisseurs musulmans et dautres groupes nonchrtiens de lEurope, sont des facteurs contributifs. Le fait demeure cependant, et les preuves sont l, que les musulmans (un groupe qui comprend des groupes arabes, ainsi que groupes sous lgide islamique) taient, effectivement, en Europe, et que leurs ides et leurs ralisations ont rellement fait partie des cultures dans lesquelles ils vivaient. Ce qui est intressant avec la France, cest que la culture islamique la envahie durant deux grandes vagues historiques: dabord la bataille de Poitiers, au huitime sicle, dans laquelle Charles le Martel a vaincu et repouss les envahisseurs arabes de la France, puis la fin du XVIIIe sicle, lorsque Napolon a lanc une expdition en Egypte. Ds le premier contact avec lEurope, et jusqu aujourdhui, lislam a fortement imprgn les diffrentes cultures avec lesquelles il est entr en contact. Les changes ntaient pas sens unique, loin de l, et ont bnfici des deux parties. Il serait impossible, dans un article aussi court, dnumrer la quantit norme de connaissances et de culture que la civilisation islamique a apport lOccident. Parmi ces influences, cest lart islamique, et plus particulirement, celui de larchitecture islamique, que certains savants considrent dtre la contribution la plus remarquable. Certains savants pensent que lune des influences les plus visibles que larchitecture islamique a apports au monde occidental est larchitecture gothique. Cette architecture (voir la figure de gauche), longtemps vante comme un embellissement de lart chrtien, doit son lment architectural fondamental - la vote nervures coupantes- larchitecture islamique. Il ya eu par le passe, un certain nombre de thories qui ont contredit ce fait, mais ont t rfutes par lexistence dune longue tradition darchitectes europens, qui eux-mmes ont confirm que leur patrimoine de connaissances architecturales venait de lOrient. Un architecte anglais, Christopher Wren (16321723), a tabli la thorie, connue comme la Thorie sarrasine, qui a affirm linfluence de larchitecture islamique sur larchitecture europenne. Notez sa description ci-dessous: Ce que nous appelons le style gothique en architecture (ce que les Italiens dcrivent comme ne suivant pas le modle romain), devrait vraiment tre appel le style sarrasin. Les Goths taient une nation bien plus destructive quelle ntait une
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nation des btisseurs. Les tribus gothiques ne sintressaient vraiment ni lart, ni la lecture. Apres avoir perdu ces deux choses, nous les gens de louest, les avons empruntes nouveau aux musulmans. A travers leurs livres arabes, quils ont avecune grande diligence traduits partir des Grecs... le style gothique moderne, comme on lappelle, se distingue par la lgret de son style architectural, par la puret excessive de ses lvations, et de ses sections, et par la dlicatesse, la profusion et lextravagance de ses ornements, ainsi que par lutilisation de ses piliers raffins des fins particulires, par opposition ces structures massives utilises par les Goths de lantiquit ... Comment peut-on donc attribuer aux Goths lorigine dun modle architectural, prsent uniquement au 10e sicle de notre re en Europe, plusieurs annes aprs la destruction de tous les royaumes que les Goths avaient soulevs sur les ruines de lempire romain, et un moment o le nom mme de Goth avait t compltement oubli? Toutes ces marques dune nouvelle architecture ne peuvent etre, en vrit, attribue quaux Maures, ou, pour dire la mme chose, quaux Arabes et Sarrasins (qui ont exprim dans leurs textes ...) Si quelquun doute de ces affirmations, il naqu faire nimporte qui capable dadmirer les mosques et les palais de Fs, ou certaines des cathdrales dEspagne, construites par les Maures: lune des plus notables est lglise de Burgos, le sur laquelle existe dautres modles identiques. Ces btiments ont t vulgairement qualifis dappartenir au style gothique, mais leur vritable origine est arabe, sarrasine ou mauresqu e. (Christopher Wren, Thorie sarrasine, 1721) On peut se demander pourquoi lmergence dun tel style a cr tant dadmiration et de dbat sur la vritable origine de larchitecture gothique. Une des raisons est que, jusqu la monte de larc pointu, stendant verticalement, larchitecture existante tait apparue comme lourde, les structures massives, plus troitement mises la terre, dans lesquelles de petites ouvertures pntraient aux immenses murs solides. Ce nouveau style semble survoler les plaines verticales dans lesquelles la lumire semblait triompher sur la matire. Avec logive pointue sont venus galement dautres lments architecturaux, les arcs-boutants, les pinacles et les fentres traceried, toutes les caractristiques qui devaient caractriser toutes les structures gothiques, ecclsiastiques, ainsi que

laques lpoque. Notez la citation ci-dessous, dans laquelle un membre du clerg dEspagne, voisin de la France, se lamente de la faon dont ses confrres ont dvelopp une prfrence et une admiration pour toutes choses arabes, reprsentant la mesure dans laquelle la culture arabe lpoque tait estime et rplique: Ebloui par lampleur de la langue arabe dans lEspagne musulmane, un certain prtre espagnol a regrett, tout en dplorant lamentablement, ce qui tait arriv ses confrres. Ctait la question dAlvaro de Cordoue, qui avait montr sa crainte lgard du sort de la langue latine lintrieur de lglise: Mes chers croyants, dit-il, comme pour lire les pomes et les romans des Arabes, ils tudient la manuscrits des thologiens et des musulmans, non pour les rfuter, mais dans le but de perfectionner une diction correcte et plus lgante arabe. (Mohammed Abbassa, Bilinguisme et traduction en Andalousie, Mostaganem, Algrie, Universit de Mostaganem) La Grande Mosque de Cordoue (construite en 750, (figure de gauche), est clbre pour ses arches doubles croissantes qui dfinissent le style pour la conception architecturale en Europe. Comparez cette mosque celle de la chapelle de Charlemagne, construite en 805 (figure de droite), aujourdhui Aachen, en Allemagne. Comparez les arcs de la chapelle la forme caractristique du style et des couleurs de la mosque de Cordoue. Lorsque les Arabes envahirent la pninsule ibrique en 711, ils ont aussi envahi la France, dans la zone connue comme la Septimanie, ou les Pyrnes-Orientales (Aude, Hrault et Gard), les rendant ainsi une province gouverne par un wali, et dont la capitale tait Narbonne. Bien que vaincu par Charles le Martel en 732, les Arabes ont continu conduire des raids par terre et mer, dans le Languedoc, ainsi que dans toute Provence, et ont rgn en Septimanie (sud de la France) jusqu 759. Les forces musulmans du 9me sicle qui ont capturs plusieurs bases au sud de la France, et ont galement finalement expulss au 10me sicle, en 975 (Manfred, International Journal of Middle East Studies. 1980). Il est galement dmontr que,

aprs lexpulsion dEspagne des Maures nouveau en 1609, environ cinquante mille Maures sont entrs en France. (Lapeyre. Gographie de lEspagne morisque. 1959 Un point souvent nglig est que les Maures ont t tablis en France bien avant linvasion arabe, ainsi que le fait bien document que lempire romain a rcompens ses meilleurs lgionnaires, certains dentre eux mauresques, en leur donnant des colonies dans les territoires conquis. Le Maurs (Cantal localisation, Sanctus Petrus Mauricis, devenu plus tard Mauros) tait un ancien relais de poste romain occup par des mercenaires maures (Le, Blog Abonn, le 6 janvier 2010). Les rfrences cidessus illustrent une prsence mauresque (ou islamique) dans le sud de France plus important que ce qui est gnralement constat. Un exemple de linfluence islamique en France est reprsente (figure ci-dessous gauche) par un monastre du 12me sicle, avec arcs en ogive, un motif dterminant de toute larchitecture essentiellement de lglise franaise, et qui fut plus tard appel gothique en France, ou Tudor, au RoyaumeUni. Comparez cette structure la conception de la Mosque Touloun au Caire (figure ci-dessous droite), construite en 879, plus de 300 ans avant que les premiers clotres en France aient t construits. Un autre exemple de cette influence est visible dans la basilique du Sacr-Cur (figure ci-dessous droite), construite Paris, France, au 20e sicle. Comparez le Sacr Coeur avec la Mosque Mursi (figure ci-dessous gauche), construite au 13me sicle, Alexandrie, en Egypte. Ceci dnote linfluence des dmes allongs (Mosque Mursi) sur la basilique du Sacr-Cur plus tard. Dans lensemble, de nombreux savants affirment que ce que nous appelons larchitecture gothique est n du genre architectural roman prcdent, ayant t embelli par des conceptions islamiques, en intgrant leurs propres motifs artistiques, composes de bon nombre de styles des diffrentes rgions de lempire musulman. Ces structures remarquables tmoignent des conceptions et des artisans habiles, qui les ont rendues possibles et qui, tour, leurs ont fait subir les preuves du temps, pour nous blouir encore aujourdhui.


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,Influences of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Afghanistan

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The Influences of Islam,

Christianity and Judaism

in Afghanistan
By Eman H. Zidan Afghanistans rich cultural heritage is the result of Greek, Persian, Central Asian, Islamic, Mongolian, Chinese, Indian, Russian and British influences. One such influence is seen in the ancient form of Gandhara art, which is a style of Buddhist visual art. This art developed basically in todays northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan between the 1st century BC and the 7th century AD. The art flourished mainly during the Kushan dynasty. The Kushans endorsed Buddhism together with other Iranian and Hindu faiths, and probably contributed to the flourishing of Gandhara art. The Gandharan craftsmen depicted events of Buddhas life into set scenes with the help of sculpture. Gandhara art combines Hellenistic or Greco-Roman artistic techniques and modeling with Indian-Buddhist iconography to create an Indian hybrid. Due to the long turbulent history of Afghanistan, many of the monuments and museums were destroyed,however what remains still tells us much about the rich architecture of Afghanistan. The Kabul museum is one of them. UNESCO has honored the Minaret of Jam and the Valley of Bamiyan by adding them to the World Heritage Sites.

History of the Jews in Afghanistan

Jewish people have lived in Afghanistan for nearly 3,000 years, but the community has been greatly reduced due to emigration. The story of the Afghan Jews is a tale of remarkable persecution and tolerance. It was to Afghanistan that Jews turned, when escaping religious persecution in Iran and Central Asia. It was in the ancient cities of Herat to the west, and Kabul to the east of Afghanistan, that they found the freedom to practice their faith without fear of persecution and murder. The large Jewish families lived mostly in the border city of Herat, while the families patriarchs traveled back and forth on trading trips across the majestic mountains of Afghanistan, on whose rocks their prayers were carved in Hebrew and sometimes even Aramaic, moving between Iran, Afghanistan, India and central Asia on the ancient silk road. A cache of ancient Jewish scrolls from northern Afghanistan that has only recently come to light is creating a storm among scholars who say the landmark find could reveal an undiscovered side of medieval Jewry. The 150 or so documents, dated from the 11th century, were found in Afghanistans Samangan province, and most likely smuggled out a sorry but common fate for the impoverished and war-torn countrys antiquities.
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Israeli emeritus professor of Comparative Religion and Iranian Studies, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ShaulShaked, who examined some of the poems, commercial records and judicial agreements that make up the treasure, said that while the existence of ancient Afghan Jewry is known, their culture was still a mystery.Here, for the first time, we see evidence and we can actually study the writings of this Jewish community. Its very exciting,said ShaulShaked.

A medieval monument to religious pluralism, hidden in the mountains of Afghanistan

One of the great wonders of the medieval world is a very tall, heavily ornamented minaret nestled in a green valley at the edge of the Jam River, in what is now Afghanistan. Often called the Minaret of Jam, the monument was constructed almost a millennium ago, illuminated by a torch at its top, and surrounded by a thriving town with small industries and outlying farms.

Whats remarkable is that the writing on the minaret and archaeological remains nearby strongly suggest that the city harbored a population of Muslims, Christians and Jews. Writing on the minaret is a detailed transcription from the Koran that celebrates the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, highlighting the connections between Islam and other religions. Nearby there is a Jewish graveyard, another hint that people of different religions were living peacefully together. Was this lost city once a bastion of medieval tolerance? Some archaeologists believe the region around the Minaret of Jam was once called Firuzkuh and was the summer capital of the Ghurids ( ,)a Muslim empire in the 11th and 12th centuries that spanned all of what we know now as Afghanistan, as well as parts of eastern Iran and northern India. This map shows its location.


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The minaret above is made of hard yellow brick.Its shaft is a dazzling display of virtuoso brickwork, with geometric forms incorporating Islamic eight-pointed stars and Kufic lettering. There is a panel bearing the date of construction: 1193/4. But, more importantly, the lower portion bears the entire 19th sura of the Koran. This chapter, called Maryam, tells of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, both venerated in Islam, and of prophets such as Abraham and Isaac.Its a text that emphasizes what Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common, rather than their differences. It seems the Ghorids placed the text here to petition for harmony and tolerance in the land, a message that is more relevant now than ever.The minaret is the second largest of its kind in the world. It still stands today, a monument to mans constant struggle to live together in peace, against all odds.

Early Christianity in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been at the crossroads of many civilizations throughout history. Those who have traveled Afghanistans roads and mountain paths, and settled there, have brought along with them many beliefs and traditions. Many of these were major world religions that are still part of our world today, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. While some of these religions are no longer practiced in Afghanistan, evidence of their existence there remains. Many relics of these ancient civilizations have been found scattered throughout the countryside, though many have been destroyed or sold to those outside the country.Other proofs of the existence of these communities can be found in historical accounts found in ancient manuscripts. One of the major world religions that once existed in Afghanistan was Christianity. The presence and the memory of Christian societies in this land have been slowly and systemically removed from its history. However, if further investigation is done we will find information giving us a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation for this aspect of Afghan history.

The Establishment of the Church in Afghanistan

Persian Christians who established themselves as a Persian church, at first participated with the church in the west, in either Rome or Constantinople, and later developed their independence both theologically and in governance. Many political and doctrinal issues were to create a great schism between the two churches, but the Persian church grew even under great persecution by the Zoroastrian religious leaders, as well as by Persian kings. After the great debate between the churches in the 5th and 6th centuries over the nature of Christ, it was the Persian church who adopted the doctrine of Bishop Nestorius in 428 AD, later called Nestorianism, and it was the Persian members who carried the message of Christ throughout the east, even as far as China. Although the region of Afghanistan seems far from the larger Christian centers of Rome in Europe, documents dated to 6th century Christians in cities such as Herat and Balkh and names of church leaders are also mentioned. These are but a few accounts giving evidence of the existence of Christians and their communities in the region.

The Christian Community and the Rise of Islam in Afghanistan

After the death of Islams founder Muhammad (pbuh), Islam expanded its authority throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Persia. The Kingdom of Sassanid Persia was one of the first kingdoms to fall to the hands of the Arab raiders. After the defeat of the Yazdegerd III, some of the regions of Afghanistan quickly came under the rule of Arab control. In the early period of the new Arab conquerors Christians and Jews were allowed to live in peace and continue their religious practices. Non-Muslims living under Muslim control were given the name dhimmis, meaning those under regulation of agreement of protection. The cause of the disappearance of this past community of Christians that once lived in the region of Afghanistan can be credited to many factors that occurred during its long history, but the fact remains that not only did Christians live in this land but that they were in fact some of the first communities to accept and follow the message of Christ andremain faithful for over eleven centuries.
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For an overall view of the religious influences on Afghanistan, lets follow the following journey into the heart of Afghanistan.
Asian region for 2013 by the ISESCO. The city south of Kabul boasts a number of important pre-Islamic and Islamic sites but due to the security situation it cannot be currently reached by foreign tourists. Each year, three cities from around the globe receive the accolade of City of Islamic Culture from ISESCO, supported by its 50 member-states drawn from the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Ghazni will be followed by the City of Kabul in 2014. Ghazni is notable for its historic sites and significant cultural heritage. The site was founded as a market town before the establishment of the ancient Persian Empire, and was incorporated into the Achaemenid territories during the reign of Cyrus II. TepeSardar, one of the largest Buddhist monastic complexes recorded in the country, was constructed to the east of the present city and included a reclining Buddha figure amongst its varied features. Although insurgents destroyed the Buddha statue itself in 2005, TepeSardar remains one of Afghanistans most significant archaeological sites of the pre-Islamic era. A number of monuments were built at this time in the city, including shrines, tombs, mosques and minarets. Photographs taken in the 1960s of the tenth-century tomb of Sultan Sebuktigin show its once-elaborate painted plasterwork interior and domed structure ,while the international traveler IbnBattuta, who later passed through the city, noted that of his son, Sultan Mahmud. The surrounding park in which Sultan Mahmuds mausoleum once stood remains an attraction for local visitors. The minarets of Masud III and Bahram Shah, located near the archaeological site of MasudIIIs palace, with their flanged forms and geometric brickworkdecoration, are often cited as technical and artistic masterpieces, and as the forerunners to the QutbMinar in Delhi-According to The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Many projects are expecting to be held there to preserve the cultural and archaeological heritage, and to implement local training programs that focus on Ghaznis crafts traditions. These have been particularly successful where training programs develop the crafts skills needed for preservation of historic monuments, with the combined economic and cultural benefit of the local artisanal community. Additionally, the Italian government is again supporting on-site redevelopment of the Islamic and preIslamic period museums, to include restoration, curatorial and management training, resupply of equipment, and provision of local employment. Improving local cultural knowledge, displays and skills will contribute to the sustainable support of Ghaznis heritage

Ghazni- Ghazni has been chosen as the City of Islamic Culture for the

Masjet-e-Jam in Herat Afghanistan

The Masjet e Jam in Herat is one of the main attractions in all of Afghanistan. In terms of design, this mosque is considered the finest in the country. It is located in the city of Herat in the province of the same name. The mosque facade has undergone many changes through the years, and the current form of the mosque dates from the 15th century. What makes the mosque so beautiful is the attention to detail. The mosaic and tiles are particularly striking. The structure also serves as an outstanding example of Ghorid sophistication. There are also several artworks in the Masjet e Jam in Herat. These are among the most attractive features of the mosque.


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Shahr-e-Gholgola in Bamiyan Afghanistan

Shahr e Gholgola or the City of Cries, is one of the most famous historical landmarks in Afghanistan. This citadel is best known as the place where GhoridBamiyan made its last stand against the Mongols and Genghis Khan. The citadel was the most ably defended of all the citadels of Bamiyan. The ruler at the time was Jalaludin, and his army was holding its own against Khan. However, his daughter betrayed him. She was furious over the fact that her widowed father was going to marry a Ghazni princess.In a fit of pique, she told the Mongols of the secret entryway to the castle. This betrayal enabled the Mongols to lay siege on the castle. The princess expected to be rewarded but she was killed. Genghis Khan would go on to kill every man, woman, child and animal in the valley.

The Buddha Statues of Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Buddhist influence is also present in Afghanistan, as evidenced by the statues located in the Bamiyan province, in Central Afghanistan, 240 km west of Kabul. The two Buddha statues one 165 feet high, the other 114 feet were carved into the sandstone face of the mountain at Bamiyan, most likely in the seventh century A.D. by Buddhist monks, thousands of whom once lived in the caves and grottoes along the two colossi. (For years the sculptures were dated to the second or third century, until art historian Deborah Klimburg-Salter in 1989 convincingly set the statues origin in the seventh century.) With their flowing Greek robes draped in stone over the familiar look of sub-continental Buddhas, the sculptures were a sublime fusion of the Hellenic influence on the region dating back to Alexander the Greats conquests around 330 B.C. and the South Asian influence that prevailed until the Arab-Muslim conquests of the 9th century (Pierre Tristam,Middle East Issues,2008). When Chinese traveler Hsuan-Tsan saw the statues in 630 AD, he reported that they were laden with precious stones and gold. Aside from the two statues, the cliffs were also adorned with several man-made caves. These are located at the north of the town.Research indicates that the two statues were built in the 3rd to 5th centuries.Bamiyan was one of the major centers of Buddhism, and later became a place highly valued by archaeologists.

The Taliban vs. the Statues

In 2001 however, the above statues were ordered destroyed by the Taliban. The justification was that such statues were disrespectful to Allah. Despite the pleas from Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Taliban proceeded to destroy them. There is still much to see at the site.


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Post-Jihad Buddha rises again - in China

As more than 300 stonemasons chip away at the rock, the giant figure is gradually emerging into view. The sandstone cliff near Leshan, in the lush green hills of Western China, is redder than the more golden sandstone near Bamiyan. Nonetheless, the Chinese project aims to return the Afghan Buddha to its previous appearance, before the damaged caused by erosion and intolerance destroyed its face, and dynamite reduced it to a heap of rubble.The figure will be 121 feet (37 meters) high -- the same as the smaller of the two Bamiyan statues. It is being carved by hand with mallets and chisels, just as the original figures were.

The Mausoleum of Ahmed Shah Durrani in Kandahar Afghanistan

The Mausoleum of Ahmed Shah Durrani is considered one of the most significant landmarks in all of Afghanistan. This mausoleum is the final resting place of the ruler who founded modern-day Afghanistan. The mausoleum is one of the most elaborate in the country. Its octagonal form is beautifully decorated, and its gilded dome is a beautiful gold in color. There are dozens of other tombs there, as well. The Mausoleum of Ahmed Shah Durrani is not just for history buffs, and is where people go to see the best of Afghanian architecture. The Maratha tried to attack Ahmed Shah several times, but he always emerged victorious. He defeated them eight times. Mousallah Complex in Herat Afghanistan The complex is in Herat, Afghanistan, and amongst them are the Mousallah of Gawhar Shad Gauhar ShadMausoleum of Mir Ali SherNavai and Hussein Baiqara. This 15th century building is home to a couple of domed chambers and half a dozen minarets. The complex is large enough to be seen from afar. The Gawhar Shad mausoleum is notable for its ribbed cupola. It is located to the south of the canal that bisects the complex, and has minaret at the eastern side, where the portal of Gawhar Shads madrasa used to flank it. A place of worship used to stand at the south of the mausoleum, which used to be a mosque, but today, only the minaret stump can be seen at the Mousallah Complex, although it
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remains quite an impressive site.The complex was built by Qavam al-Din Shirazi for Gawhar Shad. The date of the construction has been placed at around 1417-1438. The stone foundations were set down in 1417, on the outskirts of Heart, where it was then declared the Timurid Empire capital. An artillery fire destroyed the minaret top in 1863. The ruins were further damaged in 1885 by Amir AbdarRahman (1880-1901). To keep the Russians from using it as a headquarters, everything was destroyed except the Mausoleum of Gawhar Shad and the minarets. A 1932 earthquake damaged one of the minarets.

The Museums of Ghazni, Afghanistan

Theartifacts in Afghan museums are the witnesses to the long history of Afghanistan throughout its various phases of history. Thousands of years ago, the inhabitants of Afghanistan were Hindu. Then they accepted the teachings of Buddha and became Buddhists. Then came the period of great artistic evolution, the culmination of which,was Gandhara Art. The 7th century saw the beginning of the Islamic era, and again its way of life altered. All these various phases of history are reflected in Afghan museums.

The Museum of Islamic Art, situated in Rauza, outside the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni, is housed in the sixteenth-century Mausoleum of Sultan AbdurRazaq and contains important Islamic artifacts from the Ghazni region, excavated by successive Italian archaeological missions.Closed since the outbreak of civil conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Mausoleum is being restored and rehabilitated under a UNESCO/Italian Fundsin-Trust project, converting it into a modern museum. The project has seen the construction of a visitor and security centre, the installation of utilities, and the consolidation of the original structure.
In the summer of 2010, a UNESCO-sponsored museum management workshop at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul led to the organization of a new exhibition of artifacts in the Ghazni Museum of Islamic Art focusing on intercultural dialogue and the long history of the region.The project also deals with an important collection of pre-Islamic artifacts from Ghazni, including relics from theneighboring Buddhist site of TapaSardar. Working with the IstitutoItaliano per lAfrica e lOriente and the Afghan Department of Historical Monuments, UNESCO has repaired the roof structure of the Museum of Pre-Islamic Art and carried out other essential repairs. Important documentation work has also been undertaken on the Museums collections.

Successful completion of a two-year pilot project to inventory, conserve and restore collections of the National Museum of Afghanistan.
The project addressed two immediate concerns of the National Museum of Afghanistan and the international community. Despite often challenging working conditions, restoration and rehabilitation ofthe two museums continues, notably in support of the Afghan governments promotion of Ghazni as a Centre of Islamic Civilization in the region 2013. The preservation of such a region,in which the observable influences of Christian, Judaic and Islamic religionsthat coexisted simultaneously, demonstrate the extent of their spiritual, literary, and archaeological legacy and remain as testaments to the remarkable struggle and perseverance of thosewhopracticed these faiths in their beginning stages. These religions are today the great faiths of the East and West; faiths that have survived the trials of over three millennium of persecution, struggle and triumph, and which have produced a magnificent heritage to be safeguarded in Afghanistan.
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The Ancient city of Sanaa, Yemen

.. . .


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The Ancient city of Sanaa, Yemen

The city of Sanaa was built during the first years of Islam. There have been few changes in the old city from olden times. At its eastern end, in the foothills, there is a high fortification that is arguably the oldest part of the town. The name Sanaa, is generally thought by pre-Islamic linguists to mean fortified place, and because the fort has a very ancient doorway, with a bent entrance, it is possible that the original town was located there. In the fifth century A.H. (eleventh century A.D.), the traveler al Razi wrote a detailed description of Sanaa that in some ways has not changed very much. One can actually walk through the town using that guidebook still, although the similarity would have been truer five years ago than it is today.

By: Dr. Mohamed M. Megahed Assistant Professor, Faculty of Archaeology,Fayoum University, Egypt. Faculty of Arts, Thamar University-Yemen. Email:

Aside from this ancient site, the whole town was largely contained within the later city walls until about six years ago. In the middle of the eastern end of the walled city, which was known as the Persian quarter in early Islamic times, is the martyrium of a Christian cathedral, which, according to medieval writers, was the largest Christian building built south of the Mediterranean. It was finally destroyed about a hundred years after the advent of Islam. A good deal of the material from it was reused to build the Friday Mosque. The houses around it are also old; they often have door heads at street level, and one has to go down a flight of steps to reach the entrance. The original house level can frequently be as much as six to seven feet below street level, clearly indicating it was a very old part of the town. To the west of these houses is the market. Markets in most of the Yemeni small towns are outside the town gate, another bit of evidence that the oldest part of the town was to the east. After the beginning of Islam, expansion was so rapid that the market was swallowed up within the area of the city. The market of Sanaa itself is a single storey area, and it retains its ancient character because this is still a largely conservative, conventional society. While there is a very western side to Sanaa these days, where the people adopt western dress and watch television, there is also a huge hinter land of tribesmen and of conservative people who are completely out of place in the modern part of the city, and only go to the old city to do their marketing. Whenever they visit Sanaa, they try to stay there, and the market serves them as well as the Sananis. About 90 percent of the modern Sananis also shop in the suq, being thoroughly familiar with the old city and its type of shopping.


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Speaking to government ministers earlier this year about their plans for the old city, I found them very much in favor of the desire to protect it and to conserve the way of life that it contains. I believe they are genuinely proud of this city, its great traditions and colorfulness. To do so will be very difficult, of course, because inside such a city, Islamic law governs all activity, which finds it is disruptive to introduce modern institutions. For instance, policing the city involves using little watch towers on top of the suq shops from which they guard the city at night. The shopkeepers belong to an association headed by a sheikh who levies a charge on the shopkeepers to pay the watchman to do the guarding. That institution still continues in the old city of Sanaa, although it is run down and outdated. Similarly, the way in which change takes place is quite extraordinary in terms of any modern city. The development of a property is at the will and discretion of the individual owner. All a neighbor can do, if he objects to something, is to make a formal complaint to the governor, who will then hold a court of inquiry to see if any of their traditional rights as individuals have been violated. Open caravanserais still exist right in the middle of an outlying town, further evidence that the suq was outside the town at one stage. But there are also covered caravanserais all around the edge of the suq. One is a very complicated building in which there are two camel stables for the loading and storing of goods; one is double-leveled and another triple-leveled. Above them, on the roof, there used to be what were essentially hotel complexes, rooms around courtyards in which the caravan owner and his staff could stay, which appeared to be fairly comfortable establishments. There was a pool on the roof in one of the courtyards and very commodious bathrooms, equipped with hot water. The upper levels of the four caravan serais have not been used as accommodations
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for visitors since 1972, however, another traditional type of hotel was in use until about three years ago. It was a double-level hotel, the lower level for coffee, smoking and dining rooms, and the upper level for visitors accommodations. The camel market, which was entered from the northern gate, would become a watercourse in bad weather. For the rest of the year it provided access to the suq for large camel loads and even today, it provides access for vehicular traffic, although movement is almost blocked by a mosque in the middle of the maydan, which one has to go around. The mills that grind sesame seed and salt are important mechanical devices in a medieval Islamic suq like this one. There are about forty of these mills around Sanaas suq. Another important element are the buildings owned by the awqaj, built from bequests and lived in by poor people, students, the old and sick. There are a number of these rooms over the shops in the suq around the edges of the market, as well as adjoining many of the mosques. There are few jails. The people here are generally punished in public by being made to wear shackles or chains. One little boy accused of stealing from a shop spent every afternoon after school six weeks displaying his chains in front of that shop to embarrass the shopkeeper. The Great Mosque was built after the suq was already in place, during the lifetime of the prophet Mohamed, according to early historians. According to them, Mohameds instructions were that the mosque should be built in the garden of the Persian governors, with the position of its west side determined by a large stone in the governors garden. The stone is still there, although by now it is more than a meter belowground level. Part of the original garden also remains. The Great Mosque was built in a very ancient style of stepped stonework, which is linked

to Abyssinian Axumite stonework. It has a treasury in the central courtyard, as most early mosques did, which may originally have had a fountain or ablution pool underneath it. There are over a hundred other, smaller mosques in the town. The streets tend to be cavernous and to be urbanized in appearance, though that does not accurately reflect the kind of life the people lead there, when one thinks of all the market gardens inside, behind the houses. The wadi bed through the middle of the town marks the limit of the town in the fourth (tenth) century, as we learn from al-Razis description. We also know from historians that the Ayyubids built their great palace across the wadi to the west; as conquerors, they would not risk living in the old town. There was also an Ayyubid camp to the north of the palace for the soldiers brought by Saladins brothers. It became an urbanized area in the ninth (fifteenth) and tenth (sixteenth) centuries, when it was included within the walls. From the study of Sanaa a great deal has been learned about the function of the quarter system in Islamic towns. The boundaries of the quarters seem to change with great ease. The locations of the quarters in the town over the last thousand years were identified, as far as possible, and it was found that the number changed every century or so, as did their boundaries. Apparently the quarter originally was an idea for a particular tribe or group of friendly tribes that had a wall around it with gates, as al-Razi describes in Sanaa. The walls protected the tribesmen from their
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traditional enemies in other quarters in the city. But Sanaa, quite early on, probably during the Ayyubid period or even earlier, became what they called hejira, a place which was outside tribal law. It was completely protected by mutual agreement, and no fighting was ever allowed inside the city wall. From that time on, walls around the quarters were no longer needed, nor was it necessary to obey the traditional laws of the quarters. For instance, no one was allowed, during any public gathering, wedding or funeral, to cross from his own quarter into another. All that seems to have been abandoned in Sanaa about a thousand years ago, and since then the number of quarters has varied between fourteen and four. There are a large number of mosques and fourteen public baths in the old city, and it has been very difficult to prove that their location related to the quarter system. In fact, there seems to be no connection between the number of mosques, the number of baths, and any quarter structure. For one thing, use of the baths alternates between the sexes, men on some days and women on others, and it doesnt seem that people in particular areas always bathed on certain days. The data, as far back as can be taken, suggest that people simply bathed in the bath nearest to them that was available for their sex on the day they chose to bathe. The baths are a very fine element in the old city. The hot rooms are underground, because it is rather cold at night and also during short periods in winter. This avoids the need for insulation and makes water circulation easier. The baths generally have fountains

and are quite fantastic in atmosphere. In some the fountain is not working, but generally the baths are well preserved. In fact, the government ministers I consulted with recently spoke of building more baths. Unhappy about the poor condition of some of the older baths, they plan to replace them with new ones, which I believe is a defeatist attitude, so far as conservation of the old baths is concerned.

This suburban area became fashionable for the rich and remained a favorite residential area until 1947, when civil war broke out and Egyptians came in force to help the Republicans. They advised the setting up of a new town along the western wall. Its main street, which runs parallel to the western wall, now has cinemas and banks and modern hotels. From there the Egyptians encouraged the laying out of new

In the early sixteenth century the Ottoman Turks conquered Yemen, and it may well have been the Turks who established the area outside the western gate as a kind of garden suburb. There is, however, some evidence that it was earlier. At any rate, certainly since at least the tenth (sixteenth) century, the area outside the western gates was lived in by townspeople, although it had no walls around it until the twelfth (eighteenth) century. It was an area with a rather different style of house, each one of which had a large open air pool and sometimes a courtyard, with one or more reception rooms at ground level rather than on the roof. These houses are much closer to what one might think of as a typical Islamic house elsewhere.
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roads in a radiating pattern from the original western gates of the city through the old vineyards and the gardens of the old villas and tower houses. Along these streets there are now embassies, modern office buildings, banks and so on. In short, it is in this old garden suburb that modernization of most of the city centre is taking place. Finally, beyond this modern area, was the Jewish quarter until the 1950s. But that is not the original area of Jewish houses. A series of unfortunate racial incidents in the middle of the eleventh (seventeenth) century led to the expulsion of the Jews from the old city of Sanaa for about two years, and they were settled in an area well to the west of the old city that became known as the. Qa-al-Yahud. When the Jews

left Yemen as a result of the Zionist exodus between 1949 and 1959, the quarter they left behind was regarded as a very desirable place to buy a house, and many of these were people who already owned houses in the old city, even though the Jewish houses had different plans from the tower houses in the old city. Many people still prefer these Jewish-type houses today. The Egyptians put in the first ring road around the city, outside the walls. As the city has been spreading west, north and south very rapidly, especially in the last six years, more and more low modern buildings are being built. The changes in the kinds of houses are interesting. A favorite type is from the Turkish occupation, when a Turkish-style, two-storey house became fashionable. There is now a modern version, in which the living quarters are on the upper level and the car park and services are underneath. The old style of tower house is very narrow in relation to its height. Originally, these were houses for large nuclear families. The average number of people living in such a house is now seven, and some of those houses are huge - up to nine floors high. Any houses that have more than seven people living in them are most probably not occupied by Sananis, but have been subdivided into smaller living units and rented to people newly moved into the walled city from the country side. How many of the inhabitants living in the old city are immigrants, and how many of the original inhabitants have moved out? These are questions to which we have, as yet, no clear answers. Opinions range from there being half the original population and half new arrivals in the old city to a very small percentage of new arrivals and the majority still the original Sannani population. In the absence of detailed sociological and demographic studies, it is very difficult to prove either view. At the request of the government of the Yemen Arab
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Republic, UNESCO is preparing an international campaign to conserve the old walled city. While it is intended that this will be launched by the UNESCO Director-General later this year, certain problems of the old walled city are already receiving attention: 1) The most severe and urgent problem is water in the ground, causing cracking and rapid collapse. The primary cause has proved to be leaking water pipes, a fact that necessitated a review of the whole system of water distribution, with the aim of thoroughly testing every part of the system and replacing defective pipes wherever necessary. 2) The living conditions on the streets are generally felt to be appalling. Garbage and rotting litter, sometimes mixed with animal and human excrement, combined to produce the most unhygienic and unpleasant atmosphere imaginable. Not merely is this a potential hazard for the sudden spread of epidemics, but it has a major effect on the inhabitants, persuading many to abandon the old city completely for the sake of their childrens health, while many of those remaining are discouraged by the environment from repainting and doing repair work to maintain the appearance of their houses. 3) In wet weather the streets are often impassable because of mud and flowing water, conditions that are exacerbated by vehicular traffic flow. The Yemeni people will have to resign themselves to losing a part of their remarkable ancient Islamic and tribal heritage with the modern changes that are ahead, especially if steps are not soon taken to ensure that some strict, selective control be exercised at top government level. Not merely for the people of North Yemen, but for all who prize the achievements of humanity, it is a matter of urgent archaeological and cultural preservation.

Hagia Sofia
The Hagia Sofia is one of the most famous structures in Turkey. It was built as a church around 360 A.D, converted into a mosque in 1453, and finally into a museum in 1935. Today, it is a museum and attracts tourists from all over the world. The article shows the influences of Islam and Christianity reflected in the art used to decorate the walls.
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Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet Location: Istanbul, Turkey When built: 1616; Height: 62
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:The Civilization of the Word ).An Egyptian Epigraph (640 1798 A.D
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The Civilization of the Word:


Egyptian Epigraph
(640 1798 A.D.)

Marble frieze, Kufic Inscription, from the Nilometer; the oldest extent Islamic structure in Egypt, built on the Nile island of Al-Rauda in Cairo, in 862 A.D. (H: 23; W: 104.5 cm) the David Collection Museum.

By Noha A. Qotb B.A of Archaeology, Cairo University, 2011. Egypt

defining feature of the Islamic civilization has been its widespread use of writing, expressing a universal recognition of the power of the written word. Islamic art has, as a result, appropriately been described as a speaking art; however the relevance of geometry to Islamic calligraphy cannot be overstated, as mentioned by Al-Amuli in his Nafais al-Funun -Precious Arts: Writing is spiritual geometry, wrought by a material instrument. Moreover, a complex set of geometric rules was laid down throughout ages by calligraphers, who led in turn to essential components such as: symmetry, harmony and pattern, in the development of Islamic calligraphy in its various forms. The Arabic script has always been viewed as exalted and holy, due undoubtedly to the close association between the words of the Quran and the script used for writing them, but it might also be due to a direct linkage between the abstract forms of the letters and the qualities that are attributed to the Divine which has encouraged an appreciation of calligraphy meaning literally beautiful writing and in turn, promoted the application of the art onto a variety of media, both for religious and secular use. This calligraphy appeared on architecture, books, coinage and metal wares, official documents and tiraz-inscribed textiles, ceramics, wood, ivory, stone and glass, and nearly every other kind of media imaginable.


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Basin of brass inlaid with silver, Mamluk c. 146896 AD. (H. 12.7 cm, Diam. 37.5 cm), The Metropolitan Museum This basin is dedicated to al-Ashraf Abu al-Nasr Qaitbay. The work that forms the lobed petal-like decoration is typical of the late Mamluk period.

Front and reverse sides of silver donatives Dirham of Bakr Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid (935-946 AD), probably located in al-Fustat (Old Cairo), undated but c.935-941 AD (W. 2.5 g / 17.0 mm), containing inscriptions of the Caliphs name and the El Shahada, a religious, monotheistic phrase, in Kufic script.

he origin of the distinctive Arabic writing forms has been confirmed to be derived from the Nabatean script, as represented in the earliest Arabic inscriptions, written in the Nabatean alphabet, found on a tombstone from Um al-Jimal, dated c.250 AD (right top). The next, dated 328 AD., is from the tomb of the poet, Imru al-Qays, at Namarah (2nd from top); the third is from Zabad (3rd from top), dated 512 AD., and begins Bism-al-ilah, in the name of God...; the fourth is from Harran (2nd from bottom), dated 568 AD, and begins Ana/I am-Sharhil, while the last (bottom) is another inscription from Um al-Jimal, from the 6th century, and begins Allah-ghafran.. May God forgive. Nabatean is therefore considered by many scholars the direct precursor of the Arabic script. (See figure below featuring the evolution from the Nabatean script to Arabic.)

(Nabatean inscriptions providing proof of the origins of Arabic-script calligraphy. By Yasin Hamid Safadi)
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Beauty of the script is incumbent upon you for it is one of the keys of mankinds daily bread.
)Attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH

variety of calligraphic styles with both cursive (circular) and geometric scripts were developed over centuries to fulfill different purposes and sometimes for purely aesthetic reasons. Nevertheless, the legibility of inscriptions has always been as important as their aesthetic value. Arabesque and geometric patterns appear together because they are complimentary aspects of Gods creative powers, and in union with calligraphic renderings of verses of the Quran, they suggest the existence of an omnipresent, omnipotent God who cannot be seen but whose order and power undergirds the universe. These three basic forms of ornament embellish not only religious structures, but also objects for secular use. In Islam, the sacred and secular spheres are not distinct, as the whole world is a divine concern; This script, preemiKufic: nent from the 7th to the 13th centuries, has simple angular shapes, a low vertical profile and an extended horizontal form. Over time the letters evolved into elaborate foliate endings or were placed on rich arabesque backgrounds.

An array of designs, complexly intertwined arabesques contrast with sparse ones, inscription in Kufic of La-illlah-ila-Allah, Mohamed rasul Allah, Terrace at Gayer-Anderson Museum, adjacent to the Mosque of Ahmad ibn Tulun, Cairo.

Cursive: Originally developed for chancery and manuscript purposes, these scripts were adapted for inscriptions in the 12th century; Naskhi the more lenient tended to have letters with deep and full curves that fall below the medial line, such as naskhi script seen on the Khanqah (hostel) of Sultan Baybars. Thuluth means a third and indicates the proportion of the horizontal letters to the vertical ones. When used on monuments this script has a stacked appearance, since horizontal letters or short words are placed in the open areas framed by the verticals.
The lamp displays primary This script, originating in 15th-century Persia, combines a Nastaliq: designs based on horifluency of flow with an extreme simplification of letters. In Egypt it was popular in zontal bands. The band Ottoman times. The inscriptions were usually written within calligraphic panels, not of calligraphy traced with enamel is a rendition of as continuous bands as in Mamluk usage.

Tughra: A distinctive calligraphic emblem containing the name of the Ottoman sultan. During the Ottoman Empire (1281-1924), Arabic-script calligraphy reached its zenith. In Egypt, this emblem is found on buildings erected in the name of the sultan (nominally a subject of the sultan).
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the first phrase from the 24th sura of the Quran, Allah is the light of heavens and earth. Mosque lamp, blown glass, enameled and gilt, Ayyubid, Egypt (11711250), 13th century.

Calligraphic inscriptions on architecture had two main roles: in the religious context, to assert the authority of Islam and, in the political arena, to help establish a new state according to the ethos of the prevailing religious school. From the 3rd - 9th centuries, the use of architectural inscriptions spread across the Islamic world where they were used to complement the buildings function. Quranic verses, prayers in praise of God, as well as construction dates and patronage inscriptions, appeared on mosques and other religious buildings for posterity and perhaps for pious or political reasons. On civic buildings, the date of construction and other details about the architect and artisans involved in construction appeared at times, but the inscriptions referring to a particular caliph, ruler or wealthy benefactors patronage often took on particular importance because they sought to actively demonstrate the patrons power and benevolence.

This folio constitutes the double-page, illuminated frontispiece of a beautiful, albeit damaged, 14thcentury Mamluk Quran in the collections of the Library of Congress (23.4 x 28.2 cm), Script: Recto: thuluth; Verso: naskh, c.1300 - 1399 AD. The folio contains the continuation of verses 7680 of the 56th surah (chapter), al-Waqiah (The inevitable), contained in the top and bottom rectangular panels of the double-page illuminated frontispiece. The verso of the folio contains the first chapter of the Quran, al-Fatihah (The opening). In the top and bottom, blue rectangular registers, decorated with interlacing gold vine motifs, appears the title of the surah, now in oxidized white ink. The heading specifies that the al-Fatihah was revealed in Medina and has seven verses.

The emergence of Arabic words in Coptic legal Documents:

(Richter 2004; pp.98-99)

The earliest evidence of a strong Arabic cultural influence is attested by a group of educational and scientific Coptic manuscripts from around the ninth and tenth centuries (Richter 2004, pp 98-99). There are Arabic names for drugs and diseases recorded in Coptic transcriptions of a large medical papyrus, and likewise in an alchemical treatise, in which Arabic names of organic and inorganic substances appear. Despite the former existence of an elaborate Egyptian astronomical terminology, still attested to in late Roman times, in which plants and constellations bear Arabic names in Coptic astrological tracts, a Coptic calculation manual provides Arabic units of measure and calculation terms in Coptic transcriptions. The colloquial absorption of Arabic, contrary to what might be expected (since it finally led to almost complete language replacement of Coptic), scarcely left any trace in Coptic texts. If we want to investigate when, where and how Arabic words were borrowed by the Coptic written language, we must exclude a considerable segment of Coptic literary production. Not only canonical texts, with their unchangeableness, more or less perfectly maintained by scrupulous copying (e.g. biblical texts), but also literary genres, handed down in much more open manuscript traditions (e.g. homilies), and even entirely new late Coptic compositions (e.g. those of the so-called folk literature), show no linguistic features that might be due to the influence of Arabic). Indeed, Coptic literature, in the proper sense, remained untouched by the phenomenon of linguistic interference until the concerned texts were translated into Arabic (See the Canonical codices figure).
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Coptic prayer book, found at a Syrian Monastery (Dayr al-Suriyan), in the region of Wadi an-Natrun in Egypt, in 1919 (H: 22.5 cm, W: 16.8 cm, 44 leaves with Arabic in the margins in black and red, c.11th 12th century), The Metropolitan Museum. In a rapidly growing Arabic-speaking area, the Coptic text was supplemented with an Arabic translation on the right-hand side of each page, thus making this prayer book more accessible to a wider section of the population.


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Discover the Beauty of Calligraphy:

Examples from Coptic, Hebrew and Islamic Scripts


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Influence of Islamic and Arabic scholars on the Foundations of Modern Civilization

. . .
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names made history

the Foundations of Modern Civilization

Islamic and Arabic scholars on

Influence of
The legacy of human culture continually interacts with our present and

future. It isnt only buildings or ancient artifacts that increase in value over time. The Islamic and Arab civilization are prime examples of the body of achievments that produced the seeds of scientific methods in human thought and laid the groundwork for modern sciences that still impact our present and future. The glistening light of Arab and Muslim scholars (hereafter also referred to as Muslim scholars) achievements has shimmered on our civilization for a period over five hundred years and helped catapult what we know as modern civilization. Islamic societies have proven themselves, since ancient times and modern, to be at the forefront of innovation and education. By Wael Fathi Galal Geologist (Manager of Sedimentology Lab) at Faculty of Science Assiut University Egypt Any honest and impartial analysis of the history, and cultural and scientific output produced by a civilization will reveal the close relationship between its rising stages of progress and its stages of decay and failures. If that nation or civilization was strong, this demonstrates that it produced and developed a strong body of science, and if weak, it would represent weaknesses in the scientific production that prevented it from overcoming the challenges it faced. Therefore I believe that we can measure the progress, strength and importance of that civilization through its scientific production. For example, the pharaonic civilization of Egypt, during more than 5000 years of its civilization, left behind what is considered an astounding scientific production. Science is the thermometer that can measure the weaknesses or strengths of a civilization. Furthermore, science and civilization are not exclusive entities, but conjoined, in that when one rises, the other rises as well.


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Therefore, the extent and measure of the achievements of the Islamic era should contribute to understanding the magnitude of their scientific heritage, and logical research in history or science should suffice to confirm, and demonstrate its developmental stages since its inception. With research, one can recognize what was produced and follow that sciences growth and progression, which would serve to illustrate the normal sequence of steps that led to the disclosure of specific scientific facts, all attributable to their rightful owners. A brief origin of some of the Islamic scientific texts and their legacy will shed light on the contents, theories, opinions and ideas of this heritage, all of which attained a prominent and esteemed position in the history of civilization and scientific discovery. From a geological viewpoint, the following is a brief analysis of the role of Islamic and Arabic scholars and their brilliant efforts in the earth sciences:

A- Science of the Earths shape (Geomorphology):

This is a science that deals with the different types of terrain, in the light of the so-called modern geomorphological theory. It states that the development of the shape of the earths surface depends on many factors like erosion and deposition, land movements and other factors that influence the effects of strong construction and demolition or erosion. Research in Islamic and Arabic scientific heritage books reveal that many of the texts emphasize that the traditional scholars of Islamic and Arabic civilization had detected the assets of geomorphologic theories.Muslim scientists at the outset visualized and accepted the idea of gravity and the strength of its impact. Al-Hamdani (born in Sanaa, Yemen 893-947 AD) stated that the earth was like a magnetic stone that attracts iron strength of each side) and Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni (born in Khawarizm, Uzbekistan 97356 archaeology times

1048 AD) explained that the Earth attracts what is above into its center due to the magnetic poles and its diameter. Imam Fakhr Aldin Al-Razi (born in Azerbaijan 1148-1209 AD) talked about the idea of universal gravity on all the objects in the universe. Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni, in his book authored in Ghazni (now Kabul, 1026) explains the key concept for strong construction and erosion, and provides unprecedented ideas about the formation of clastic sedimentary rocks. He classified the clastic sedimentary rocks according to their size, to gravel, sand and clay. Also, he interpreted the way that leads clastic grains to rotate and to form in gravel shapes. He states the relationship between the grain size and its source. All these topics are addressed by modern sedimentologists and geological science. Abu Bakr Al-Karaji (born in Kara, suburb of Baghdad) was able, in the 11th century AD to define the concept of the balance

of the land and the development of its terrain, which ends with the final surface eroding to become low or flat. This idea was attributed to Davis in the 19th century AD. This should be corrected to attribute it to AlKaraji, as his books were written eight centuries before Daviss. The meticulous details in the texts that Al-Karaji reported in his book (Anbaat Al-Miah Al-Khafyah) indicate the variety of ground movements and the impact of permanent gravity. Significant, as well as, are some of his important scientific references, which include: 1 His realization early on, such recent theories as postdeposition, diagenetics and diagenesis. As it turns the soft sediment to hard rock, under the weight of layers configuration. Then become rocks during compression in the presence of waters between the pores, associated after a long period of time by solutions inside the deposition and groundwater as a medium then to be hardened.

2 His early identification of the phenomenon of the relative position changes of water and land, by his reference to the changing status of land (continents) and the accompanying change in the location of the sea and ground water aquifers, which lead to the appearance or disappearance of water in the water wells. 3 His reference to the concept of a geologic time scale and the sequence of events that occurred on the ground from time periods many ages ago. He stated that these events arise from changes in the needs of the Earths surface during extended periods of time. Al-Biruni supported new scientific methods, depending on the nature of the subject and not limited to the search for truth in scientific observation and experiments, which is similar to what was known as the experimental method, and commonly attributed to the modern European scientist, Francis Bacon. Al-Birunis methodology provided the basis of this type of thinking process and reasoning, as well as linking the historical importance that it deserves when the subject of specific research is based on historical events separated by long periods. Examples of this are sea regression, land exposure and their relative position changes, which is now called the contemporary scientific method.
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Abu Ali Al-Husayn Ebn Sina (Avicenna, born in Bokhara, or Uzbekistan 980-1037 AD) published 200 books on various sciences, and supported the vision of the special scientific research completed in the age of Islamic civilization. He emphasized the role of observation, experiment and induction, as the access to scientific truth. He found that the exchange of water and land distribution was wide-ranging in its nature, in many large areas, and not as the Greek philosophers confined it to narrow areas at the coast and estuaries.

regards to the origins of plant and animal fossil remains. They both mentioned that fossils may be formed simultaneously within the layers of rock in which they are found, an observation attributed to Al-Biruni, which he noted. Noteworthy are following two observations he discovered: 1 - The first is that the fossil remains are without any change in their original substance, or they were fossilized after replacing the original shell wall with another substance. He also mentioned that the remains of an organism found on rocks that it had been living in when it was soft, did not harden afterwards, but hardened over time with same shape. 2 - The second is that he identified the existence of content origin fossils, and not only water origin fossils. Al-Biruni found layers of fossils in a well at a depth of one hundred and fifty cubits, which indicate that the layers had been on the surface of the earth in the past. His method of thinking depended on logic-based observation, as the presence of snails indicated that the layers origins were of an old continental environment. This employment of fossils in the identification of the Earths environmental characteristics and its origin, was not accepted in western scientific communities until the end of the 19th century AD. Al-Biruni compared various

B- Science of old Biology (Paleontology):

The scholars of the Islamic communities have developed leading theories on fossil excavations, which were based on the development of geological history and knowledge of the evolution of organisms and their environments, throughout ancient geological times. Ebn Sina was in the forefront of those who declared that layers of sediment deposited residue on each other at sea, a process that occurred during the deposition of each layer, while it was still sticky, with parts of aquatic animals like shells and others buried within, whereupon the layers would slowly harden and the organisms fossilization process would take place. Al-Birunis views were consistent with those of Ebn Sina, in

types of animal shells which lived in the present (in his time), with those from the sea and continental snails, and concluded that the

gunpowder from Bokhara, sulfur from Syria and Palestine, rubies, emeralds and garnets from Egypt, Khorasan and from the Arabian Peninsula. He also talked about the gold mines in the Allaqi, an area with a distance of fifteen days march southward to Aswan. Al-Tefashi, in his book (Azhar El-Afkar Fi Khawas El-Ahjar or The Flowering of Ideas on the Properties of stones), wrote about the mining of emeralds near Aswan in Egypt. Al-Hassan Ibn Ahmed AlHamdani wrote 23 books, one of the best of which was on metallurgy and mining science. He describes in his book (AlJawhertin Al-Atiqtein or The Two Old Jewels) the gold and silver mines in the Arabian Peninsula, Persia, Nubia and Abyssinia. He was much interested in the description of the mines in Yemen and Tehama. His ancient descriptions made the newly detected survey missions possible today that discovered mineral resources, important mines and petroleum fields in Yemen, and is also responsible for the current studies being done on silver needed for commercial quantities. These examples clearly demonstrate the growing importance of Islamic heritage studies in our contemporary life. Muslim scholars were keenly interested in measuring minerals hardness. Al-Biruni stated in his book (Al-Jmaher Fi Marifat Al-

Jwaher or To Know the Essences) that the diamond is the hardest gem, followed by rubies and semisapphires. Thus, Al-Biruni and Al-Tefashi placed the first stone in the Mohss model of our modern scale of mineral hardness with grades ten, which interestingly placed the sapphire and the diamond in the ninth and tenth class respectively. Yahya Ibn Al-Baghdadi lived the 9th century AD and published on topics such as medicine, pharmacy, plants, earth sciences and Gemology in particular. He produced a book on gems and their attributes and types, especially on diamonds and rubies. Auttared Ibn Mohammed AlBabbly Al-Baghdadi lived in the 9th century AD, and was an author, astronomer and earth scientist specialist in Gemology. According to the history of the science books, he is the oldest Muslim scholars who specialized in the science of precious stones. Sarton, mentioned that Al-Baghdadis book includes the study of the properties of gems, their types and characteristics, and also expressed a special descriptive interest in diamonds. In the folds of the legacy of Islamic scientific texts, we find even the most important modern applications, such as the science of earthquakes. There are many scholars like Al-Hamdani,

latter are larger, more rugged and solid. This means that AlBiruni (937-1048 AD) was aware of the role that the present had in understanding the processes that occurred in the past, which is the basis and foundation of the Uniformitarianism theory (frequency), a theory attributed wrongly in literatures to the modern geologist, James Hutton of Scotland in 1785 AD.

C- Science of metallurgy and mining:

The Islamic scientific legacy contains an abundance of writings on the study of many metals and mining exploration. In his book (Al-Masalek Wa Al-Mamalik) Ibn Hawqal (born on the borders of northeast Turkey, off Furat Island) Hawqal drew a world map in the 10th century. He also wrote about the extraction of marble from Tabriz, lead from Ferghana, Kerman and Isfahan Cities, oil from Baku, salt from Abadan,
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Ibn Sina and Ikhwan Al-Safa (group of Arab philosophers born in the 10th AD century in Basra, Iraq). They described the seismic energy in the ground and its strengths. They wrote their observations for seismic waves that affected the sciences of Arab and Islamic countries during the past centuries. Their records are an important guide now on the distribution maps of the historical and modern earthquakes pelts or zones around the world.

is a work discussing a number of ancient alphabets, in which he deciphered a number of Abu Hammed Muhammad AlEgyptian hieroglyphs. This text Gharnaty Al-Andalusy, (1080was later read by Athanasius 1170AD) lived in the 11th century Kircher in the 17th century AD, AD. He wrote on geography and then translated and published and travelers and his works in in English by William Joseph geography belong to the broadest Hammer in 1806. Dr. Okasha spectrum of universal thought. He El-Daly, at UCL Institute of described countries, their borders, Archaeology in London, claims inhabitants, as well as the wonders that some hieroglyphs had been and legends of these countries. decoded by Ibn Wahshiyya, Ahmed Sarkhasi (Ibn Al-Fraeqi eight centuries earlier than JeanFrancois Champollion, who or Ibn Al-Taeeb) lived in the 9th Furthermore, in the manuscripts of become known for deciphering century AD. He was interested the tradition of Muslim scholars, the Rosetta stone. Abdul Latif in earth sciences, especially in there is much information about Al-Baghdadi (1162-1231AD), climate change and its impact the seas, oceans and rivers. In the a teacher at Al-Azhar University on world population and life, a books of Ibn Wahshiyya, Ibn Sina, in Cairo, in the 13th century AD, most crucial scientific concern Ikhwan Al-Safa and Al-Biruni, wrote detailed descriptions on today. His most important books there is information on ground ancient Egyptian monuments. were written on earth science, water and the hydrological cycle, weather events and the benefits of Similarly, in the 15th century AD, plus studies on the mechanism Egyptian historian Al-Maqrizi mountains. of the rise of ground water and wrote detailed descriptions of the types of water wells, such as the D Science of the Egyptian Egyptian antiquities. ordinary and artesian. Al-Karaji archaeological objects and devoted a book entitled, Anbat The preceding material sites (Egyptology): El-Meiah El-Khafiah or Hidden represented a summary of Water, to explain the methods of the contributions of some of The first attempts known at ground water exploration and its deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs the major Muslim scholars in engineering extraction. the sciences of geology, earth were made by Dhul-Nun AlSheikh Ahmed Al-Dmanhori (1689-1778AD) Sheikh AlAzhar lived in the 18th century AD. He wrote on such topics as engineering, irrigation water, water wells drilling, and the nature of soil in agriculture. His most important book, (Resalt Ein Al-Hayyah or Message of the Eye of Life), was on the science of groundwater extraction according
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to the nature of the ground and form of its layers.

Masri and Abu Bakr Ahmed Ibn Wahshiyya (both born near Kufa, Iraq in the 9th century AD). They were partially able to understand what was written in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by relating them to the contemporary Coptic (language used by Coptic priests in their time). The Arabic manuscript of Ibn Wahshiyya Kitab Shawq Al-Mustaham),

sciences and Egyptology, whereas the following provides brief information about some of the most important scholars of the Arabic and Islamic civilization, how their talents and leadership roles created the basis and foundation of other sciences and changed the course of history, such as:

Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindy, (185256AD), philosopher and the first to describe the principles of what is now the theory of relativity.

He was a physicist, astronomer and the first to develop the first Arabic musical scale. Cardano, the famous Italian mathematician, considered him one among the twelve geniuses of the entire world. He was trained by some historians as one of the eight leaders of astronomy in the Middle Ages. Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni, (9731048AD), one of the most famous scientific personalities of the Islamic civilization, excelled in different branches of science and knowledge.

His research was in astronomy, physics, metallurgy, pharmacy, geography and geology. He identified the presence of the attraction of forces between objects, before they were discovered by Newton. He also developed a theory to calculate the circumference of the Earth, which is still used in most modern textbooks. The republic of Uzbekistan established a special University in his name, and the geological Museum at the University of Moscow displays a statue in his honor, as one of the greatest geologists in the world throughout the ages.

(Statue of Al-Biruni in Iran, and special Iranian stamps for him) Al-Khwarizmi, (781-847AD) excelled in astronomy and geography, was the first scholar to invent the numeric zero, and is also known as the founder of algebra and algorithms. He is considered as one of the early Muslim mathematicians who contributed greatly to its progress. His skills were genius in the astronomers table. The name algorithm is taken from his name, and the world is indebted to him for his algorithmic knowledge of algebra. It is also reported that he is responsible for the rise in Europe of the mathematical sciences.

The orientalist Skhao stated that Al-Biruni was the greatest genius in history. While another describes him with, It is impossible to complete any research in history or geography without paying attribute to the work of this creative scientist. In honor of his role as a scientist and research leader in space science, he was selected from among eighteen (18) Islamic scientists to consign their names on some features of the Moon.

(Russian postage stamp with an imaginary picture of AlKhwarizmi)


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Abu Bakr Al-Razi, (864-923AD) known as the father of Chemistry, was a philosopher, physician, and pioneer of modern medicine.

He was also described by George Sarton as the greatest astronomer of his time. Copernicus cited abundantly from the work of AlBattani. Honoring his memory, an area of the Moon was named for him and he has been included among the greatest astronomers through the ages. Al-Farabi (872-950), or the first teacher, was born in Khorasan, Iran. He is known as the greatest Muslim philosopher of all, and laid down the rules of Islamic philosophy, and thereby was the first to develop an approach to the encyclopedic knowledge of humanity. He wrote treatises on physics, medicine, political policy and invented the concept of music as therapy. He was the first to expound upon the theory of social responsibility, several centuries before the French scholar JeanJacques Rousseau. Al-Farabi surprised western scientists by his declaration of the theory of gravity, a thousand years before Newton which created much speculation about the secret of the similarity of their views.

and great surgeon. He was the first to make medicinal tablets and threads that are currently used in surgical operations.

He was the first scholar to invent ointments and sutures made from the intestines to use in the sutures, and was highly skilled in the use of plants. He was the most skilled ophthalmologist who ever lived and also invented a device to measure the density of liquids. Al-Battani (850-929AD) was the greatest astronomer of the world, who put forth the scientific theories of algebra and trigonometry, and was one of the greatest scholars of Islam. Lalande the French astronomer claimed Al-Battani as one of twenty genius astronomers of the world.

He had a significant impact on the European renaissance, and his books were translated into many languages and studied at most European Universities. His works were used as medical reference for European doctors for five centuries. Ibn Sina (980-1037AD), the wise man of the East and West, called the prince of medicine by western doctors, and father of modern medicine. He wrote the first books in the world on medicine, science, mathematics, natural sciences, astronomy, music, philosophy and logic. His writings made him a genius of medical history, his book, The Laws of Medicine, was more wellknown than the writings of Hippocrates and Galen. Osler once said that Ibn Sinas book lived longer than any other book on medicine.

(Al-Farabi is depicted on the currency of Kazakhstan, along with his musical scale). Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi (936-1013 AD, known as the father of surgery), was a doctor
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To the right is Ibn Sinas (Avicennas) statue in Dushanbe, Tajikistan) Ibn Al-Bittar (1197-1248AD), often called the greatest genius of the Arabs, contributed to the stability of medical terms, and his lexicon became a rich source for all doctors in Europe. He wrote on botany, chemistry and pharmacy. Max Meyerhof claimed him to be the greatest Arab writer immortalized in botany. The Orientalist Rosca commented on the importance of his book and its impact on the progress of botany in Europe.

also stated that Ibn Al-Bittar was one of the greatest Arab geniuses in botany science, and whose book contained all the sciences of his time, which was considered a masterpiece of the scientific mind. His book was translated into several languages and taught in most European Universities. (See the statues of Ibn Al-Bittar in Spain). Jabir Ibn Hayyan (721-815AD), known as the father of Chemistry, discovered several methods of purification of metals and tanning leather. He manufactured papers resistant to fire and created a kind of coating that prevented iron from rusting, as well as other discoveries which still remain the subject of admiration worldwide. Any library in Europe should have his famous works, and in the library of Paris, there are more than 50 books on him. He has the title of the great Prof, chief of the Muslim chemists, Abu or Father of Chemistry and the theosophist. Sinan Agha (1489-1588AD),

He is excelled in architecture and engineering, and was technically superior to Michael Angelo, known as one of the greatest artists and sculptors in European art and civilization. In recognition of his achievements, the name of the Academy of Arts in Istanbul was changed to the University of the Architect Sinan Agha. His greatest works were the Scheherazade and Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Selimiye Mosque in Adrnah and Al-Takyah Al-Souleimanieh Mosque in Damascus. Omar Al-Khayyam (10381124AD), poet and philosopher, specialist in mathematics, astronomy, language, doctrine, and history. He was the first to invent trigonometry and algebraic equations of the third degree.

The German scholar Sigrid Honkh

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known as the greatest architect,

More than three hundred books were written about him in Arabic that amazed the world with his theological and humanitarian talents, and his consolidation of philosophical terminology. UNESCO immortalized him by making May 18 an international

day to commemorate his memory, and a symbol for his efforts to achieve tolerance, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence of all people. His poetry (Rubaaiyaat Al-Khayyam) was translated by the famous poet Ahmed Rami and was sung by a famous Egyptian singer, Um Kulthum of our modern age. Ebn Baja, famous physician and philosopher in Spain, wrote on politics, natural sciences, astronomy, mathematics, music and medicine.

maps were considered the most accurate Arab map, more accurate than those of the Greek Ptolemy. His book remained more than three hundreds years as reference for the European geographicists, as admitted by name in Rogers book. He also produced the largest map in the world in the shape of a rectangle made of silver.

pinnacle with Ibn Al-Haytham. Sarton claimed Ibn Al-Haytham as the greatest physicist of the Middle Ages. The Encyclopedia Britannica considered him a leader in optics after Ptolemaist. He laid down the basics of lenses and eye autopsy, and was historically the first to make camera experiments. Thabit Ibn Qurah (834-901AD), known as the EUCLID of the Arabs, and a leading doctor.

(Map of Earth by Al-Idrissi). Ibn Al-Haytham (965-1039AD), known as the prince of light, was the founder and pioneer scientist in the field of optics. His knowledge put him at the top of this scientific field. He changed the theory of Ptolemaist optics.

Philosophy students considered him a great scholar who established the basis of philosophical science. He left behind a well-established philosophical school, from which the well-known Ibn Roshd and Abu Al-Hassan Al-Ghernati traced and followed his basics. Al-Idrissi (1100-1166AD), known as the founder of Geography, and one of the greatest scientists in history. He wrote on literature, poetry, plants, philosophy and medicine. He drew the first accurate global map, and his
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He was the first to calculate the length of the solar year and was considered the greatest Arabic engineer of all. Yorant Wol stated that he was the greatest Muslim engineer, who paved the way for the science of integration and differentiation. He was also able to solve algebraic equations using engineering methods and he also developed and added to Pythagorass theory.

Although what has been

Arnold stated that the science of optics reached its highest

presented is merely a brief history of some of the basic sciences basics, with more details

provided in the fields of geology, and earth sciences from the rich legacy of Islamic contributions, the intention was to explain the importance of this heritage in its role of influencing the history of science and civilization. The relationship between Islamic and Western civilizations was established and built upon in the past, and we must build upon this today, as well. In a future based on partnership, integration, cooperation and dialogue, we can move ahead, rather than subsisting in a relationship based on dependency, domination and bullying.

art, culture, and the sciences, and participated in the construction of all other nations and cultures. The Islamic civilization established rights that protected and encouraged the architects, to be able to create the rich variety of the different types of Islamic architectural structures, and the culture and were proud they did not deny other civilizations or nations their national character. They accepted people as partners, working together for the constructive development and building projects of their civilizations.

Islam established a great human civilization that encompassed all aspects of society,

a heritage too rich and encompassing to overlook, and one too filled with in-depth and detailed studies that serve as the foundation and building blocks to our contemporary sciences, from the root to its end products. By identifying the nature of the conditions that allowed scientific concepts and ideas the time to grow and prosper, and thereby become branches in the tree of knowledge, and to become the indispensable tributaries that nurtured human civilization, is how world should recognize the magnitude of the Islamic contribution to the sciences and other studies.

From here, it is our duty to collect the lost legacy of the Arab and Muslim civilization,

Knowledge of the beginning of any science not only tells us about the changes and the

stages of development we encounter, but also reveals to us the questions we must ask and answer, in order to face the problems that challenge us today. The study of the established patterns that dealt with these issues or problems down through the ages, under different conditions, are of a benefit to us, and will enable us to overcome challenges, and to develop further this wonderful tree of science and knowledge that the great ones have gifted us with.

NOTICE: Other articles from this author include: The Environmental Impacts on the Greco-Roman Archaeological Sites in Alexandria, Egypt, Archaeology Times, Online Magazine, Issue 1, Nov/Dec. 2011, pp. 39-42. (www. Temple of Hatshepsut, In Danger or at Risk? Archaeology Times, Online Magazine, Issue 2, Jan/ Feb. 2012, pp. 12-17. (
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The Gaddis Hotel, owned and run by the Gaddis family, offers you .a friendly welcome and an enjoyable stay in Luxor
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Virtual Tour Ahmed Ebn Toloun Mosque Cairo Photos Taken By Eman H.Zidan & Mohamed Akl


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El Sultan Hassan Mosque

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Salah El Din Citadal

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Ahmed Ebn Toloun Mosque

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Sinai-Sacred Site of 3 Religions

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Sinai-Sacred Site of 3 Religions

By: Wael Fathi Galal and Tamara Patton

inai is considered the Holy Land for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The name Sinai is mentioned in the Torah, in various places in the Bible (Exodus 16, I and Exodus 19, I), and also in the Holy Quran. Some scholars believe that the name Sinai derived from the word Sin, which is the name of an ancient god of the moon, and therefore, some name it Land of the Moon. In modern times Egyptians named it Fairuz (Turquoise) Land, due to the large amounts of turquoise gemstones found in its mountain rocks. The Sinai Peninsula, with a surface area of 61,000 km2, connects the two continents of Africa and Asia. It is surrounded on three sides by sea-on the north-the Mediterranean Sea, on the east-the Gulf of Aqaba, and on the west-the Gulf of Suez, and the Suez Canal. Mount Sinai is venerated by the three faiths as the place where God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses. The 1,700 year-old Monastery of St. Catherine, located at the foot of the mountain, is considered the worlds oldest continuously operating Christian monastery, and contains what is believed to be the burning bush of ancient lore, as well as the renowned collection of holy manuscripts and iconography. Within the walls of St. Catherines monastery is a mosque, as well as another on top of Mount Sinai. In an interview Plain of el-Raha- According to tradition, this is the area where the with Parade Magazine, Father Israelites camped and the golden calf was forged (Exodus 32). Justin Sinaites, librarian of St. Catherines, explained, Living here, you become intensely aware of the history of the area. Theres been an amazing continuity that defies all human explanation. The only explanation is that its a place protected by God. Despite ongoing political struggles over the millennia, the importance of this sacred site has not been diminished, and today it enjoys national and international protection to preserve its precious heritage. As the region is also rich in biodiversity, it is the target of conservation efforts, which include the revival of traditional practices of the indigenous Bedouin tribes, some of whom make the remarkable claim of descent from St. Catherines early Christians. According to Biblical tradition, more than 3,000 years ago, Moses encountered an unusual sight: a burning bush that did not consume itself by the flames, and stranger still, the bush spoke, admonishing him to Take off your sandals, for the place where you stand is holy ground. God then commanded Moses to return to Egypt, and lead his people to worship at the mountain. This Moses did three months later, and at this time the mountain was consumed with fire and trembled violently, where he encountered Gods presence again, this


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time, receiving the Ten Commandments. There is no archaeological evidence that this mountain, also called Mount Horeb in the Old Testament, and known as Jebel Musa (Moses mountain) to Muslims is actually the holy peak of the Biblical account. Nevertheless, as early as the third century A.D., Christian anchorites living in the Sinais remote wilderness began to identify the mountain as that place, and even located what they believed to be the burning bush near the base of the mountain. In 337 A.D., Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, who legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire in 313, ordered a chapel to be built around it. In the fourth century, due to the lawlessness in the region as a result of Roman soldiers, the monastic community sought help from Emperor Justinian, the Byzantine ruler, who sent architects and masons to built a fortified monastery complex, from 527 to 565, with 60-foot high granite walls to protect them. These Christians, it is believed, over the generations, intermarried with the indigenous Bedouin tribes, who later converted to Islam and became the Jabaliya tribe (people of the mountain), which represents most of the Bedouins in the St. Catherine area. The monastery itself, was named to honor the early fourth century martyr, St. Catherine, a young Christian convert killed for refusing to renounce her beliefs. Noteworthy is that the Christian community of St. Catherine has maintained ties with Islam since the late sixth century, when according to tradition, the prophet Mohammed visited the monastery. It is recorded that in 620, the community sent a delegation to Medina to request protection for the monastery, and that Mohammed issued a document protecting them from religious persecution, and also exempting them from taxes and military service. Remarkable is the fact that for five centuries following the Muslim conquest of Sinai in 640 A.D., the document was respected. In the 11th century, the monks escaped persecution by converting an existing chapel into a mosque, and one that is still used by Muslims on special occasions. The monastery itself is amazing, with an area the size of a city block, containing other chapels, courtyards, archives, living quarters for monks, and a museum. Significant is that the monasterys library is the most ancient one in the Christian world and considered second only to the Vaticans library, in terms of both the quantity and value of the collection. It contains more than 3,000 manuscripts in many different languages, more than 5,000 printed books, and more than 2,000 00 icons representing almost every school of Byzantine iconography , from the sixth to the eighteenth century. The famous Codex Sinaiticus, which is the oldest complete Bible in existence, was once housed there, before making its way to England, and of which, unfortunately, only a few pages remain. There are other interesting holy sites in the area. On top of Mount Sinai, there is a rock with an impression resembling a camels hoof, which the Jebaliya traditionally consider as the mark of Mohammeds camel. Remains of other chapels exist along the 4,000-step path to the summit, which is known as the Path of Moses. At the height of its popularity in the 14th century, the Greek Orthodox monastery was inhabited by about 200 monks, today, however, there are only 20. Because of its remote location, St. Catherine has seen a relatively small amount of visitors, mainly Christian pilgrims, who before the mid-20th century, made the arduous, eight-day trek from Cairo by foot and camel. After the Israeli occupation from 1967 to 1982, an airstrip and paved roads were built that increased the accessibility of the region, and making it a more popular tourist destination. Today there are about 7,000 people who live around St. Catherines monastery, and the residents are primarily from the Jebaliya tribe, who have converged the traditional nomadic practices of grazing with gardening and tree cultivation, practices they believe were introduced by their Christian ancestors UNESCO, in 2002, added the St. Catherine area to its World Heritage List, which includes: St. Catherines Monastery, Mount Sinai, Mount Catherine and other smaller religious and archaeological sites. The World Heritage Committee justified the sites inscription based on the cultural criteria that the site is sacred to three world religions and demonstrates an intimate relationship between natural grandeur and spiritual commitment. Sinai may be briefly characterized by the following historic stages and dates: 30,000 BC- Evidence of most probably the oldest settlement, found in the north of Sinai.
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3100 BC- Artifacts contained there indicate the date of the first dynasty, in which Mena unites the two kingdoms of Egypt. 2500 BC- A heterogeneous nomadic horde from western Asia (the Hyksos) crossed Sinai to invade Egypt. Throughout the Hyksoss occupation there was no Egyptian activity found in the mines and quarries of Sinai. 1400 BC- According to Biblical references, Moses wandered for many decades in the region of Sinai, where it is believed he led approximately half a million Israelites to Mount Sinai, and that here God spoke to Moses. This is also the place that has drawn millions of pilgrims for more than a thousand years.

Since Biblical Scripture does not give clear indication of it, scholars differ widely over where to place Mt. Sinai. The traditional location (Jebel Musa), is in southern Sinai, but some believe that this is too distant from the Nile Delta for the Israelites to have traveled in the time described in the Bible, and others believe that it is located on the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba, in what is Saudi Arabia today.

332 BC- Troops of Alexander the Great marched through Sinai in order to conquer Egypt. ~0 AD- The Virgin Mary with her child Jesus crossed Sinai, escaping from and returning back to Palestine. ~550 AD- Saint Catherines Monastery was constructed by order of Emperor Justinian 1050 AD- Arabs invaded Egypt and penetrated Sinai (by Amr Ebn-Alas), where most of the inhabitants were converted into Islam. 1182 AD- Salah El-Din marched with troops across Sinai, entering Palestine through Aqaba. 1517 AD- The Turkish Sultan Selim invaded Egypt via the coast of Sinai. He built fortresses, filled them with Moorish soldiers, who were to protect pilgrims. In Aqaba today, there exist descendants of this race. 1858- Saeed Pasha established a quarantine for pilgrims in Tour City. 1869- The Suez Canal between the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Suez was opened with a length of 195 km. 1910- Oil exploration and extracting started. In 1921, petrol was finally discovered close to Abu Doria. 1948-1973- Political instability in Sinai 1979- Peace agreement between Egypt and Israel 1982- Multinational Force Observers are installed to secure any military activities. 1983- Ras Mohamed was the first and only Egyptian National Park declared, with an area of 97km. Since then it has been extended to 480km and includes marine and terrestrial areas (also on Tiran Island). 1989- March 15th, the small town of Taba, was handed over to Egypt. Sinai has much to offer, with such a rich diversity, representing the history of three major world religions, and offers an amazing journey for all types of travelers. Today visitors are encouraged to observe a trekkers code, which asks them to respect the areas religious and historical importance and the local Bedouin culture and traditions. There is a ban on removing any object, including rocks, plants and animals; animals may not be disturbed, the cutting or uprooting of plants, as well as writing, painting, or carving of graffiti-are not allowed. Tourists are also asked to respect the sanctity of the landscape and the right of pilgrims to a quiet, peaceful experience. Trekkers visiting the mountain regions are also required to be accompanied by local Bedouin guides, and the EEAA has produced a set of walking-guide books, and established a corps of Bedouin guides to assist visitors.
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Arabian Nights
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is known in English as the Arabian Nights, and this particular take is about Noor El Deen and Princess Nor-Alhaya.
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meet the legand

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Egypts Jewish Past... Pages of History



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Egypt's Jewish Past... Pages of History

Being a researcher of history and Egyptian, I have always been interested to understand the origin of Egyptian society and trace its development over history; a society that embraced divine religions, its citizens living side by side in miraculous harmony, in spite of its many differences, and the lapses that occurred due to various political interventions.
In Egypt, eyes will be dazzled by a marvelous church constructed next to a mosque, or a beautiful synagogue adjoining them, projecting an image that could have been drawn with true tolerance. Through the history of the Jewish community in Egypt, a living example of this story could be told of one of the oldest and newest Jewish communities in the world. From the first communications connecting Jews with Egypt, it is significant that the holy books: the Torah and the Quran, relate the flights of the prophets Abraham, Moses Jesus, Joseph, and others who all fled to Egypt for various reasons. Jewish people arrived in Egypt very early and during different periods. Documents written in Aramaic have been found on the island of Elephantine, in southern Egypt, covering the period of 495 to 399 BC, and distinguishing the lives of a community of Jewish soldiers stationed there. The largest waves of immigration to Egypt took place during the Ptolemaic era, especially to Alexandria, where Jews formed a notable portion of the citys population as the Ptolemies assigned them separate sections to enable them to maintain their laws separate of indigenous cultic influences. The Alexandrian Jews
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enjoyed a greater degree of political independence more than elsewhere, as they constituted an independent political community, side by side with that of the natives. During the Roman period, the city of Oxyrhynchus (modern Behneseh City in Upper Egypt) contained a Jewish community of some importance. However, the Jewish community in Alexandria seems to have revolted against the Roman Emperors as a part of a struggle regarding paganism, in which the worship of the Emperors was rejected by Jews as believers of one God. By the time of the Arab conquest, Copts and Jews, disgruntled by the corrupt Byzantine rule, showed their support of the Arabs. The Arabs came from a region known for being settled by Jewish tribes who had fair treaties with the Prophet Mohammed to live peacefully on the Arabian Peninsula, and allowed to preserve and practice their religion. The reign of the Fatimid Caliphate was a period in which Jews received remarkable care; a time when the foundation of Talmudic schools in Egypt was established. Jews settled in Fustat in large numbers and rose to high positions in society, such as

By Nermine Sami Degree in Archaeology Diploma in tour guiding freelaner tour guide, Egypt

the famous Jewish Abu al-Munajja ibn Shayah, who was at the head of the Department of Agriculture. However, during the reign of Caliph al-Hakim, Egyptians in general, seem to have suffered. Al Hakim was the sixth Fatimid caliph and most controversial member of the Fatimid dynasty. He issued many restrictive ordinances, targeting especially Jews, Christians and Muslim Sunnis, but became more tolerant during the 3rd period of his reign, ultimately allowing the unwilling Christians and Jews, who had converted to Islam, to return to their faith and rebuild their ruined houses of worship. During the Ayyubid dynasty, under the leadership of Saladin (1169- 1250 A.C), the Jews status was not highly affected during his wars with the Crusaders, and it was known that the Jewish doctor, Abu alBayyan al-Mudawwar, who had been physician to the last Fatimid ruler, also treated Saladin. It was a different situation under the Mamelukes (ruling 1250-1517), who, due to their more military nature, exercised a strict rule over the Jewish community, and therefore led a comparatively quiet existence, at times facing a strictness and cruelty in the collection of taxes, and the same policy suffered by other Egyptians. Fortunately, during the dynasty of Mohamed Ali (1769-1849), there was an intellectual raise in their status, as a Jewish observer noted that a great spirit of tolerance sustains the majority of Jews in Egypt. Jews from Europe began to immigrate to Egypt, and their numbers increased with the growth of trading prospects after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, where they were to constitute the commercial and cultural elite of the modern community. The reign of King Fuad I was also friendly to its Jewish population, as their leaders played important roles in the economy, and their population climbed to nearly 80,000. Jews lived along with Muslims and Christians in the same areas and not in occupational, geographic ghettos, and had much in common with each other. They spoke Arabic and were entrepreneurs, merchants and artists. Ren Qattawi, a leader of the Cairo Sephardic community, endorsed the creation of the Association of Egyptian Jewish Youth in 1935, with its slogan: Egypt is our homeland, Arabic is our language. Qattawi strongly opposed political Zionism and wrote a letter to the World Jewish Congress in 1943, in which he argued that Palestine would be unable to absorb all of Europes Jewish refugees. Amongst the
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famous Jewish Egyptian artists was Leila Mourad (1918-1995), a singer and actress, of Iraqi Jewish descent, who in 1953, was selected as the official singer of the revolution. She married a Muslim Egyptian actor, Anwar Wagdi, over the objection of her father, later choosing to convert to Islam. In 1948, a political crisis, after the founding of the State of Israel, difficulties multiplied for Egyptian Jews and began to affect Jewish relations with Egyptian society. With the rise of the Zionist movement and the increasing number of spy networks in Egypt, suspicions were raised as to the loyalty of Jews to Egypt, A Zionist plot, with a destructive mission, named Suzanna, was carried out in 1954, which involved the bombing the main post office of Alexandria, the American Information Services Office in Cairo, Cairos Railway Station, in addition to a number of major cinemas. The years un Nasser (1952-1970), who came to power as Colonel Abdel Nasser, after 1952 revolution, brought a new national view, who believed the monarchy had given more privileges to foreigners. Following Nassers nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1955, Great Britain, France and Israel declared war on Egypt in 1956, triggering the idea to evacuate Egypts Jews, especially targeting those involved in spying cases in support of the war. Almost half of the Jewish community left, and similar measures were enacted against British and French nationals in retaliation for the invasion. In the 1967, Israeli troops occupied Sinai and the eventual result was that the Jewish schools and synagogues were forcefully shut down and their private businesses were nationalized. In 1973, the Egyptian army launched the Yom Kippur War with Israel and succeeded in liberating Sinai, followed by a complete withdrawal by Israel armed forces and civilians from the rest of the Sinai Peninsula. A peace treaty, the Camp David Accords, was assigned in 1978 between the two countries, and witnessed by American President Jimmy Carter. The treaty led both Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, to share the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing peace between the two nations. Egypt since then has extended an open welcome policy with its neighbors, and though the Jewish population of Egypt was fewer than a hundred in 2004, it still preserves all the Jewish monuments as a part of its rich Egyptian heritage. Synagogues of Egypt Worship places for Jews

The archaeological evidence for the early existence of synagogues in the ancient world comes from Egypt, as evidenced by a stone synagogue dedication inscription dating from the third century BCE. However, only a few of the numerous synagogues have survived in Cairo and Alexandria nowadays, and those which have not been sold by the communities, generally in ruins, are under the authority of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. About fifteen Jewish monuments are considered part of Egypts archaeological heritage There are actually several different terms for a Jewish place of worship. A synagogue is the more known which means assembly, But the Hebrew term is beit knesset (literally, house of assembly), but its rarely used. The Orthodox language typically uses the word shul which is Yiddish. The word is derived from a German word meaning school, and emphasizes the synagogues role as a place of study. But the word temple is used by Reformed Jews because they consider every one of their meeting places to be equivalent to, or a replacement for the Temple. A synagogue is a beit tefilah; a house of prayer. It is the place where Jews come together for community prayer services. Jews can perform prayers anywhere; however, there are certain prayers that can only be said in the presence of a quorum of 10 adult men, and tradition teaches that there is more merit to praying with a group than praying alone.
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There is no set architectural design for synagogues, and the shapes as well as interior designs of synagogues vary greatly. In fact, the influence from other local religious buildings can often be seen in synagogue arches, domes and towers. Synagogue architecture has blossomed recently, as Jewish communities wish to show their newly acquired status as citizens by constructing magnificent synagogues. All synagogues contain a Torah ark (the heikhal [ temple] by Sephardim), which is a table from which the Torah is read, and a desk for the prayer leader. This is the holiest spot in a synagogue, equivalent to the Holy of Holies. The Menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, is another traditional features inside the synagogue, and is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith, called the ner tamid ( ,) the Eternal Light, used as a reminder of the western lamp of the menorah of the Temple in Jerusalem, which always remained miraculously lit. There is also in the Orthodox synagogues feature a partition called (Mechitzah) dividing the mens and womens seating areas, or a separate womens section located on a balcony. The synagogue may be decorated with artwork, but in the Rabbinic and Orthodox tradition, threedimensional sculptures and depictions of the human body are not allowed, as these are considered akin to idolatry. There are few emblems which may be used that are

characteristically Jewish: the interlacing triangles, the lion of Judah, flower forms, and Hebrew script. By far the most important religious decorative element would be The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David which is a generally recognized as a symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism. Its usage as a sign of Jewish identity began in the middle Ages, though its religious usage began earlier. Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles. One triangle represents the ruling tribe of Judah and the other the former ruling tribe of Benjamin. It is also believe to have derived from medieval (11th to 13th century) Jewish protective amulets (segulot). The most well known and remarkable synagogues in Egypt are: Synagogue of Eliahou Hanabi, 1850 (located in Nebi Daniel Street, Alexandria) built on the location of a very old synagogue, and is the only synagogue open to services. Synagogue of Ben Ezra (Old Cairo, Fustat), one of the most interesting sacred sites of Old Cairo is now restored and opened as a tourist site. According to local tradition, it is located on the site where the basket of baby Moses was found, and in which there has been a Jewish community in Old Cairo since the time of Moses. The first Synagogue in this location was destroyed when the Romans took Egypt, and during the time of the Arab conquest in 641 AD, it was given to the Copts to build a church dedicated to St. Michael. However, in the twelfth century, it was given back to the Jews in 882 CE for 20,000 dinars by Abraham ibn Ezra, the great Rabbi of Jerusalem. This was the synagogue where the Geniza, or store room documents were found in the 19th century that contained a treasure of Hebrew sacred manuscripts. The collection is known as the Cairo Geniza. These documents are now archived in various American and European libraries. A geniza is a place in a synagogue where ritual objects and sacred books no longer in use are put aside or buried. There were some 250,000 documents found here, included a copy of the Torah dating to the fifth century BC written on gazelle-hide. Many of these documents were written in the Arabic language using the Hebrew alphabet, and illustrates how colloquial Arabic of this period was spoken

and understood. They also demonstrate that the Jewish creators of the documents were part of their contemporary society, practicing the same trades as their Muslim and Christian neighbors. As a whole, the synagogues of Egypt have been the focus of much attention over the past few years, from the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who funded the restoration of the most significant Jewish landmarks in an attempt to enrich Egypts heritage. But Jewish buildings are still empty of the people who once filled them; the non-Jewish visitors need to get permission of entry from the Supreme Council of Antiquities, claiming their reason of visit, and permission from the Jewish community which supervises these synagogues.


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Sanctuary of Las Lajas Location: Ipiales, Colombia When built: 1949

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Egyptians Pride and Sorrrow

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Egyptians Pride and

Christianity began in Egypt around 2000 years ago, as is evidenced by the vast number of artifacts, such as textiles, manuscripts, metal work, icons and objects of daily life, decorated with Christian symbols, which relate to the presence of personal faith in almost every aspect of life. Unfortunately, due to specific customs of the Coptic Church, these religious relics, taken from places of worship are no longer in our hands, and no longer accessible. Throughout their long-term use down through the ages, they have been systematically destroyed by fire, at times due to the fear of falling into profane hands, and others, for the fact that anointing oils were burned inside them. Old icons were used to contain the fire in order to prepare the Holy Myron, or the holy oil used in the Sacrament. This oil should boil an entire evening over a moderate fire made from olive trees or old icons, and similarly for old silver and bronze vessels. This church custom may explain the lack of objects found from the 7th to the 18th century AD. Were all deeply indebted to a man who had the vision and persistence that enabled him to toil ceaselessly to save this unique human heritage of our ancestors and complete a missing link of our common history as Muslims and Christians. He was Marcus Sumaika Pasha (1864 1944), who had a deep interest in antiquities as a youth and visited Coptic churches and monasteries all over Egypt, from the north in Rosetta, to the south in Khartoum. He negotiated with both government and churches, to rescue this heritage from apathy and negligence. Finally, he founded the Coptic Museum which opened formally in 1910 and is the only museum today established by an Egyptian (the three other main museums, the Egyptian, Greco Roman and Arab art museums were all founded by Europeans). According to some historians, in the early years of Christianity in Egypt, two important dates arise, both considered the beginning of the Christian era in Egypt. The first was 313 AD, when Emperor Constantine I, who ruled over the Western Roman Empire, issued the Edict of Milan, which announced that it was proper for Christians to have the freedom to follow and practice their own religious beliefs. Afterwards Christians were free to worship openly and play a role in society. The second date was 391 AD, when Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the established religion and shut down all pagan temples in Egypt. The flight of the Holy Family to Egypt occurred in the early years of the first century (according to the gospel of Matthew) and lasted for over 3 years. Christ was just an infant at this time, but he was said to have performed some exceptional deeds during the journey like healing the sick and resurrecting the dead. It is known that St. Mark the Evangelist arrived to Egypt around the middle of the first century AD and began to preach the gospel that he wrote, as well as the fact that Anianus was the first Egyptian who converted to Christianity. Although St. Mark spent only a few years in Alexandria, it was sufficient time for him to plant the first seeds of Christianity in Egypt and to establish the first church before he was martyred at the hands of the pagans who felt the threat of a rising Christianity on their existence of their gods.
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By: Mohamed Akl Director of Conservation Tanta National Museum Egypt

Around this time Christianity flowered in Egypt, yielding a remarkable and enduring spiritual legacy, reflecting the spirit of Jesus message, which was the propagation of love and peace for all mankind. Some may wonder how was it possible for this new monotheistic religion of one god to be accepted into a society used to worshiping a polytheistic pantheon of pharaonic gods for thousands of years, which seemed in many ways more related to much of Greek and Roman thought. One could believe Christianity to be more acceptable in Palestine, which was the cradle of this new religion, but for many researchers, it seems an incredible effort to imagine Christianitys acceptance in Egypt, an ancient culture, backed with great and long-established cultural, historical and religious traditions. It seems strange that it was in Egypt that this new creed had its greatest impact on religion; for it was here that Christianity made its starting point, from where it flourished and spread all over the entire empire. There are parallels between the two religions, Christianity and the Egyptian pharaonic religion: the three dimensional world of deities (the Trinity: Isis, Horus and Osiris); the possibility of blending humans with gods (the pharaoh was considered the son of a god); the key of life and eternity (the Egyptian ankh, the Christian cross); resurrection and the hereafter (Osiris was the god of doomsday); having birth without a physical relation (Isis was pregnant from her dead husband), and so on. There are many of similarities between the ancient Egyptian religion
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and the Egyptian (Coptic) understanding of Christianity. Noteworthy, as well was that Egypt was a part of the international Roman Empire which established religious rules based on multiplicity and toleration towards the local religions and gods of each territory that were annexed to the empire. This strategy was described as the bright facet of the Hellenistic faith, when compared to Roman tolerance that initially gave the opportunity to Christianity to burgeon and grow, but was not to last forever. The Roman empire soon felt threatened and no longer willing to accept a rising religious faction to sever the homogeneity of an empire that extended over most of Europe and Asia. Aggressive and violent measures were carried out against Christians according to imperial edicts issued to forbid and eradicate the Christian faith. Examples ring clear from the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus, in which persecutions led to countless deaths, the majority of which were thought to be Christians. The worst of these waves of persecutions was during the reign of Emperor Diocletian who issued four edicts resulting in the greatest number of martyrs. Christians in Egypt considered the year 284 (Diocletians accession to the throne), as the starting base of their calendar, and named the Year of Martyrs or Anno Martyrum (AM) to immortalize the memory of martyrs, and as a type of challenge against the imperial authority. Many stories describe the strength of faith and fortitude of those martyrs who were will-

ing to die for their belief, dreaming of salvation and reaching the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus promised. Another consequence of this long era of persecution and mass purges against Christians was that it drove many Egyptians (Copts) to escape into the desert, where they began a new life of monasticism. St Paul was the first monk who decided to withdraw from ordinary life and adopt a life of solitude, asceticism, contemplation and prayer (anchorite). It was around the middle of the third century, during the time of Emperor Decius and his successor Valerianus that appears the name of St Antony the Great, who was claimed as the father of the monastic movement. His life was recorded by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria in the early 4th century; Athanasius wrote Antonys biography to inform monks about the glorious life of the Egyptian hermits, and the fame of St. Antony and other Egyptian monks became favored reading material across Mediterranean countries after it was translated into Latin. These stories succeeded in encouraging Christians from all over the old world to come to Egypt to view, record and participate in these customs of spiritual life, entirely dedicated to god. The first monastery in the world was founded by Pachom (292 346 AD) who set up the rules for monks daily and religious lives. Pachom was claimed as having established 11 monasteries with over 5000 monks during his life.


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Monasteries were not just places for worship and solitude, but also provided a creative milieu for the production of art works, as well as making certain monks well known for their handicraft skills, which were passed on from one generation to another. The era of persecution witnessed an enormous increase in the number of monks in Egypt, as monasticism was perceived as both a way to escape persecution, and as a symbolic movement to live as a living martyr. Some other believers chose a life of asceticism for personal motives, based on their understanding of specific verses of the bible and withdrew from ordinary life to pursue the way of mortification and solitude, learning to resist all physical temptation, to secure the salvation of their souls. Concerning the indelible impact of the Coptic Church on Christianity, one must mention that during the long years of persecution against pagan believers, the church faced a great dilemma in confronting the logic, philosophy, and mythology of Greek culture. The only recourse was to study and understand the great cultural heritage of the Greeks (including philosophy, logic, poetry, geometry), and use it as weapon to defend the new religion against the pagan offensive attacks. In response to this challenge the church of Alexandria established the catechetical school, which was one of the greatest accomplishments to affect Christianity. There is no accurate date for its origin, but the school was first mentioned in 180 AD, according to Eusebius of Caesarea, and it generated many of the greatest early Christian theologians like Pantaenus and Clement of Alexandria. The most renowned one was Origen, who studied at the school and became the most prominent theologian and author. His thoughts and theological opinions, much respected by the people, remained a matter of great debate two centuries after his death. After many years living together, sharing the same land, the same history and the same passions, as two elements of one nation, Muslims and Christians (as well as other minorities), must come to terms with their hostile attitudes towards each other, as these hostilities have flared up in constant sectarian incidents all over the country, especially within the past few decades. Some believe that the continued flare ups to be attributed to the failure of the ruling regimes in Egypt, in which the diversity of the people results in a kind of fanaticism and extremism on both

sides, rather than resulting in a combined effort using the talents of such a diverse group, notwithstanding the recent movement of emigration to the gulf countries, which helped to import different religious habits and a different understanding of our Muslim religion, conflicting with the moderate spirit of Islam that we had in Egypt. Those not Egyptian will not be familiar with the many Egyptians who return from working in the Gulf countries (Dubai, Saudi Arabia, for example), with a much stricter interpretation of Islam than is practiced in Egypt. After reflecting back over the years on what we were taught in Egypt about Christianity, during the long years of education, I realized it was nothing, and even the Christian demands to establish an independent department in our specialized colleges, to teach the Christian arts of Egypt was always rejected. Even though the Coptic language is the last form of the ancient Egyptian language, and the source of a native pride for all of us, it was completely neglected, and only used in some religious rites inside the church. Even now, the word Copts is used in an incorrect manner, as the word was derived from the Greek word (Eigyptos), which originally meant Egyptians, and doesnt refer to any religion. It is time to face this critical issue, which will never be resolved in this absence of awareness, transparency and justice. Now is the time to learn and understand the Coptic religion, in its true sense, as a philosophy that does not tolerate hate and discrimination, as all religions proclaim. The education necessary to restore our relationship with our own past and to restore our relationship with the rest of Egypt was destroyed during the time of the outgoing regime. However, on the eve of a new era, a new regime, and an opportunity for a new beginning for all, we should create a new vision and establish human values that enable us to understand and accept others, to realize that were all part of the worldwide human family. There are many beautiful Coptic archaeological sites all over Egypt, never before seen images inside churches that should be the focus of future touristic excursions. Protecting and promoting such sites would benefit Egypt and would be of interest to Christians and others worldwide. Old conflicts and misconceptions are hard to overcome, and will take time, but hope is the best word for our generation. Let us hope.


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Temple de la Sagrada Familia Location: Barcelona, Spain When built: 2026; Height: 170
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Archaeology today Forthcoming Archaeological Events

) May, June, July 2012(

Conferences & Symposia:

An Esoteric Quest for The Mysteries and Philosophy of Antiquity The New York Open Center and the BA Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center )AlexMed( presents the international conference entitled An Esoteric Quest for Ancient Alexandria: Greco-Egyptian Birthplace of the Western Mind, aiming to bring vividly to life the most influential center of culture and esoteric wisdom in antiquity, the authentic birthplace of the Western mind. The conference also includes expeditions to sacred sites in and around Alexandria, and evenings featuring cultural presentations of music and poetry.

1) Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs ,At Pacific Science Center May 24, 2012-January 6, 2013
On display for the last time in North America!

The exhibition features more than 100 objects from King Tuts tomb and ancient sites representing some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. With more than twice the number of artifacts than the original Tut exhibit that toured in the 1970s, Among the highlights is the largest likeness of King Tut ever discovered: a three-meter )10( statue of the pharaoh found at the ruins of a funerary temple. many of these objects have never toured in the United States before this exhibit.

2) The State Library of Victorias 2012 exhibition Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond
More than 60 rare Persian, Mughal Indian and Ottoman Turkish illustrated manuscripts from the 13th to the 18th century from the collections of the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, as well as related editions of European literature, travel books and maps. These works come from one of the richest periods in the history of the book and shed light on the artistic and literary culture of Persia, showcasing classic Persian tales and revealing the extent to which Persian language and culture was embraced by neighboring empires, as well as parallels in the work of European writers dating back to Shakespeare, Chaucer and Dante. Visitors will see works by such poets as Nizami, Jami, Firdausi, Rumi and Hafiz, as well as the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and The 1001 Nights. A conference on Persian Cultural Crossroads will be held April 1214.
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia through July 1st.

Oxford, England July 2nd


Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond (2) Exhibition, will be held at the Bodleian Libraries,
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3) The Rylands Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context

March 27September 30, 2012, At the Metropolitan Museum of Art This is the third in a series of installations focusing on one masterwork of Hebrew manuscript illumination from a national or international collection. This spring, the featured work comes from the John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England.

4) Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in IslamiWorld

A travelling exhibition of objects and art from the Aga Khan Museum collections, will run from 30th March to 29th June 2012 at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition is divided into six sections: Sacred Typographies, which explores the sites and monuments of Islamic pilgrimage through paintings and drawings; Religious and Funerary Architecture, which examines mosques and commemorative shrines; The Fortress and the City, which encompasses forts and fortified towns; The Palace, which looks at the residences of royal families; Gardens, Pavilions and Tents, which discusses the arts of shelter; and Architecture and the Written Word, which focuses on architectural spaces contained in miniature painting.

5) 2012 Meeting of the Society for Africanist Archaeologists

Gifts of the Sultan : The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts is a major international exhibition exploring Islamic art through the universal act of gift giving. Divided between personal gifts, pious donations and diplomatic offerings, the exhibit features over 200 items from the eighth century to the present. - Runs through June 2nd

Palaeopathology Workshop
August 29th-30th 2012, The Natural History Museum in London, UK

A workshop to be held at The Natural History Museum )London(, organised by The Natural History Museum and the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, The University of Manchester, as part of a joint project. A two day workshop to be held at The Natural History Museum, London, UK The first Archaeological Survey of Nubia published its final report just over 100 years ago, drawing to a close one of the largest set of palaeopathological investigations ever carried out. The human remains from this and other such studies during the last century have granted us incredible insights into the lives and deaths of the ancient Nubians and their neighbours to the north, the Egyptians. The skeletons and mummies of these two great civilisations have also helped drive the development of palaeopathology as a discipline.

By Noha A.Qotb
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WWA Campaigns to Save Global Heritage

As hundreds of rare, exquisite archaeological sites are threatened around the world, WWA )WORLD WIDE ARCHAEOLOGY( mounted a massive campaign to shed light and provide a physical record on these historic sites in order to focus the public's attention on them in an effort to preserve these precious sites. Now that the regime has turned more pro-active in protecting and preserving this valuable cultural heritage, we, too, aim at awakening our readers to the grim prospect that a pivotal primary source of ancient heritage might just vanish in a few years. "Saving our Vanishing Heritage" explores the challenges facing our most significant and endangered archaeological and heritage sites in the developing worldand what we can do to save thembefore they are lost forever. Please join us to support Saving Our Vanishing Heritage!


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. ( ) 565 / 9611 985 / 3911 217 - 2131 . ( ) . . . . ( ). .

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AL HAYAH is committed to working with the local population of the

Farafra Oasis in Egypts western desert, through participatory methods, acknowledging the need for strong community and public participation. Essential to attaining any goals of economic and socio-cultural development is the necessity for all people, and groups to be involved in the development process. AL HAYAH seeks to implement a variety of projects aimed at assisting the disadvantaged groups of the community, while striving to maintain the natural environment of the White Desert.

Cultural Heritage:
Protecting the cultural heritage of the Bedouins, while providing assistance to raise their standard of living, through projects and events, and by promoting the production of traditional arts and crafts, are some of the major objectives of AL HAYAH.

Income Generation:
Like other Western Desert oases, Farafra is famous for its crafts, beautifully embroidered clothes, wool products, carpets and hand thrown pottery.

Gender and Development:

Al Hayah is committed to building the potential of women in Farafra by organizing a womens association to provide opportunities for economic empowerment, public health education, and literacy improvement.

Cultural Events:
Al Hayah plans to organize several cultural events, such as music festivals to showcase local Bedouin musical talent and bands from all over the country. Cultural seminars and competitions will also be organized.


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Response to

WWAs Campaign to Save Cultural Heritage

WWA got an immediate response to its campaign of saving the cultural heritage of an
Aphrodite Temple. Since the launching of the Save the Temple of Aphrodite Campaign, the plight of this National Treasure has gained worldwide attention regarding the acts of desecration proposed by the property owner and local officials.

Within days of our original press release, the campaign to save this irreplaceable monument, spread across the Internet, causing outrage amongst Greeks and Philhellenes throughout the United States, Australia and Europe. A few months ago, the temple of Aphrodite didnt resemble an archaeological site. It looked like a dump at the centre of Thessaloniki.
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Some citizens got organized through the Internet and petitioned through the archaeological department to be given permission for the cleaning of the site. The archaeological department first had the removed, then gave permission on the 28th of February, for the citizens to start cleaning the place. The results were wonderful and the site has now begun to show the reverence it deserves. The issue concerning this widely known and rare temple has been put forward to Greek Parliament members Eva Kaili and Chrysa Arapoglou, for which the Ministry of Culture now awaits a reply. We hope that the two ladies from Thessaloniki will become an example for the rest of politicians of Greece. The World Heritage Convention is not only words on paper, but is, above all, a useful instrument for concrete action in preserving threatened sites and endangered species. By recognizing the outstanding universal value of a site threatened by dangerous procedures, we should take immediate action to address the situation. Such actions, incidentally, have led to many successful restorations in the past. The World Heritage Convention is also a very powerful tool to rally international attention and actions, through international safeguarding campaigns.


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A campaign launched by the Egyptologist, Bassam El Shamaa, demanding the return of five masterpieces to their homeland, Egypt. He aims to collect over a million signatures with this campaign through the social network. Those five masterpieces are: Hem-Iuno, the Nefertiti Bust, the Turin Papyrus, the Cleopatra Coin and the Tar Khan linen dress.

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recommended books

Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology
Book Description Publication Date: March 31, 2010 Art and Judaism During the Greco-Roman Period explore the Jewish experience with art during the Greco-Roman period-from the Hellenistic period through the rise of Islam.It discusses ways that modern identity issues have sometimes distorted and at other times refined scholarly discussion of ancient Jewish material culture. Art and Judaism, the first historical monograph on ancient Jewish art in forty years, evaluates earlier scholarship even as it sets out in new directions. Placing literary sources in careful dialogue with archaeological discoveries, this New Jewish Archaeology is an important contribution to Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, Art History, and Classics. The Revised Edition includes a new introduction, additional images, and color plates.

Morocco: Courtyards and Gardens

Book Description

Publication Date: December 1, 2007

In the North African land of Morocco, every dar-dwelling, religious institution, or commercial building is organized around an interior, walled courtyard that provides privacy from the bustle of urban streets and an outdoor space for social interaction and tranquil meditation. Over the course of centuries, ornamental schemes have evolved to incorporate not only native plant life but also intricate water features and patterned tile work known as zellij, all of central significance to the Moroccan culture and climate.


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Mihrab (Gen.) Niche used to indicate the direction of prayer in Mosques. Minar (Gen.) Minaret; tower-like structure associated with Mosques, used for the adhan, the call to prayer. Minbar (Gen.) Pulpit. Mishkah (Ar.) Niche for a lamp. Caravanserai (Gen.) combined hostel and trading centre, providing accommodation for travellers, merchants and animals, found both in towns and along major trade routes. Dome -A dome is a curved roof structure, with no angles or corners, which encloses a large amount of space without the help of a single column. Domes are very strong structures, usually in the shape of a hemisphere and sometimes in a bulbous, pointed onion shape.

A.D. Represents years in the Christian Era. Anno Domini. Iconography- A set of specified or traditional symbolic forms associated with the subject or theme of a stylized work of art. Cathedral- Refers to the function of a church, not its architectural style. A cathedral is a church that serves as a bishops headquarters, so to speak. Its called a cathedral because it contains his cathedral (chair). The city in which the cathedral is located is the bishops see. In this usage, the word see comes from a Latin word meaning seat. The city is the bishops see in the sense that a city might be the seat of government. Chapel A chapel can either be an alcove with an altar in a large church, or a separate building that is smaller than a full-sized church. Chapels have the same function as church buildings and are equipped the same way, but they are usually dedicated to special use. For example, a large estate might have a chapel in which worship services are held for family members, staff, and guests. If a church builds a new and larger sanctuary, but keeps the old one, the old one is often called a chapel. Sacristy- A room attached to a church for the storage of sacred vessels and vestments. Usually also a robing room for the clergy.

Dead Sea Scrolls texts that were written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic between the 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE, comprise many different types, including the oldest known biblical texts, and were discovered in 1947 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, in Qumran. Synagogue A Jewish house of prayer. Torah - Torah literally means teaching, but the word usually refers to the first five books of the Bible or a hand-written scroll containing the Hebrew text of those books. Mishnah - A compilation of rabbinic interpretations of Jewish law. Lamelekh- A Hebrew inscription found on ancient seals that means belonging to the king.
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Under the aegis of German Week 2012, the Cairo Department of the German Archaeological Institute held the following event:

Open Day at DAI Cairo:

Archaeology ... Hands-on!

Uncovering the hidden history of Egypts past

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present day Egypt you meet the past with every step you take. But how can we really understand a millennia-old culture? How does archaeology help us to shed light on a long past era? And what does history actually feel like? In order to answer these questions the German Archaeological Institute dedicates this evenings event to introduce not only itself and its projects, but also the methods of modern Egyptology. Everybody, particularly children, are warmly invited to explore ancient Egypt with exciting interactive games, fascinating yet brief talks, and an informative poster !exhibition. Experience the adventure of archaeology! There is so much to discover The workshop featured activities such as simulated excavation, handling artifacts, presentations by instructors, archaeology games and puzzles, writing on papyrus, building a pyramid using paper and the restoration of pottery as well. Children explored archaeological methodology and were taught about archaeology, .allowing participants to connect with history the way an archaeologist does



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The Arts and Crafts Project in the Balady Handicraft Center in Qurna was based on the initiative of Abd El-Hamid Osman Taia Daramalli (called Abdu Osman) a native and active participant of over 20 years of archeological expeditions on the west side of the Nile. The Qurna Balady Handicraft Project started in 2006. The project wishes to create the opportunity, above all and to promote the craft skills of the inhabitants, and the training of its young people. In order to achieve these goals, a large market area was built together with workshops, including a showroom designed by Gnter Heindl, an excavation specialist. The center houses a kitchen, showroom, bathrooms, and studio areas, all arranged around an inner court in the style of a caravan seria.

If you are interested to buy our products please contact the following address: or Abd El-Hamid Osman Taia Daramalli or Elina Paulin-Grothe

Thank you for your interest

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BioVision Conference
. " ".


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Biovision Alexandria, 2012

ioVisionAlexandria (BVA) is an international event organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in partnership with the World Life Sciences Forum, BioVision. It is a continuation of the tradition started by BioVision 1999, in Lyon, France, where the BioVision Alexandria Conference has been held bi-annually every even year, alternating with the World Life Sciences Forum held in Lyon, since 2004.

BioVision Alexandria is an important gathering that brings together distinguished speakers and Nobel Laureates from the four corners of the globe through rich discussions that commemorate science and the finest achievements of the human intellect. It includes representatives of the greatest minds in the realms of industry, science, policy-making, media and civil society. The ultimate goal is to provide a platform to exchange information and dialogue, so as to explore the different ways in which life sciences can help to meet the challenges facing us in the 21st century; a vital step for global economic development to improve the quality of life for all.

BioVisionAlexandria aims to increase the participation of developing countries in this important global dialogue. As the BA is a key player in building bridges and fostering dialogue, BioVisionAlexandria presents a unique opportunity for North-South collaborations by bringing new scientific knowledge to the South.

The conference focuses on three major themes: Health, Food and Agriculture, and Environment. It features a special exhibition entitled BioFair@BioVisionAlexandria, and a Poster Session for young researchers and scientists. It also features an interactive event in collaboration with the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) for young researchers from the developing world entitled TWAS/BVA.Nxt. This event takes place during the two days preceding the BioVisionAlexandria conference. The young scientists are also invited to attend and participate actively in the BioVisionAlexandria Conference, where they are offered the opportunity to showcase their projects and research in a poster session held during the Conference.
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s a conservator working at the Egyptian Museum-Cairo, I decided to present a poster on: The Impacts of Climate Changes and Environmental Pollution on the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The Egyptian Museum is located in the worldwide famous El-Tahrir Square, and is characterized by a high concentration of airpollutants. This study examines one year case study- the internal and external conditions of the museum building and its collected archaeological treasures inside and out, by taking into account the micro climatic conditions of the region. The air toxic emissions of vehicles (e.g. Co2), number among the main causative agents of decay on ornamental calcareous stones, increase the superficial erosion of the artifacts, and cause various cases of deterioration and alterations for organic and in-organic artifacts, as well.

Vibrations generated from the underground metro, seepage of groundwater from capillary action, with salt crystallizations and dissolutions, temperature, humidity, and biological contamination, all threaten our cultural heritage. Tourism has a direct negative impact, with over 6500 visitors per day, who release heat, vapor and Co2. The natural ventilation allows dust, pollution, gases and non-filtered light coming from the diffused glass panels on the ceiling and from the windows to enter into the museum. A new renovation plan has been suggested to overcome the above-mentioned problems. There should be increased pressure from the government to control building environments in a globally sustainable manner. Correctly installed and maintained mechanical ventilation should be allocated to improve good air quality and gaseous Hepa filters should be used to reduce air-pollutants. Air purifying plants are recommended for removing gaseous pollutants from indoor air, which have been found to have the greatest air cleaning abilities, could maximize this purification method. An oxygen-free environment could be applied on important objects as a preventive conservation method to save our heritage for future generations. Serious environmental preservation plans should be considered for the square area outside, in order to protect this part of the museum, as well.


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Museum Lovers, Come Celebrate International Museum Day With US!

Four Egyptian Museums On-the-Spot:

The The The The

Children's Museum Crocodile Museum Nubian Museum Suez National Museum

Special Coverage on the Journey of the Hajj Exhibition

at the British Museum, London


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Suez Museum


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By Mohamed Sadek

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Malacca Straits Mosque Location: Malacca Island, Malacca, Malaysia When Built: 2006


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By Mohamed Sadek
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Suez Museum
Translated by Donya Azab

t a distance of 120km from Cairo, on the bank of the Suez Canal, in the governorate of Suez, stands the two-story pyramid shaped building of the Suez National Museum, which exhibits artifacts relating the story of the city throughout the ages, from prehistoric to modern times.

The museum concentrates on the history of the city throughout different eras, with special focus on the beginning of the canals construction by King Sesostris III, linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, via the Nile River. The city had an important role in trade and an important economic role in the mining projects during the prehistoric eras, in addition to being, at one time, the most important stop for pilgrims to the Holy Land. On display are 1500 of the museums rarest and most important artifacts. The idea of establishing a regional museum in Suez was in part, compensation for the loss of the old museum destroyed during the war of 1969 between Egypt and Israel. The artifacts of the old Suez Museum were rescued by the late museum curator, Abdel Hamid Gharib, who documented, packed and stored them inside sealed wooden boxes and sent them to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, thereby avoiding damage from the war. The museum is a two-storey building, separated by an open hall displaying a set of Greco-Roman and Islamic columns. The first floor includes a VIP lounge, a 100-seat auditorium, a cafeteria, a library, and a hall displaying the mummification process. The second floor houses six display halls dedicated to the Sesostris Canal, trading, mining, qualzam, the Mahmal (the delegation who travelled from Egypt to Mecca every year to offer a new cover for the Kaaba) and the Suez Canal. The scenario of the museum is very interesting as it depicts the story of the ancient canal dug by King Sesostris III, exhibited in the first hall, named The Sesostris Canal, which is a collection of artifacts and statues of the ancient Egyptian kings who helped establish and protect the canal. Also displayed are a collection of artifacts discovered in Wadi Gwasis which includes Sao, a port on the Red Sea. It also includes several texts from the reign of Hatshepsut depicting the return of her fleet from the land of Punt, from where she brought ebony, ivory, and frankincense trees. A set of blocks inscribed with the god Hapi, a symbol of the Nile is also exhibited. These blocks were discovered in the Awlad Moussa area in the Gulf of Suez and are evidence of Nile contact with a distant region at the time.

A collection of boats, statues of sailors, local and foreign pottery, are also displayed in the Trading and Sailing hall. Inside the museums Mining Mining Hall halls a range of Egypts industrial achievements are displayed. This exhibit includes relics from the mining of gold, silver, copper, lead, iron and precious stones. It also includes a model for furnace smelting. The Qualzam hall displays a part of the collection of the old Suez Museum, which was discovered in the Qualzam excavations. Its artifacts are related to the Greco-Roman era, and contain such items as personal accessories, makeup tools, glass and Coptic icons.
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EL Mahmal Hall By Mohamed Sadek

Mummification Hall

The fifth hall is called Mahmal,(caravanserai) and indicates the importance of the canal in the Islamic era. Its meaning signifies the journey of the caravanserai and the people who carried the woven cover produced in Cairo, to be placed on the Kaaba in Mecca each year. Three pieces of the Kaabas cover are on display, in addition to the last mahmal made in the reign of King Farouk, a collection of textiles and some writings from the writer Abdellah Zohdi, the most famous calligrapher in El Masjed El Nabawii (the Nabawi Mosque). The Suez Canal displays documents and paintings of Khedive Saeed, who issued the decree to dig the Canal, and Khedive Ismail, who inaugurated it. It also displays the royal vehicle used during the Canals inauguration, bronze and gold medallions issued for the occasion and a set of decorations and awards distributed for the occasion. A visit to the Mummification hall will complete ones tour of the Suez Museum. In a unique style, it exhibits the mummification process by displaying a statue of Anubis, god of the underworld, cemeteries, and the one responsible for mummification. Also on exhibit are various tools used in mummification process, such as offering tables, a votive stele, a collection of painted coffins, an amulet, and finally, the mummy of a priest. The museums building is surrounded by a garden, which includes two pools linked to a canal that represents the Suez Canal. The garden itself also contains various artifacts and there is also a
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cafeteria. In the large pool there is an interesting model of Hatshepsuts ship. On January 29, 2012, marking the first anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution, the Minister of State for Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim and General Abd El -Moniem Hashem, officially inaugurated the museum. Unfortunately the inauguration did not meet the desired expectations to fully advertise and market the museum locally and internationally, and invitations to foreign missions, to faculties of archaeology and their professors, to public figures, and to the archaeologists and personnel who assisted in the museum preparation, such as Dr. Mohamed Mustapha Abd El Majid, Mr. Mohamed Abd El Fattah, and Ms. Engi Fayed, were lacking. Disappointing as well, was the absence of honoring those who participated in completing this great edifice, such as Mr. Abd El Hamid Ghareeb, the curator of the old Suez Museum, who helped save the collection during the war, Ms. Somya El Morsi, the General Manager of Cultural Development at the museum, as well as Mr. Salah Sayed Ali , the former General Manager, Mr. Nasser Mohamed Nasser, the General Manager, and Tantas restoration team . Finally we must give a special thanks to the artist, Dr. Mahmoud Mabrouk, the museum display designer, who created each artifacts display, and added wonderful artistic touches to the museum, especially in the Mummification hall, and in the unique garden. Thank you sincerely for this museum.

You can now book your tour directly, spaces are still available on the following 2012 tours:
17 May 2012 - Exquisite Egypt Tour 8 September 2012 - Historical Highlights Tour 10 October 2012 - Ancient Adventure Tour 8 November 2012 - Exquisite Egypt Tour 7 December 2012 - Magnificent Monuments

Womens Tour To Egypt

For more information please visit our website at: As a special offer we are offering a 10% discount on all our 2012 tours if you mention reference: ARCH at the time of booking.
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The Nubian Museum

This museum presents the history and the culture of the Nubian people. You can find beautiful artifacts and learn about the sacrifices of the Nubians who suffered much during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

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Das Nubian Museum

Im frhen 1960 s nach dem Gebude des Staudammes von Aswan, bietete UNESCO ihre Hilfe der zum Rettung der Denkmler von Aegyptischem Nubia vor dem steigenden Wasser von Nassersee versenkte sie fr immer. Die Wiederaufnahme umfate Tausenden Gegenstnde und einige wichtige Tempeln zum hheren Boden. Wegen des Materials erholt von Grbern, Tempeln und Regelungen, UNESCO wurde im 1980 ein neues Nubian Museums in Aswan zu planen, in dem die Gegenstnde gespeichert werden . Es wurde allgemeinhin zu der Zeit geglaubt, dass sie so nah gehalten werden sollten, wie mglich zu ihren Hauptursprungsorten.

By Rasha Mansoor Tour guide Egypt

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Das Museum wurde eine Wirklichkeit und ffnete seine Tren im November 1997. Es wurde durch das Aegyptische Architekt Mahmoud Al-Hakim, ein mexikanischer Architekt Pedro Vasquez Ramirez entworfen. Das ganze Gebiet des Komplexes ist 50.000 Quadratmeter: 7.000 fr das Gebude und 43.000 fr den Boden. Es zeigt in ungefhr 1500 Kunstprodukten an, welche in zeitlicher Reihenfolge die materielle Kultur von Nubia, von der Vorgeschichte zur Gegenwart zeigen. ein schneller Ausflug innerhalb des Museums. Viel Spass.


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Our dream of building an ecological hotel in an Egyptian oasis came true and we are proud to introduce our DESERT LODGE in Dakhla. DESERT LODGE is the result of the collective thinking of a team of international tourism experts - people who enjoy outdoor life and the beauty of the desert. Out of this love of nature, the WADI Co. was founded, operating under Egyptian-Swiss management, and introducing a new concept of desert lodges in the Egyptian desert. Our Lodge is built in the traditional style of the local architecture and situated on top of a nearby cliff. You will be amazed by the tranquility and the splendid view overlooking the unique village of Al Qasr and the distant sand dunes of the Sahara desert.

For reservations and inquiries contact our Cairo office: Desert Lodge 5 Saudi Egyptian Building El Nozha Street Heliopolis - Cairo - Egypt Tel +20 22 690 52 40, Fax +20 22 690 52 50



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The History of Nubia

Nubia extends along the Nile from the south of Aswan to the town of Dabba. The three Nubian villages that are set in a beautiful landscape of palm trees are located near the back of Elephantine Island. In Pharaonic times these villages were of great significance as they were an important source of gold. .
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Geschichte von Nubia

By Rasha Mansoor

Der Bereich jetzt benanntes Nubia verlngert entlang dem Nil vom Sden von Aswan auf die Stadt von Dabba,in der Naehe vom vierten Katarakt und verbindet gypten.

Der Name von Nubia wird zuerst in Strabos Geographica erwhnt ; der griechische Autor wird geglaubt, gypten C. 29 BC besichtigt zu haben. Die Etymologie des NamensNubia ist unsicher, aber einige Forscher glauben, dass es vom alten Aegyptischen nbu abgeleitet wird, und das Gold bedeutet und auch auf die Goldminen in Nubien sich bezieht. Der Name nbu wurde nicht in den alten Aegyptischen Texten erscheint . Sie beziehen sich auf Nubia im Allgemeinen als (Ta-Seti) d.h Land des Bow , ein freier Hinweis auf der Waffe bevorzugt von Nubien.
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Nubien litt viel unter dem Aufbau des zweiten Staudamm. Der esrte Staudamm wurde in 1912 errichtet und der zweite in 1931. Der Staudamm zerstoert alles in allem ihre Huser, die wegen der jhrlichen Flut verschwunden waren. die Regierung half ihnen, um ihre neuen Huser mit der gleichen alten Art des Schlammziegelstein Daches in der Form der Wlbungen und der Hauben zu errichten. Nubien haben eine Sprache von ihren Selbst. Es besteht aus koptischem Alphabet und einigen anderen Buchstaben, um ihre Tne zu verursachen.

Mit Aussehen des Christentums mitten in dem 6 Jahrhundert und Islam im 13. Jahrhundert, wird Arabisch noch bis heute verwendet. Jedoch erscheinen viele Dialekte wie (Fadiga, Kenzi, Sikut, Mahas, Dongolawi) Heute 50.000 werden am Norden von Nubien in Komombo und Esna Aswan wieder hergestellt. eine virtuelle Tour um das Nubian Dorf.


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Kom Ombo Temple

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Crocodile Museum
Translated by Donya Azab Within the context of a plan by the Ministry of State for Antiquities to build museums at the countrys most significant archaeological sites, Egypts first ever crocodile museum was recently officially inaugurated. The museum is located in El Shateb, near the Ptolemaic Kom Ombo temple on the banks of the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan. The museum is considered the fourth open air museum in Egypt, besides three others, which are: the Museum of Merenptah, located on Luxors west bank, which displays artifacts and rare statues of King Merenptah, the Museum of Amenhotep, in Saqqara, which depicts the architecture of Egypt and the antiquities of Saqqara, and the Museum of Elephantine Island, which includes excavations of the German mission. The museum displays a group of mummified crocodiles, ranging from 6 to 7 meters long. As the crocodile was a symbol for the god Sobek, united with the god Horus, there was quite a large number of crocodiles found in the area, approximately 300.

Dr Mahmoud Mabrouk, the museums scenario and display designer, disclosed that the museum displays 40 crocodiles, 22 of which are exhibited in one large glass showcase, where the crocodiles are arrayed on a sand hill, which is a symbol for water and flooding. The exhibition also depicts the method of burying the crocodiles, and contains a model of a mud necropolis and a wooden ledge for placing the crocodiles.. A collection of, stele and wooden and faience statues of the crocodile-god Sobek and an offering table, along with crocodile fetuses and eggs, are also on display. Gold and ivory teeth and eyes that had been inserted into the dead crocodiles following mummification are also on display. Following the death of a crocodile, whether it be by killing or by natural means, the crocodile was treated like a venerable animal, mummified and then buried with all the official funerary rituals. The museum accommodates about 3000 visitors a day, and is considered the largest collection of crocodile mummies. A relationship between the temple and the museum is discernable, and as a supplement to the museum, there are displays of the statues of the god Horus, depicting his relationship to the god Sobek, whom imaginative visitors may deem responsible for the construction of our own crocodile museum..
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Cathedral of Segovia Location: Segovia, Spain When built: 1577; Height: 90


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Journey to the Heart of Islam, British Museum, London

. Examining the extraordinary travel logistics involved and how the wider operation of the event has changed over time, the exhibition compares how pilgrims over the centuries negotiated this often monumental undertaking and how it continues to be experienced by people from all corners of the globe today.Beautiful objects, including historical and contemporary art, textiles and manuscripts, bring to life the profound spiritual significance of the sacred rituals.
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Una mostra e la sua didattica:

Journey to the Heart of Islam, British Museum, London 26 Gennaio 15 Aprile 2012
Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam il titolo di una interessante mostra
dedicata allHajj, il pellegrinaggio alla Mecca (Makkah) scopo centrale dei fedeli allIslam. Levento conclude la serie di tre mostre promosse dal British Museum di Londra, che hanno voluto puntare lattenzione sui viaggi spirituali ed stata possibile grazie alla collaborazione della King Abdulaziz Public Library, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; e da HSBC Amanah che ha contribuito affinch la mostra si facesse conoscere oltre i confini dellArabia Saudita. La King Abdulaziz Public Library una istituzione filantropica fondata nel 1985. E sostenuta da Re Abdullah Custode delle due sante Moschee, Presidente del Board of Directors. Lo scopo della biblioteca la diffusione della cultura nella societ saudita, enfatizzando sulla propria eredit e tradizione culturale araba e islamica e promuovendo la conoscenza del regno dellArabia Saudita e del suo re fondatore Abdulaziz al di l dei confini geografici. Per chi volesse approfondire la conoscenza dellIstituzione segnalo il sito ufficiale: www. Il secondo partner la banca HSBC, banca che si fatta carico dellintero programma di sponsorizzazione. La peculiarit di questo istituto finanziario avere contatti in tutto il mondo, da qui la volont di incoraggiare attraverso la sezione Cultural Exchange, lo scambio di idee in tutto il mondo per favorire e rafforzare relazioni culturali e commerciali in tutto il mondo. Per chi volesse saperne di pi:

By Cristiana Barandoni Gruppo di ricerca sul Restauro Archeologico Universit di Firenze, Italy

a mostra prender in considerazione lHaji come uno dei Cinque Pilastri fondamentali dellIslam, esplorando la sua importanza per i fedeli con particolare attenzione allevoluzione dellaspetto spirituale nellarco della storia. Saranno in esposizione una serie di oggetti provenienti da diverse collezioni tra i quali manufatti storici ma anche oggetti darte contemporanea che sottolineano non solo limportanza del pellegrinaggio attraverso i secoli ma la sua enorme diffusione geografica. La mostra, organizzata in collaborazione con la King Abdulaziz Public Library Riyadh si dipaner attraverso tre fili rossi: il viaggio del pellegrino con particolare attenzione alle strade, ai percorsi impiegati e la loro continuit duso nei secoli (dallAfrica, Asia, Europa al Medio Oriente); il pellegrinaggio oggi, i suoi rituali e cosa significa spiritualmente per il pellegrino per concludersi con la Mecca, punto darrivo del percorso, le sue origini e la sua grandezza. E scritto nel Corano, un sacro dovere per i musulmani di tutto il mondo, fare almeno una volta nella loro vita il viaggio verso la Mecca: il pellegrinaggio si svolge durante lultimo mese dellanno islamico, conosciuto come Dhul Hijja. Nel cuore del santuario si trova la Kaba, ledificio a forma di cubo che i musulmani ritengono fosse stato costruito da Abramo e da suo figlio Ismaele: fu proprio nella Mecca che il profeta Maometto ricevette le prime rivelazioni allinizio del VII CE.


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Di conseguenza la citt fu vista non solo come luogo di pellegrinaggio ma come centro spirituale fondamentale e cuore dellIslam. Gli stessi rituali non sono mai cambiati in tutti questi secoli e continuano ad essere accolti ed compiuti con una devozione cos profonda tale da riunire tutto il mondo islamico, al di l della provenienza o classe sociale dei pellegrini.


variet di oggetti sar messa in mostra: i prestiti includono documenti provenienti dallArabia Saudita quali una seetanah che copre la porta della Kaba cos come altri manufatti sia storici che contemporanei provenienti da musei chiave del regno saudita; si potranno anche ammirare oggetti provenienti dalle pi importanti collezioni sia pubbliche che private inglesi, e non solo, tra le quali la British Library e il Khalili Family Trust. Lesposizione di tutte queste opere sar in grado di evocare e documentare il lungo e periglioso cammino associato al pellegrinaggio, ai doni offerti al santuario come apice della personale devozione e i doni/regali portati invece indietro dallHajj. Essi comprendono reperti archeologici, manoscritti, tessuti, fotografie storiche e oggetti darte contemporanea. LHajj ha un profondo significato spirituale ed emotivo per i musulmani tanto da continuare ancora oggi a favorire un ampio numero di riscontri personali, letterari ed artistici, molti dei quali saranno esposti proprio in questa mostra. Di seguito alcuni oggetti in mostra: la prima illustrazione (foto 1) raffigura una mappa turca del 1650 che mostra la Kaba al centro del mondo
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ed tratta dal Tarih-i Hind-i Garbi. La seconda immagine (foto 2A B particolare) un vero e proprio capolavoro: una veduta della Mecca datata 1845 ed incredibile per accuratezza e completezza; eseguita ad inchiostro e acquerello da Muhammad Abdullah, il cartografo incaricato dallo Sharif della Mecca di dipingere i monumenti sacri del suo regno, un opera che combina brillantemente la planimetria della citt con una veduta a volo duccello di circa 60 gradi. Diversi documenti esposti nella mostra sono delle raffigurazioni di altri santuari quali ad esempio Medina e Gerusalemme, tutti finemente dipinti con acquerelli e inchiostri nero, oro e argento. Uno di essi raffigura sia la tomba del Profeta Maometto sotto la cupola verde il cui cenotafio drappeggiato con la tipica coperta a zig zag, che la tomba della figlia Fatima; il manoscritto datato tra il XVII e il XVIII secolo cos come suggerisce anche la veduta del Santuario della Mecca. Infine, un reperto degno di nota lo chamfron, una briglia risalente al XVIII secolo, di metallo forgiato con rivestimenti di cuoio, impreziosito da decorazioni doro e da pietre incastonate quali corniola, agata e giada



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dattici molto interessanti tra i quali specifiche dispense scaricabili online direttamente dalla pagina web del museo grazie alle quali possibile interagire, direi quasi fisicamente, con gli oggetti in mostra. E indubbia la semplicit dellapproccio ai materiali che non sono pi meri oggetti decontestualizzati e inseriti in uno dei tanti percorsi museali, mas sono vivi e comunicanti attraverso diverse tipologie di linguaggio e forme. Quella che prender in esame, tra le tante e svariate possibilit offerte in questa occasione dal British Museum, la scheda KS2 appositamente strutturata per un pubblico non specializzato i bambini che viene coinvolto in prima persona nellosservazione del reperto/oggetto. La scheda si articola su differenti livelli di approccio e analisi, ma tutti prevedono unattenta osservazione del manufatto che deve essere considerato in tutte le sue potenzialit espressive e di comunicazione; losservazione dellutente sollecitata fin dallinizio del percorso espositivo da una domanda: WHY TO GO TO MECCA? Quindi ancora prima della fruizione della galleria ci si deve porre la domanda sul perch del pellegrinaggio alla Mecca; segue una breve indicazione e si conclude con una sorta di word key dove si devono collegare appositi termini alla loro definizione. La seconda scheda riguarda tutti i preparativi per il viaggio ed arricchita da una figura a disegno in bianco e nero di uno zainetto da scuola (oggetto assolutamente fuori contesto ma assai comune e di velocissima comunicazione nellimmaginario del bambino concetto astratto il pellegrinaggio alla mecca che diventa quotidianit lo zainetto); attorno al concetto del viaggio si confrontano molto semplicemente anche le diverse tipologie di itin139 archaeology times

La mostra corredata di una serie di apparati di-

erari e mezzi di trasporto, dallantichit ad oggi, si passa poi dal mezzo di trasporto al concetto di sacralit che il viaggio comporta, e i rituali collegati, per concludersi con il ricordo e souvenir che il pellegrino porta con se al rientro. semplice, spazi lasciati aperti alla fantasia nella risposta che per non e non pu essere fuori contesto, in quanto il riempimento della scheda e non potrebbe essere altrimenti, per non invalidarne laspetto di conoscenza collegato allosservazione diretta. I musei del resto ma non assolutamente il caso di quello inglese in questione soffrono ancora troppo della matrice collezionistica dalla quale in parte alcuni ebbero origine: quadri, statue, argenti, mosaici si offrono alla vista talvolta muti, senza comunicare altro se non la loro specifica materialit e non profonda essenza storica. Lopportunit offerta da un meccanismo che assolutamente semplice ma mai semplicistico perch strutturato nei minimi dettagli, rende gli manufatti espressivi e comunicanti, rivelazione massima della storia e della loro essenza intrinseca che altrimenti resterebbe muta e polverosa. Una didattica generale che dovrebbe, anche a fasi pi profonde, essere applicata a tutti i musei del mondo e a tutti i livelli di apprendimento. I musei come le mostre non devono essere pi solo esclusivamente meta di pellegrinaggi di studiosi e cultori della materia ma devono aprire le porte a tutti e devono poter essere messi nella condizione di dialogare con lutente e non pi essere osservati e fruiti quale luogo distante e silenzioso ma realt pulsante, come vibrante stata la storia dellintera umanit che mai e poi mai bisognerebbe ridurre al silenzio di una vetrina (polverosa) di un museo.

Schede fortemente intuitive dalla grafica molto

The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center

. .
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The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center

Children the Future of Egypt

The children of Egypt have been the focus of the Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center since 1985. For the last six years the museum has been reconstructed covering a wider range of learning and age groups activities. The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center is the first and largest Childrens Museum in the Middle East capable of receiving 1 million eight to fifteen (8-15) year old children a year. This makes it possible for every child in Egypt to visit during their regular school day and bring their parents, as well, during the holidays.

Mission Statement
By Heba kheir el din External Relation Manager Children's Museum Egypt The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center provides Fun Interactive Learning for Children and Families The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center exists to empower children and give them a new vision for their future.

To create a sense of what Egypt is now and what it can be in the future through the hands of the Egyptian Children. To be a pioneer in the development of informal Childrens Education in Egypt and the Middle East.


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To empower shared values and team work To be a source of information and talent exchange To help children to learn how to participate to and identify with their community To help children build individual skills and give them a sense of empowerment to make their own lives in the community To provide quality family time and support all the teaching of the schools in Egypt

The Park
The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center is located on 14 acres inside Mature Parkland. The new project transforms this side of the park into a path of discovery through the historic landscape of the Nile Valley. The learning journey begins at the gate of the park and continues until children leave. The first step is to get children out from the chaos of their journey through Cairo and open their imagination to the possible and the unbelievable.

The Learning Experiences

The Learning Experiences are hands on total immersive discovery exhibitions where children learn by facing challenges and then, by using their hands and mind, to learn how to find the answers. The museum staff provides training and teaching with equipment unavailable in the majority of Egyptian schools. Here, new ideas are developed together and the exhibits evolve under the childrens suggestions. In addition to the main galleries, great emphasis is put in unique classroom activities organized by specialists and are located both in the museum and the surrounding gardens.
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LOWER GROUND : What Can You Learn About Your History? GROUND FLOOR : Who Are You? Child Of The Nile. FIRST FLOOR : Where Are You? DOME :What Will You Discover In The Future? PLUS : New Learning Laboratories: Archaeology Ancient Writing And Medicine Desert Treasures And Red Sea Marine Life


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What Makes The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center Different?

The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center contains the largest and oldest Childrens Museum in the Middle East. It is the only Childrens museum in the world built around a vision of its own countrys history and culture. The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center is the only establishment in the world that combines the Childrens Museum with the garden as one. The Childrens Civilization and Creativity Center is a unique integration of landscape, building and exhibitions into one learning philosophy and concept.


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Crystal Mosque Location: Terengganu, Malaysia When built: 2008; Height: 42


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"Isis - Goddess of a Thousand Titles"

On the Alexandrian coinage
Goddess Isis is one of the oldest Egyptian gods, and the most famous of all. She was the goddess of fertility and mating, as well as of harvest and agriculture. She was the protector of canopic vessels in the deceaseds tomb, and the patron goddess of wisdom and knowledge of the sciences, adept in all forms of magic. The adoration of Isis spread in Egypt from pre-dynastic to Greek and Roman periods and spread until the Arab conquest in 640 AD. Research has presented the goddess Isis in different positions, beautifully portrayed on various Alexandrian coins, in sitting and standing poses.


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( )s.t ese Isis .eisis ().
. . . 046 . Knot . ( )knot . By Khaled Essam El-Din curator at the Egyptian Museum, Egypt

Edited by: Manal Maher

(68-69) (482 -503) (111-711) :-
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Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral Location: Reykjavik, Iceland When built: 1974; Height: 75

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Tutankhamuns )Open Shoe (270a

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Open Shoe (270a)

By Dr. Andr J. Veldmeijer Archaeologist/Palaeontologist Holand

The sole/upper construction, based on hands-on study and remaking the shoe (experimental archaeology). Drawing by E. Endenburg/A.J. Veldmeijer.

In 2010, the study of the footwear from the tomb of Tutankhamun was published. All but four of the objects are housed in the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, with the remaining four in the Luxor Museum. The young pharaoh had a large collection of sandals and shoes in his tomb, 81 pairs of which have been studied. Originally there was thought to have been even more examples. The majority of the collection is comprised of sewn sandals, made of grass, palm and papyrus. Research has revealed that these seemingly simple sandals were, in fact, important status markers. Exactly why and when is not yet known, but future research will focus on this question. There are three pairs of open shoes among the footwear: two pairs, consisting of leather and gold plated sole layers. The uppers portions of the sandals are made of an inner layer of leather and an outer layer of gold beads. Another pair, referred to by Carters cataloguing number 270a (see http://www.griffith.ox.ack/gri/4tut.html), is entirely made of leather, but decorated with narrow gold strips, woven through slits in the leather. The upper (the part above the sole) consists of two layers, the outer one, of which is openwork leather partially covered
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with gold leaf. The shoes are special, although the decoration motifs, materials used, as well as the crafting technology involved, have analogies in other finds from Egypt. However, the use of particular materials, such as gold and lapis lazuli, clearly points to royalty. But what is truly unique and without any precedent in ancient Egypt is the way these two pairs of shoe are held to the foot. Egyptians only used a strap between the toes to keep a sandal or open shoe to the foot, comparable to the modern day shebsheb or flip-flop. Shoe 290a has, besides this strap, an additional strap through which the toes could be inserted. Moreover, there is a band over the foot itself attached at one side of the foot, which could be closed by means of a toggle-closure at the other side. One of the other pairs of shoes has a toggleclosure too. Unfortunately, the shoe is in bad condition and the leather has turned pitch black throughout. This has prohibited the identification of colours, except that a bit of green was involved seems clear, since this color has been identified in the other shoes from the tomb. The usual combination of color in pharaonic leatherwork is green and red, and it is therefore likely that 270a was a combination of the two colours as well. However, we do not know which parts were green and which parts red, but have nevertheless decided to remake the shoe. Remaking objects (experimental archaeology) is important for several reasons. First, one may verify the handson observations of the technological details. In the case of 270a the remake, by Martin Moser from Munich (Germany), resulted in a slight adjustment of the sole/upper construction, which results in a much better insight into the strength of the construction. The sole/upper construction in 270a, for example, is very strong even though initially it seemed very clumsy. The remake can be used for tests: wearing it shows how practical this footwear and their closure systems were, but also allows one to study the wear and tear. Finally, seeing an object in a three-dimensional view and being able to touch it is not only much more fun - it is also a much better way to visualise the object than from drawings and/or photographs only. This is especially true for objects for which there are no parallels in our present day society. The study of Tutankhamuns footwear is part of an ongoing multi-disciplinary, systematic research of footwear in ancient Egypt, including the study of the objects as well as philological and iconographic studies and experimental archaeology (see I am grateful to the Ministry of State for Antiquities, as well as the Cairo Museum authorities for allowing me to work on the material. Many thanks also to my Egyptian colleagues in the Cairo and Luxor Museums for their wonderful collaboration.
Open shoe 270a as on display in the Egyptian Museum. Photography by A.J. Veldmeijer. Courtesy of the SCA/Egyptian Museum. Inset: Detail with explanation of the various parts (cf. figure 1).
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Shoes in situ in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Photography by Harry Burton. Courtesy of the Griffith Institute, Oxford.

The remake of the open shoe. colors have analogies in other finds from the tomb as well as analogies with other leatherwork from ancient Egypt (including footwear). Model made by Martin Moser (Munich, Germany). Photography by Adrit Hooft Photographic Services (Leiden).
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Ubudiah Mosque Location: Kuala Kangsar, Malaysia When built: 1917; Height: 42
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The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is a massive Mamluk era mosque and is located near the Citadel in Cairo. The Sultan Hassan Mosque is considered stylistically the most compact and unified of all Cairo monuments. It is one of the masterpieces of Mamluk architecture. Its construction began in 757 AH/1356 CE, with the work ending three years later, without even a single day of idleness. At the time of construction the mosque was considered remarkable for its fantastic size and innovative architectural components. Commissioned by a sultan of a short and relatively unimpressive profile, al-Maqrizi noted that within the mosque were several wonders of construction. The mosque was, for example, designed to include schools for all four of the Sunni schools of thought: Shafii, Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali.
Photo of El Sultan Hassan Mosque, courtesy of Scott D. Haddow
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