Vol. 12    Issue 01   16 - 31 May 2017
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Professor A. R. MOMIN

Egyptian Writes 700-Metre Scroll of Quran

The Quran has been the foundational text of Islam for over fourteen centuries. The deep reverence in which the Quran is held by Muslims all over the world, its repeated invocation in the five-times-in-a-day prayers and the reproduction of the text in a wide variety of elegant calligraphic forms have no precedent in the annals of history. From the inception of Islam, millions of copies of the Quran on parchment and paper have been reproduced by scribes and calligraphers and hundreds of thousands of complete or fragments of the Quranic text are preserved in libraries, mosques, museums and private collections in numerous countries.    Read more



Professor A. R. MOMIN

Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (A. K. P.) submitted an 18-point package of proposed constitutional amendments to the Grand National Assembly (Turkish Parliament) for approval last year. The proposal was approved by the Parliament in December 2016, following which the proposed amendments were put up for a national referendum scheduled on April 16. In the referendum, voters were asked to say Yes or No to the proposed amendments. A total of 47.5 million people (85% of the electorate) cast their votes. The Yes campaign won the referendum with 51.4% of the vote while the No campaign received 48.59%. It was indeed a narrow win for Mr Erdogan and the A. K. P. The Yes campaign received an overwhelmingly favourable response in Anatolia, A. K. P.’s main support base, as well as in the Turkish diaspora in Germany, the Netherlands, France and other European countries. On the other hand, more than 50% of voters in Turkey’s three largest cities – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – voted against the proposal.    Read more

Tourists flock to Iran's 'image of the world'

Key sites in the historic city of Isfahan have witnessed a significant rise in visitor numbers since the nuclear deal.

by Megan O'Toole

Isfahan, Iran - Sunlight spills across the turquoise and sapphire dome of the Shah Mosque in Isfahan's Naqshe Jahan Square, and in its shadow, dozens of tourists hold cameras aloft to capture the memory.

The square's name translates to "image of the world", and countless feet have crossed these grounds to marvel at the World Heritage site first-hand.

"Gardens, palaces, mansions, mosques, schools, bazaars, magnificent bridges and most of all, the splendid square of Naqshe Jahan, all are the memories that stick in the mind of any travellers who visit Isfahan," the American linguist AV Williams Jackson wrote more than a century ago, after his own trip to the central Iranian city. "The memory remains so vivid and stable that it even won't get blurred after months and years."

Today, Isfahan remains one of Iran's biggest tourist draws: An inquiry to the reservations desk at its landmark Abbasi Hotel, recently lauded by CNN as "the Middle East's most beautiful hotel", revealed that it was fully booked for the next three months.  Read more


Meet the Iranian tycoon smashing gender stereotypes

Businesswoman, city councillor and social activist Fatemeh Daneshvar tells Al Jazeera that she fears 'nothing but God'.

Megan O'Toole

Tehran - Fatemeh Daneshvar moves easily around the room as she speaks of her accomplishments, pausing at one point to admire a photo of her children, and at another to flip through a glossy magazine packed with images of some of the thousands of women her charity has aided.

Daneshvar, 43, now counts seven major businesses to her name, having spent years pursuing a successful career in the male-dominated mining industry. She serves on Tehran's city council and the Iranian chamber of commerce, and has authored dozens of reports on the social problems plaguing Iran, from addiction to child labour. She donates one-fourth of her income to her own charity, Mehrafarin, which supports women and children whose fathers have abandoned them.

But of all that Daneshvar has achieved over the years, she is proudest of her work with Iran's street kids. She runs a programme to train and support dozens of exceptional orphans, giving them a chance to succeed in the broader community.

"Once, they were just yearning for a basket of fruit; now, they want to be astronauts, the best physicists of the world," Daneshvar tells Al Jazeera from inside her Tehran office.  Read more

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