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Saudi bans books at fair

Source : Gulf-Times / 17 Mar 2014

Saudi authorities have banned hundreds of books, including works by renowned Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish, as part of a crackdown on publications deemed threatening to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The local Okaz daily reported yesterday that organisers at the Riyadh International Book Fair had confiscated “more than 10,000 copies of 420 books” during the exhibition.


King Abdullah gardens project starts in Riyadh

Source : Arab news / 14 Mar 2014

Work on phase two of the massive King Abdullah International Gardens project has started in Riyadh, which includes plant and animal sections, and a water park.

Prince Mansour bin Miteb, minister of municipal and rural affairs, formally launched the second phase last Thursday. He also toured the Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Wild Park in Banban, which Riyadh Municipality is overseeing.


Kyrgyzstan to host 5 months of Islamic cultural activities

Source : World Bulletin / 14 Mar 2014

Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime minister, Kamila Taliyeva, hosted a meeting on Wednesday for the organization of five months of activities to mark the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek being declared the capital of Islamic culture in 2014.

It was decided that events will be held between May 20 and October 19, including art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, conferences and a trade fair.


The destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage must stop: UN

Source : / 14 Mar 2014

As the people of Syria continue to endure incalculable human suffering and loss, their country’s rich tapestry of cultural heritage is being ripped to shreds.

World Heritage sites have suffered considerable and sometimes irreversible damage. Four of them are being used for military purposes or have been transformed into battlefields: Palmyra; the Crac des Chevaliers; the Saint Simeon Church in the Ancient villages of Northern Syria; and Aleppo, including the Aleppo Citadel.


Syrian material evidence in Grozny

By Timur Utsoyev / 13 Mar 2014

A photo exhibition titled “Material Evidence. Syria” is being held in the memorial complex of “Walk of Fame” in Grozny. About 60 pictures which depict military events are presented there; material evidence taken from the war-struck country is attached to photos: an exploded mini-bus, a pane from a destroyed temple, a dummy which was used as a decoy to detect where a shooter is, and a small carpet… According to the ambassador of Syria to Russia, Riad Haddad, the goal of the exhibition is to present a real picture of the Syrian events.


Project launched for live translation of Madinah sermons

Source : Saudi Gazette / 13 Mar 2014

Foreigners from non-Arab countries attending Friday prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah can now listen to the sermons in English and other languages.

Emir of Madinah Prince Faisal Bin Salman on Wednesday formally launched a program for simultaneous translation of Friday sermons at the Prophet’s Mosque, the Saudi Press Agency reported.


Istanbul’s historic underground tops list of 10 weirdest transport alternatives

Source : Hurriyet Daily news / 12 Mar 2014

Tünel, a short underground railway line in Istanbul, Turkey, has been rated “as one of the strangest transport alternatives in the world,” according to an article published by on March 10.


Dubai’s Eco-friendly Mosque 85% Complete

By Aarti Nagraj / Gulf Business / 10 Mar 2014

The construction of the region’s first eco-friendly mosque in Dubai is 85 per cent complete and is set to open doors shortly, according to its developer Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF).

Suspended ceilings have been installed in the ‘Awqat’ and ladies hall and marble-inlay work on the walls of the prayer hall has been completed, AMAF said in a statement.


Istanbul, a city of 60 gates

By Tugce Ozerdem / Kuzey / 08 Mar 2014

In the past, there were 60 gates serving as entry points on the gigantic historic walls surrounding the city of Istanbul, but most of them were reduced to ruins a long time ago.

Nonetheless, these walls served their purpose for centuries, protecting Istanbul from a number of attacks. The 20 meter tall walls were the main barriers guarding the city.


Venice looks set to welcome Museum of Islamic Art

By Lucia Guarano / Al Arabiya / 05 Mar 2014 

Venice looks set to welcome a new Museum of Islamic Art in the heart of the tourist getaway. The plan is in its decisive stage following a top Italian Government delegation visit to the UAE and Qatar in February during which the initiative was discussed as part of long-term investment in Italy.


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