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First smart mosque opens in Dubai

Source : IINA / 14 Feb 2014

The United Arab Emirates opened its first smart mosque in Dubai on Sunday. The Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (DIACA) launched the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Mosque in Jumeirah 3, using the Quick response (QR) code technology which offers digital access to mosques. The mosque is now equipped with the QR code technology for the first time in government buildings and is part of Phase-I of developing smart mosques that also includes nine other mosques which will follow suit later this year, according to a report in Khaleej Times.


’Jeddah among three biggest art centers in the ME’

Source : Saudi Gazette / 12 Feb 2014

In the Middle East, there are only three important art centers: Beirut, Sharjah, and Jeddah.

Or so opines Chris Dercon, director of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, the most visited museum in the world located in London.

Dercon was talking at a symposium organized as part of the "21,39 Jeddah Arts" opening events, which took place from February 4 to 8 all over the city and included openings of exhibitions, tours, workshops, and a symposium.


Words & illuminations exhibition in Madinah

Source : IINA / 11 Feb 2014

On the occasion of Madinah being selected Capital of Islamic Culture 2013 by the Islamic Education Science and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the city is holding an exhibition to celebrate this event under the ages of Madinah Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman.


Iraq's national museum to reopen after 2003 invasion

Source : World Bulletin / 08 Feb 2014 

The National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad may reopen in April for the first time since it was closed after being partially damaged and ransacked in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, the director of the museum said Wednesday.

"We've been working on rebuilding the museum in cooperation with Italy," museum director Qais Rashid told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.


Muslim pupils in NYC public schools may get Eid holidays

Source : Al Arabiya / 06 Feb 2014 

Muslims living in New York City may see their demand of recognition for Islamic holidays in public schools fulfilled under new Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

“It is complicated in terms of logistics and school calendar and budget. But it’s something I want to get done in a reasonable time frame,” Blasio said on Monday in an interview on the Brian Lehrer Show.


Old manuscripts get facelift at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Source : IINA / 3 Feb 2014

Half of the books are already undergoing restoration funded by the Waqf, Jordan’s Islamic authority which manages the holy site, and with assistance from UNESCO.


Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas'

Source : World Bulletin / 3 Feb 2014

The residents of Mecca are beginning to refer to their city as Las Vegas. Over the past 10 years the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, one that has divided opinion among Muslims all over the world.

Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.


Turkey's Safranbolu holds its best-protected site title

Source : World Bulletin / 1 Feb 2014

Safranbolu, located in the central-northern province of Karabuk in Turkey, has been declared by UNESCO as one of the 20 best-reserved sites around the world in its list of world cultural heritage cites. It maintains the title of best-protected tourism site with its Ottoman traditional houses built in the 18th to 20th century.


Kiswa factory manager seeks modern technology

Source : IINA / 28 Jan 2014

The historical factory that manufactures the Kiswa, the covering for the Holy Kaaba in Makkah, is exploring the possibility of importing state-of-the-art technology from the US, Japan, Switzerland, Italy and Germany, to upgrade its facility in keeping with modern times.


UNESCO to help Egypt museum recover from blast

Source : AP / 28 Jan 2014

A UNESCO team will travel to Cairo to assess the damage inflicted on a renowned Islamic art museum by a bombing targeting the nearby security headquarters, Egypt's Minister of Antiquities said Sunday.

The museum will also receive $100,000 from the U.N. cultural agency to help the museum recover from the explosion, which damaged much of the museum's artifacts, Mohammed Ibrahim said.


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