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South Arabian languages face threat

By Ibrahim Nafee / Arab news / 6 Dec 2013

It would be difficult to save several endangered south Arabian languages, including one spoken only by a small community in the far southeast of Saudi Arabia, a renowned linguist said Wednesday.

Janet Watson from the University of Leeds made this observation at the first Linguistics in Arabia Conference held at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah. She said a major problem was that these languages have no literature and would therefore not survive for another 50 years.


Ottoman Piri Reis world map celebrated

Source : / 26 Nov 2013

A symposium marking the 500th anniversary of the printing of the first world map by renowned Ottoman sailor and cartographer Piri Reis began on Monday in Ankara.

Piri Reis produced the oldest known map of the globe in 1513. He created the map by integrating the knowledge of the sailors travelling all over the world and by using their skill in mathematics and the geometry.


Historic Saudi sword sells for $1m at French auction

Source : AFP / 22 Nov 2013

A rare sabre considered a “historic testimony” to the creation of modern-day Saudi Arabia sold for more than $1.2 million at an auction in France on Sunday.

The 24-carat-gold and steel sword, with an ivory handle and long curved blade, was bought for 955,400 euros over the phone “by a mysterious buyer who entered bidding mid-sale,” said auctioneer Jean-Pierre Osenat.


Exhibition of Piri Reis maps opens in Croatia

Source : World Bulletin / 22 Nov 2013

"Piri Reis - cartographer of Suleiman the Magnificent" exhibition was opened on Saturday in Dubrovnik marking the 500th anniversary of world map published by Ottoman cartographer Piri Reis.

Exhibition was organized under the auspices of Turkish Embassy to Croatia and Turkish Foundation of Underwater Archeology, and will remain open until December 31.


British Council is urging more people to take up learning Arabic

By Richard Garner / 22 Nov 2013

Arabic is ranked as a more important language for children to learn in school than French in a report published by the British Council today.

The study, Languages for the Future, also rates Mandarin as more vital than German to the UK over the next 20 years. Spanish, though, is considered the most important language to learn.

The report calls on policymakers to introduce a broader range of languages into every child's education.


Egypt plans ambitious renovation for Cairo museum

Source : AP / 16 Nov 2013

Egypt unveiled Friday a multimillion dollar renovation project for Cairo’s famed Egyptian Museum, including plans to demolish a scorched building that stands between it and the Nile, in a bid to draw tourists back and restore a sense of normalcy after more than two years of unrest.

Organizers said they want to return the dusty 111-year-old museum to its former glory by painting the walls and covering the floors in their original colors and patterns.


Mesopotamian relic found in Oman

Source : Al Arabiya / 15 Nov 2013

An artifact belonging to the Mesopotamian civilization in modern-day Iraq was found during archaeological excavations in Oman, a local newspaper reported Thursday.

The necklace is considered the first object in the country with cuneiform writing, the Times of Oman reported.


Yemen’s traditional kisher coffee stimulates social scene

Source : Reuters / 09 Nov 2013

In the bustling Old City of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, it is common to find men gathered in streets and cafes, waiting patiently for a cup of freshly-brewed kisher.

The drink is made from the dry shell of the coffee bean. The shell has a tea-like flavor with less caffeine than coffee and is said to be rich in antioxidants.


15,000 visit Al-Masmak Museum during Haj holidays

By Rashid Hassan / 26 Oct 2013

About 15,000 people visited Al-Masmak Museum in Riyadh during the Haj holidays, an official said on Thursday.
Nasir bin Abdul Kareem Al-Oraifi, director of the museum, said the visitors included diplomats and tourists from across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Oraifi said the museum has attractive and informative exhibits on the unification of the country by King Abdul Aziz. 

The Alpujarras: Spain's Last Muslim Stronghold

By Sara Irving / 21 Oct 2013

From the many hillside cafes and plazas of the bustling city of Granada, snow-capped mountains are visible just a short journey away.

On the slopes of these mountains are strings of tiny villages which housed the remnants of Spain's last Muslim communities; they have their own small but distinct role in Andalucia's history, and offer a calm and often stunningly beautiful destination for a day trip or few days' break from city life.


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