* Alumnus Ashraf Girgrah wrote "reading, looking and listening to the news I get frustrated from the hypocracy of the western media with regards to reporting on Yemen. Little they know about the people, environment and what is going on there.
As usual politicians and the media alike stick to their guns about starvation of the innocent forgetting the big issues at hand. The western media should focus more on the slaughter of millions by western countries as a result of invasions of foreign lands. An example is Iraq which has been destroyed by forces of the coalition of the UK and US. Yet no accusation of criminal war has been levelled against people like George Bush, Tony Blair and Asnar of Spain.
The war in Yemen is the result of threats of evil forces who want to spread their doctrine by force in Arab countries modelling it like Hizbulah in Lebanon, AlHashed AlShabi in Iraq and Iranian backed forces in Syria.
Dr. Abdullah M. Al-Ansi, Faculty of Social and Political Science, UMM, Malang, Indonesia
tells it all in a paper about the dangers of Houti movement in Yemen."
Read the paper here.
* Candles with Colour was the title of a panel of editors, writers and translators who contributed to a book of the same name. Dr. Shihab Ghanem was one of the contributors. The occasion was marked by the presence of 33 poets from Arab world who applied a coordinated effort through the application and challenges they face in translating Arabic poetry into English.
Read more here.
* "The Preaching of Islam" A History of the Propogation of the Muslim Faith by T. W. Arnold Professor of Arabic, University College of London. It is a revised and enlarged edition which Dr. Mohammad Ali Al Bar recommends for reading. He said that, "The Book which was written by Sir Thomas Arnold is the best book I have read in my life. He discussed how the spread of Islam overcoming all obstacles in the world during the reign of the Prophet and the Caliphates and later to modern centuries. How Islam spread in Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India and various parts of the world with unparalleled scientific research. He would recommend reading it to anyone who wants to know how the spread of Islam in the world to the nineteenth century AD. The author responded to the lie of the spread of Islam by the sword with full historical references."
Read the book here.
* "Kingdoms of Faith" A new History of Islamic Spain by Brian Catlos. Published by Basic Books. The book was reviewed on the website of Orbits and Inscriptions a UAE magazine.
In Kingdoms of Faith, award winning historian Brian A. Catlos rewrites the history of Islamic Spain from the ground up, evoking the cultural splendor of al-Andalus, while offering an authoritative new interpretation of the forces that shaped it.
Prior accounts have portrayed Islamic Spain as a paradise of enlightened tolerance or the site where civilizations clashed. Catlos taps a wide array of primary sources to paint a more complex portrait, showing how Muslims, Christians, and Jews together
built a sophisticated civilization that transformed the Western world, even as they waged relentless war against each other and their coreligionists. Religion was often the language of conflict, but seldom its cause, a lesson we would do well to learn in our own time.
* Aden in 1938 by Edward A. Wallace is an account of his visit to Aden documented by photographs. He described Aden by saying, "Looking out of the porthole in the dining room at breakfast next morning someone said, “There it is!” and our attention was immediately attracted to the land we were now approaching. We finished hurriedly and went on deck.
What a queer place! It just appeared to be one huge rock coming out of the sea without the slightest sign of vegetation anywhere. It was something different from anything I had seen previously.
It was dry and hot, with the bare rocks running from the water’s edge to the height of a mountain beyond. We were partly prepared for something like this, as the morning before when passing Pt. on the coast of Africa we saw a rocky and sandy coast through the field glasses also without anything growing thereon. But we were now closer to this strange land and watched it in amazement.
We anchored in the bay and were quickly surrounded by native boats laden with all kinds of goods which they hoped to sell to those on board. In this instance they were not allowed on board as at Colombo.
We were scarcely stopped before I heard them yelling and screeching “Shirt a shilleen! Pyjama four shilleen!” and at the same time preparing to throw lines on board so that the members of the crew could pull up packets of goods for their inspection. I could not wait to see how the bartering was actually finished, but I presume the goods were marked in some way and the natives knew exactly what was sent up in each packet.
It was stifling on board while we were waiting our turn to go off in the launch. I was wearing a tropical suit I had bought at Colombo with only a shirt underneath and yet I was soaked with perspiration. I could not help thinking of those at home just at that moment.
There was hot and dry Aden that we were going to see, a place where they had not had rain for about ten years and that morning in the wireless news I read that there had been floods in both north and south islands in New Zealand, so that the Easter holidays were literally washed out.
We duly arrived at the stone steps
where the launches deposit their cargo.
These launches were old, dirty and carried a native smell. But the place was interesting. In Colombo we did not see a single horse and the method of transport was bullock cart or motor car. In Aden there were comparatively as many motor cars, but the beast of burden was the camel. There were many of these in the streets, and of course I wanted to photograph them.
The Arabs would wait quite patiently, but immediately after the photo. was taken they expected and asked for the “Buckshee”.
There were beggars always ready to get something from the tourist. There were taxi drivers who left their cars to follow us saying with much force and gesticulation, “Me make mooch better cheaper tlip”.
There was a short man with a jet black face, a few coarse long hairs on his chin which served as a beard, a small round red hat with a tassel such as is worn by the Sultan of Turkey, a dirty white coat and a loin cloth, who wanted you to buy “real ivoree, take it and see, not shell – real ivoree!” Then there was the man decently dressed and before you were aware of what he wanted he would be saying, “Good sires, ‘is gooood man, ‘im give buckshee?” In every street at every corner and almost wherever you turned there were the lads selling cigarettes. “Shilleen undred – any kind”. I have had 4 or 5 of them around me at the same time when I was hesitating as to whether one would make a photograph and in desperation I would hurry off saying, “No smoke – no smoke!”
In the same way when I would see a native in some characteristic attitude and would stop to take a photo, before I could get it over the picture would be spoilt because about a dozen others would crowd into it in order to get their share of Buckshe. I gave pennies while they lasted and then I got some annas (9 to the shilling).
We reached the launch to return to the boat at 3.25 and the boat was due to sail at 3.30. Ours was the last launch and as I was the last man off on account of taking a photo. of a native in a canoe who wanted to sell me some curios I was politely requested by one of the officers on the boat to please hurry up the gangway. The lines had already been cast off and we were moving towards the Red Sea before I had reached my cabin, where I quickly undressed and got under a shower.
Before going ashore we had been warned not to be exposed to the sun, as cases of sun stroke were not uncommon and dangerous. Rozie arrived back feeling sick. We thought at first it must have been the tea with the bad milk, but as she grew worse during the night we saw it was a touch of the sun. All next day she was sick and had to stay n bed, but she was able to get up for lunch on the following day.
On both of these days we were in the Red Sea. We had been told that a trip through the Red Sea was terrible, but apparently we were lucky, as we caught the breeze and it was quite cool comparatively. The sea was calm, but we were still out of sight of land in just the same way as when we were on the ocean. On the third day from Aden the water in the swimming pool was down to 77 degrees F and we felt that we were now leaving the hot weather behind."
The description was published by Tariq Hatem facebook page and sent by alumnus Farooq Murshed.