Welcome to Space

The Space has always been my greatest fascination. The endless dimension where you can let your soul float and your mind wonder about this great secret. This site is for my personal general interests and not limited to Space. The name is a tribute to the wonders of Space. Izzat Sajdi

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Maldives

I have been very fortunate to visit the Maldives a number of times for business. The country of the white sand and turquoise waters. The people of the Maldives are very friendly and peacefull. The language is Dhivehi. It is one of the countries mentioned by Ibn Battuta during his travels.

Ibn Battuta described in his book how the people of the Maldives converted to Islam. This story is engraved on a 3 meters wooden block that is kept now in the National Museum.

The three-storied museum is located in the Sultan Park in Malé, which is part of the site of the Maldivian Royal Palace compound dating back to the 17th century. The two-storey Us-gēkolhu is also the only remaining structure of the palace demolished in 1968.

The interior of the museum has been retained from the days of the Sultanate, including the handwritten Qur'an engraved on the walls of the building.

When in Male, ask :"Maaf kurey ... Dhaarul Aasaarah dhaa magu bunedhee bala?". You will find the Maldivian pleased to give you the information politely. Shukriyyaa with a smile must be your acknowledgment.

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد ابن بطوطة) (born February 24, 1304; year of death uncertain, possibly 1368 or 1377) was an Islamic scholar and at times a Qadi or judge. However, he is best known as a traveler and explorer, whose account documents his travels and excursions over a period of almost thirty years, covering some 117,000 km. These journeys covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world and beyond, extending from West Africa, North Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the west, to Pakistan, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and China in the east, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors and his near-contemporary Marco Polo.

At the instigation of the Sultan of Morocco, Abu Inan Faris, several years after his return, Ibn Battuta dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar named Ibn Juzayy, whom he had met while in Granada. This account, recorded by Ibn Juzayy and interspersed with the latter's own comments, is the primary source of information for his adventures. The title of this initial manuscript may be translated as A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling, but is often simply referred to as the Rihla, or "Journey". Whilst apparently fictional in places, the Rihla still gives as complete an account as exists of some parts of the world in the 14th century.

Ibn Battuta described the wooden block which you can see in the photo. A clear evidance that he has been to the Maldives defying a German Professor who claimed that Ibn Battuta's travels are his own fantasy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jerusalem by Tamim Barghouthi

Brilliant poem and superb recital.

See my YouTube selection for Tamim's poems.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Baobab tree - Tanzania

Adansonia digitata, or Baobab tree, was named in honour of Michel Adanson, the naturalist who first saw it in Senegal, Africa about 1750.

The Baobab tree is a strange looking tree that grows in low-lying areas in Africa and Australia. It can grow to enormous sizes and carbon dating indicates that they may live to be 3,000 years old. One ancient hollow Baobab tree in Zimbabwe is so large that up to 40 people can shelter inside its trunk. Various Baobabs have been used as a shop, a prison, a house, a storage barn and a bus shelter.
When bare of leaves, the spreading branches of the Baobab look like roots sticking up into the air, rather as if it had been planted upside-down. The African bushman has a legend that tells of the god Thora. He took a dislike to the Baobab growing in his garden, so he threw it out over the wall of Paradise on to Earth below, and although the tree landed upside-down it continued to grow. The tree is certainly very different from any other. The trunk is smooth and shiny, not at all like the bark of other trees, and it is pinkish grey or sometimes copper coloured.

The Baobab tree has large whitish flowers which open at night. The fruit, which grows up to a foot long, contains tartaric acid and vitamin C and can either be sucked, or soaked in water to make a refreshing drink. They can also be roasted and ground up to make a coffee-like drink. The fruit is not the only part of the Baobab that can be used. The bark is pounded to make rope, mats, baskets, paper and cloth; the leaves can be boiled and eaten, and glue can be made from the pollen.

It is not surprising that such a strange looking tree should have superstitions linked to it. Some people believe that if you pick a flower from a Baobab tree you will be eaten by a lion, but if you drink water in which a Baobab's seeds have been soaked you will be safe from crocodile attack.
Baobabs are very difficult to kill, they can be burnt, or stripped of their bark, and they will just form new bark and carry on growing. When they do die, they simply rot from the inside and suddenly collapse, leaving a heap of fibres, which makes many people think that they don't die at all, but simply disappear.

An old Baobab tree can create its own ecosystem, as it supports the life of countless creatures, from the largest of mammals to the thousands of tiny creatures scurrying in and out of its crevices. Birds nest in its branches; baboons devour the fruit; bush babies and fruit bats drink the nectar and pollinate the flowers, and elephants have been known to chop down and consume a whole tree.

A Baby Baobab tree looks very different from its adult form and this is why the Bushmen believe that it doesn't grow like other trees, but suddenly crashes to the ground with a thump, fully grown, and then one day simply disappears. No wonder they are thought of as magic trees.
Baobabs, grown from seed, are a popular choice for cultivation as bonsai plants.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Water - Middle East and North Africa

Within the next twenty years, it is estimated that the Middle
East and North Africa (MENA) region will become so
dependant on desalination technology for sustainable
water supply, that a minimum of fifty thousand additional
technical experts of various professional levels would be
needed to service the desalination industry. At current, regional
education programs concerning desalination are limited
to private sector initiatives seeking to meet national
employment quotas and a few regional universities conducting
individual research projects and a few specialized
courses. These initiatives alone will not meet the estimated
future needs. A more coordinated training approach is necessary
which includes participation from multiple institutes
and organizations.

A parallel approach is to conserve more irrigation water and
control the croping patterns with strict measures on the
use of Irrigation trends. In Jordan, irrigation water consume
70% of the water while Agriculture contributes 8% to the economy.
Jordan is one of the 10 water poorest countries in the World.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Denizli - Turkey

Denizli is the center of the textile industry in Turkey. The city of the Rooster and the famous source of Buldan Bizie. Once in Denizli, you must pay a visit to Pumakkala. A stronghold of the AK Party.