‘Til death do us part: Marriage destroyed by war

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Mohammad Jumbaz and Ayat Al-Qassad were expecting their first child when Ayat was killed

For the third time, Mahmoud Al-Qassab lowers the body of one of his children into the ground. He steps back as neighbors and relatives shovel dirt over his teenage daughter’s grave.

He does not cry or wail.

“I thank God this is my third martyr: Ahmed, Abdullah and now her. I thank God, and I will not say anything against his fate,” Mahmoud told an activist filming the small funeral.

Just a few months ago, 18-year-old Ayat Al-Qassab sang and danced with her mother and aunts as they dressed the bride in her wedding gown. Now, her shattered and bloodied body lies in a grave below the crumbling, bullet-ridden buildings of Homs.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/29/world/meast/syria-newlyweds-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t2)

“En el principio Dios creó a…” El ‘Génesis’ original llega a internet

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Los rollos del Mar Muerto fueron reconstruidos con imágenes en alta definición (Israel Antiques Authority/Cortesía).

Las piezas fueron fotografiadas en alta resolución y pueden ser consultadas en la web de la Biblioteca Digital de Rollos del Mar Muerto.

Fragmentos de cientos de textos bíblicos podrán ser consultados en línea a partir de este martes en versiones digitalizadas de papiros publicadas por Google y las autoridades arqueológicas de Israel.

Entre unas 5,000 imágenes de pergaminos y papiros se encuentran partes del Génesis, que narran La Creación, y del Deuternomio, que aborda el episodio de los Diez Mandamientos.

(via. http://mexico.cnn.com/tecnologia/2012/12/18/en-el-principio-dios-creo-a-el-genesis-original-llega-a-internet)

Mine Kafon: The low-tech, high-design tumbleweed minesweeper

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The Mine Kafon is a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator with the appearance of a giant, spiky-armed tumbleweed.

The Mine Kafon is a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator with the appearance of a giant, spiky-armed tumbleweed.

An Afghan designer and former refugee has developed a low-cost, wind-powered mine detonating device inspired by the toys he played with as a child.

Massoud Hassani‘s Mine Kafon is composed almost entirely from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, with a skeletal structure of spiky plungers that resembles a giant spherical tumbleweed from another planet.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/29/tech/innovation/mine-kafon-tumbleweed-minesweeper/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

 

Mideast men go under knife for manly mustaches

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Members of Iraq's parliament vote in 2002. Luxurious mustaches became ubiquitous during Saddam Hussein's rule, but have been seen as a symbol of high social status since Ottoman times.

Members of Iraq’s parliament vote in 2002. Luxurious mustaches became ubiquitous during Saddam Hussein’s rule, but have been seen as a symbol of high social status since Ottoman times.

Thick, handsome mustaches have long been prized by men throughout the Middle East as symbols of masculine virility, wisdom and maturity.

But not all mustaches are created equal, and in recent years, increasing numbers of Middle Eastern men have been going under the knife to attain the perfect specimen.

Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay says the number of mustache implants he performs has boomed in the last few years. He now performs 50-60 of the procedures a month, on patients who hail mostly from the Middle East and travel to Turkey as medical tourists.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/29/world/meast/mustache-transplants-middle-east/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

 

At last, it’s Zaha Hadid’s time to shine

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Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid is one of the greatest living architects, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize

When London’s Olympic organizers needed a knockout venue that would wow the International Olympic Committee and hold the world’s attention, they turned to Zaha Hadid, a provocateur who critics have described as “the Lady Gaga of architecture”.

Iraqi-born Hadid is one of the greatest architects alive. In 2004, she became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s greatest honor. The year prior, she was awarded the European Union Mies van der Rohe Prize for a tram station in Strasbourg.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/01/business/leading-women-zaha-hadid/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

Mideast peace starts with talking to Iran

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British EU official Catherine Ashton, front left, walks with Iraq’s Hoshyar Zebari to talks between the P5+1 and Iran.

President Barack Obama is getting a lot of free advice. Here’s a question, not an answer: With every issue in the Middle East intertwined with every other, like a giant bowl of spaghetti, where do you begin?

In reality, no matter where you begin in the Middle East, each strand connects to almost every other:

Syria? Immediately you must think of the Turks who are harboring refugees and fighters just across the border, and Syrian Kurds, who are beginning to harbor thoughts of autonomy and are increasing contacts with their ethnic brothers in Iraq and Turkey.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/16/opinion/sick-mideast/index.html?hpt=hp_c2)

Brazilian farmers open office in China

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The Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock, the main body representing millions of farmers in Brazil, will open an office in Beijing next Wednesday aiming to increase bilateral agricultural trade and attract Chinese investment in Brazilian infrastructure.

“By 2015, 30 million Chinese are expected to join the middle classes, increasing demand for food. This is a very important opportunity for Brazil,” said the president of confederation, Senator Katia Abreu, who is heading the entity’s delegation in Asia.

(via. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-11/07/content_15888138.htm)

College students turn jihadists

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They were students of a college in the oil palm plantation town of Trolak in Perak. They became friends.

Sometime last year, senior student Mohammed Razin Shaaban, 28, recruited 21-year-old Rafik Mohammed Aaref for a jihad mission.

Razin, who is believed to have links with a top Yemeni al-Qaeda leader, Jamal al-Badawi, and Rafik were arrested in Lebanon as suspected sucide bombers last week.

(via. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/10/29/nation/12240539&sec=nation)

British woman returns to Pakistani jail with newborn

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A British woman arrested for drug trafficking in Pakistan, has returned to her jail cell despite concerns for her baby’s life

A British woman who was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking in Pakistan remains in jail with her child, despite concerns about the baby’s welfare.

Khadija Shah, 25, of Birmingham gave birth to her daughter, Malaika, a few weeks ago at a hospital in the city of Rawalpindi, an hour’s drive from the capital, and was escorted back to jail with the infant only three days later, to the shock and dismay of her lawyer

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/02/world/asia/pakistan-briton-newborn-drug-case/index.html?hpt=ias_c1)

Back from the dead: Philippines’ jeepneys get a makeover

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One fan attempts to revive Manila’s aging road warriors at the recent Jeepney Arts Festival

On a recent afternoon in the busy commercial district of Metro Manila, a parade of 50 jeepneys debuted their new skins.

Portraying vivid scenes and pictures in brightly painted, audacious hues, they were a stark contrast to what’s been seen on the streets of late — bare metal carriages, a symptom of budget constraints and economic hardships that, out of necessity, slowly came to replace the old, colorfully decorated jeepneys famed around the world.

(via. http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/phillipines-famed-jeepneys-get-makeover-321881?hpt=ias_t5)

Why China’s rock markets draw a crowd

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From the “greatest stone under heaven” to plain old lucky rocks, Chinese rock hounds are a devoted bunch

Would you spend US$25,000 for a simple rock?

Odds are you wouldn’t, but with the economy booming in China, plenty of collectors are eyeing just such treasures.

And at just such gaudy price tags.

More than 300 rock markets and exhibitions are held throughout China annually, according to the China Stone Appreciation Association, generating an estimated RMB 20 billion (US$3.17 billion) each year.

(via. http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/life/china-nuts-for-rocks-506401?hpt=ias_t4)

 

Al Qaeda, ex-Gitmo detainee involved in consulate attack, intelligence sources say


Intelligence sources tell Fox News they are convinced the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was directly tied to Al Qaeda — with a former Guantanamo detainee involved.

That revelation comes on the same day a top Obama administration official called last week’s deadly assault a “terrorist attack” — the first time the attack has been described that way by the administration after claims it had been a “spontaneous” act.

“Yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

(via. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/19/top-administration-official-says-strike-in-libya-was-terror-attack/)

Islamic Fundamentalists in the Kremlin

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The wave of anger in North Africa and the Middle East over the anti-Islam video “Innocence of Muslims” underscores several troubling similarities between anti-Americanism in Russia and the Muslim world. Injured pride is at the top of the list.

(via. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/islamic-fundamentalists-in-the-kremlin/468525.html)

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