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A New Saudi Arabia to the world: We are open for business

Monday, 11 December 2017

Transformative. That is the word commonly uttered when discussing monumental events unfolding in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2017. A country that long isolated itself from the rest of the world, it consequently manifested a reputation as an ultra-conservative country detached from modernity and disconnected from the world. But the pendulum is finally swinging the other way, as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030, a plan designed to transform the Saudi economy and society, is ...

Worshippers return to Prophet’s ‘mihrab’ for prayers

Saturday, 9 December 2017

After a quarter of a century, the Imams of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi returned to the Prophet’s ‘mihrab’ for prayers and the area hyas been developed so that people can visit his tomb. The ‘mihrab’ is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla - that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying.(VIDEO: Detailed visit into the Prophet’s Mihrab). Friday prayers in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi ...

Volcanic eruptions no match for cockfighting, Bali-style

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A volcano may be rumbling off in the distance, but for a group of Balinese men and their fighting roosters it's the roar of the crowd that says the show must go on. Far off the Indonesian resort island's tourist trail, heavily-tattooed men gather at a clandestine site where birds battle each other -- usually to the death -- in a gory spectacle known as tajen that meshes blood sport with ancient Balinese Hindu traditions. About 100 male spectators gather on bamboo benches around a dirt ring as ...

Saudi tourism authorities to develop historic mountains of Mecca

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has reiterated its plans to rehabilitate the historical mountains of Makkah to woo pilgrims from different parts of the Islamic world to visit the sites.Jabal Al-Noor, where the first verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed, is among the few sites in Makkah still preserved from the Prophet’s time though it does not hold any importance in the religious rites of the obligatory pilgrimage.In addition to this revered mountain, ...

Human Rights Day and Iran’s indifference to another UN resolution

Friday, 8 December 2017

Human Rights Day is celebrated across the world on December 10 every year. This day means nothing to Iran, which is among the leading violators of human rights. On November 14, UN General Assembly’s Third Committee condemned the Iranian regime for the 64th time. The international community gave the Iranian regime a dress-down for its human rights record. The resolution is a detailed document and calls on the Iranian regime “to address the poor conditions of prisons, to eliminate the ...

With message of peace, London Mayor Khan crosses border from India to Pakistan

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan arrived in Lahore on Wednesday via the Wagah border with the message that many Indians wanted good relations with Pakistan, a news report has revealed. According to a Dawn news report, this is the first time a mayor of London has visited Lahore. Khan is on a six-day mission to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the British capital. He had earlier stayed in India for three days where he met politicians and other prominent personalities in Mumbai, Delhi and ...

Will the Hague convictions bring peace to the Balkans?

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Over 20 years after the crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian war, two commanders were sentenced by the United Nations-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Many, especially in Europe, felt it as a historic moment, associating it with the Nuremberg trials that brought to justice many Nazi war criminals responsible for the Holocaust and the atrocities of the second world war. “I was in Bosnia in 1995-1996, I was there when those atrocities ...

India’s ‘blackest day’ returns to haunt 25 years after Babri Mosque demolition

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Exactly 25 years ago, on December 6, 1992, I stood and watched the worst crime ever committed on Indian soil – the demolition of the Babri Masjid, a mosque in Ayodhya, by Hindu extremists in broad daylight. The black deed is watershed in the history of contemporary India and a milestone in my career as a professional journalist. Painful memories of that day still make me shudder. “The 25th anniversary of that fateful day brings a sense of foreboding. The historical and psychological ...

Report reveals how extremists narrowly apply scripture, distort interpretations

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Islamist extremists narrowly apply scripture and distort interpretations from the mainstream to further their agenda on a regular basis, a new research report has revealed. The research report says that much of the current counter-narrative literature falls short of competing directly with these distortions. According to the report – Struggle Over Scripture: Charting the Rift Between Islamist Extremism and Mainstream Islam – released by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, ...

Resurgent Rahul Gandhi takes charge of Congress Party after taking on Narendra Modi

Monday, 4 December 2017

Rahul Gandhi today took charge of India’s 132-year-old Congress Party without an election making him the 16th president of the party, which was in the forefront of the fight for independence and ruled the nation unchallenged for several decades.In the run-up to his elevation, Gandhi launched several blistering attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, setting the stage for fresh confrontation between a well-entrenched Modi and the new Congress chief.Organizational elections scheduled for ...

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