Blog Archives

Documentary: Risking it all – Congo (Video)

info-pictogram1 Things are hopping at the road terminus in Lubumbashi in the Congo. Traders throng around the only available transport; hoping to get a lift to sell their goods in the town of Bukama.

Eugene is one of the few truckers willing to risk the notorious road.

We follow Congolese lorry drivers who must navigate their trucks, laden with goods and passengers, through jungle floods where a journey of a few hundred miles takes a month.
More documentaries…

Advertisements

15 Of The Most Beautiful Crater Lakes Around The World

Source: http://themindunleashed.org/2014/07/15-beautiful-crater-lakes-around-world.html

Crater lakes appear majestic, unique, and mysterious.

A few different things can cause the formation of a crater lake including, a meteorite or human-cashed explosion. More commonly, lake craters are due to volcanic activity. After a crater is formed, rain, run-off, groundwater circulation, or melted ice fills in the crater with water, creating a crater lake.

Crater lakes that cover volcanic vents are also referred to as volcanic lakes. Volcanic lake craters are unique because they can include greenish colored waters that are very acidic, bloated with volcanic gases. Crater lakes that cover old or non-active volcanoes have fresh water that is incredibly clear. Here are 15 of the most incredibly beautiful crater lakes from all over the world.

1. Crater Lake Mount Mazama, Oregon USA

5725435948_f95e5da849_b

One of the most well-known crater lakes is located in Oregon, it is actually the deepest lake in the US with a depth of 1,949 feet! Rain and snow are completely responsible for filling up this lake, making it a clear source of fresh water.

2. Crater Lake Albertine Rift, Africa 

rift-floor-queen-elizabeth-park-crater-lakes

Volcanic explosions are responsible for creating a number of crater lakes in the area. Surrounding these protected crater lakes are some of the tallest mountains found in Africa.

3. Crater Lake Mount Pinabuto–Luzon, Philippines 

craterlake-punabuto

Back in 1991 the Pinabuto volcano last erupted, marking the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Dormant for over 400 years, Pinabuto was largely unknown until the day of its ’91 explosion. Although, a much larger eruption 35,000 years ago is believed responsible for the crater lake.

4. Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador 

quilotoa-crater-lake-ecuador

800 years ago an epic VEI-6 explosion caused the formation of this crater lake. The crater lake is now 820 feet deep and gives off a greenish hue in light of the dissolved minerals present in the water. Hot springs occur on the eastern edge of the volcano, and fumaroles are present on the floor of the lake.

5.Kelimutu Crater Lake, Flores Island, Indonesia 

kelimutu-crater-lake-flores-island-indonesia

Flores Island includes 3 different crater lakes, one is a striking teal blue, while the other two fluctuate between red and green. Since all 3 crater lakes come from the same volcano, scientists are currently trying to understand why they are all different colors.

6. Heaven Lake, Baekdu Mountain– China, North Korea 

baitou_mountain_tianchi-crater-lake-china-north-korea (1)

On the border of China and North Korea rests this gorgeous crater lake which hides the opening to the Baekdu Mountain volcano. In 969 CE the lake was first created due to a volcanic explosion, it is now on average around 699 feet deep. If you visit from October to mid-June the lake turns to ice.

7. Crater Lake, Licancabur– Chile 

crater-lake-licancabur-bolivia

The symmetrical nature of this stratovolcano causes a great deal of fascination. On the border of Chile and Bolivia, parts of the volcano belong to either region, although the actual crater lake rests entirely in Chile. A whooping 3,281 feet deep, the Licancabur Lake is covered with a sheet of ice most parts of the year.

8. Main Crater Lake at Vulcan Point, Taal Volcano–Luzon Philippines 

2464172006_fb26edfdf0_b

Known as one of the most picturesque sights in the Philippines, this crater lake is located 31 miles from Manila. At the center of the crater one large rock peaks up from the surface, this was once the floor of the crater but has now been pushed up to the surface of the water. The Main Crater Lake at Vulcan Point is 1.2 miles wide and includes the largest island at the center of a lake.

9. Crater Lake, Mount Katmai–Alaska, USA 

katmai_crater_lake-alaska

In 1912 the Novarupta eruption caused the formation of this Alaskan crater lake.

10. Viti Geothermal Crater Lake, Askja–Iceland 

viti_geothermal_crater-lake_at_askja-iceland

In Iceland’s remote central highlands rests this incredible crater lake. The name Askja is in reference to the calderas found all around the nearby mountainsides. A large lake called Oskjuvatn was formed from a very large eruption in 1875, today it fills many of the small craters in the area. As the second deepest lake in Iceland, the lake and surrounding craters are frozen most of the year.

11. Kerid Crater Lake– Iceland 

kerid-crater-lake-iceland

With one of the only visibly recognizable intact calderas, the Kerid crater lake is located on a popular tourist route called the Golden Circle. It was formed when land shifted over localized hotspots. The reason that the caldera still remains so visible is because this crater lake is about half the age of most others, at around 3,000 years old.

12. Crater Lake Yak Loum–Ratanakiri, Cambodia 

yak-loum-crater-lake-cambodia

This crater is located in the dense rain forests of Cambodia. 4,000 years ago a violent volcano created this 157 foot deep lake which holds clean and clear water.

13. Crater Lake Deriba, Jebel Marra–Durfur, Sudan 

sudan_jebel_marra_deriba_crater-lake

The Jebel Marra Volcano exploded nearly 3,500 years ago to form this beautiful lake crater in South Sudan. The volcano beneath the crater is considered dormant, not extinct. Meaning it could erupt again at any time.

14. Crater Lake Mount Ruapehu– New Zealand 

1917036823_a61b7b39a1_b

Ruapehu is known as one of the most active (and largest) volcanoes in the world. The deep crater lake rests at the center of the 3 major peaks and fills with water between each fiery eruption.

15. Crater Lake Okama, Mt. Zao–Honshu, Japan

4963020926_943e0e6455_b

There are a number of active volcanoes in the region of Northern Honsh. The central volcano includes lava domes and a tuff cone, here the Okama crater lake rests. Since this crater lake changes colors with the weather, it has earned the nickname “Five Color Pond.” A volcano eruption around 1720 is responsible for the 200 foot deep crater lake which attracts many tourist.

Photo Credits: Ben CanalesJoel Sartorenucksfan604AnnomRosinoBdpmaxAlbert Backer,Junjun Mac1Captain Budd ChristmanBoawormProgresschromeEthan CrowleyJ Williams,Adrian MacneilAaron Jarrad 

MAP: PAID MATERNAL LEAVE AROUND THE WORLD (IMAGE)

paid-maternal-leave-by-country

Map by The New York Times

This Is Why People Migrate (Video)

info-pictogram1 Immigrants, migrants and refugees are often in the news — but why do people get up and leave their homes in the first place? AJ+ host Dena Takruri explains the root causes behind migration around the world.

Why Does Israel Keep Changing Its Story On Gaza? (Video)

info-pictogram1 Israel’s continued military offensive in Gaza has many around the world questioning its objectives. Israel has put forth different reasons over time, but the question remains: what is its endgame in Gaza?

DON’T TAKE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE AS YOUR ROLE MODELS

10524313_10152127456351104_7214488777303563490_n

(WARNING: DON’T TAKE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE AS YOUR ROLE MODELS) Unfortunately it’s sad to say many people do.

By: Aisha Stacey

It has been estimated that up to 95% of all human behaviors are learnt through looking up to role models. However, even if it were only partially true it is a very good reason to choose positive role models, for ourselves and our children. Sadly, in today’s 24/7 media saturated environment we are more likely to choose role models from the field of sports and entertainment without trying to differentiate between a role model and a hero. A hero is someone you admire perhaps for his sporting prowess or for her superb acting ability but do they lead the kind of lives that we should want to emulate? Role models, on the other hand, are people who possess the qualities that we would like to have and people who have affected us in a way that makes us want to be better human beings. For instance it is from role models that we learn how to handle life’s problems.

It is easy to be influenced by the people around us and whom we look up to. It is easy to take on their mannerisms and qualities without being aware of it. If these are good qualities then it is a good thing, but what if the people you consider as your role models have pushed you away from the remembrance of Allah? This could be a disaster. Fortunately Islamic history is peppered with amazing role models – men, women and children – from whom we learn how to be great mothers, fathers, teachers, friends, students, etc. Positive displays of good morals and manners, determination, will power, and high ethical standards help others emulate these positive attributes.

According to Islam, the best human beings are the prophets. After that, the best human beings are companions, disciples, and followers of the prophets. Of course the greatest example of exemplary behaviour in any given situation is Prophet Muhammad himself. We know from his authentic traditions – the Sunnah, that his character was the Quran, meaning that he lived and breathed all that the Quran teaches. When we are looking for role models we need look no further than the Prophet himself and those who surrounded him in the early days of Islam. In fact, when following the sahabah we are following Prophet Muhammad because they did not learn Islam from anyone other than him. Indeed their virtues are many; for they are the ones who supported Islam and spread the faith, fought along with the Prophet, and transmitted the Quran, Sunnah and the Islamic rulings. They sacrificed themselves and their wealth for the sake of Allah. We love them for they loved Allah and His Messenger.

Prophet Muhammad said, “The best of people is my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them.”[2] The sahabah did not all have the exact same personalities, backgrounds, mindsets, outlooks, or tastes. They were all unique; however they were united upon Islam. As Muslims, we too are not all the same. We are able to take distinct lessons from each of the sahabah; we are able to learn from their experiences. Some were gentle, others were strict; some were learned men and women, while others were unlettered. Some of the sahabah were ascetic while others were the millionaires and leading entrepreneurs of their time. It is from the mercy of Allah that He has given us so many role models for behaviour, character, and conduct. Let us continue our exploration by looking at two of Prophet Muhammad’s closest friends.

Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr was a successful merchant with a reputation for honesty and kindness. He was the first adult man to convert to Islam, and accepted Prophet Muhammad’s message instantly. Prophet Muhammad said that if he were to weigh the Imaan of Abu bakr it would outweigh that of the entire Ummah. Abu Bakr excelled in every form of worship and was known as “As-Sabbaaq” – meaning the one who wins in every competition. Umar Ibn Al-Khattab once donated half of his wealth to fund the Battle of Tabuk, hoping to outdo Abu Bakr, only to find out that Abu Bakr had already donated his entire fortune. Abu Bakr was tender-hearted and compassionate. He sympathized with the poor and pitied the miserable and when reciting Quran, he would weep.

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab went from being one of the strongest opponents of Islam to one of its staunchest believers. Umar was a pioneering figure in the Islamic world. He was a leader, a statesman, a pious and God-conscious Muslim who showed respect for all individuals including non-Muslims and he ordered the Muslims to treat non-Muslims with respect. He showed us how to apply the Quranic injunction ‘there is no compulsion in religion’. Umar was known for his power, and strength and he used this, his bold intellect, and his far-sighted wisdom for the sake of Islam and for the empowerment of Muslims. Prophet Muhammad called Umar “Al- Farooq” – the Criterion between good and evil.

Because human beings learn so much through imitating the behaviour of others it is important that they choose or are given access to good role models. In a world that more often than not derides Islamic morals and manners it is essential that Muslims have people to look up to, admire and emulate. There are no better people than members of the sahabah, those men, women and children that were close to Prophet Muhammad and were taught Islam as it was revealed. Above we looked briefly at two male sahabi and now we will look at two of Prophet Muhammad’s most influential wives.

Khadijah, the daughter of Khuwaylid

Khadijah was the first, and for 25 years, the only wife of Prophet Muhammad. She was 40 years old and twice widowed when she married Muhammed, then aged 25, who had not at that stage been granted prophethood. Khadijah was an accomplished businesswoman, wealthy in her own right with a reputation of dealing with the disabled, orphans, widows and the poor with kindness and compassion; she was known as “At-Tahira”, the pure one. Khadijah loved and supported Prophet Muhammad through the first difficult years of Islam. She did so in the spirit of partnership and companionship that is inherent in a truly Islamic marriage.

Khadijah was the first person to accept the message of Islam and she stood by her husband as family and friends turned against him, and plotted to kill him. Khadijah supported the rise of Islam with her wealth and health. She provided food, water and medicines for the banished and boycotted community. Even though she was not accustomed to deprivation, Khadijah never complained about the poor conditions she was forced to endure. After Khadijah passed away (three years before the migration of Muslims from Makkah to Madina), Prophet Muhammad remarked that she had been a loving mother, a loyal and sympathetic wife who shared all his deepest secrets and dreams.

Aisha the daughter of Abu Bakr

Aisha was the daughter of Abu Bakr, one of the Prophet Muhammad’s closest companions. During her marriage to the Prophet Muhammad, the couple developed a close relationship and it was in Aisha’s arms that the Prophet Muhammad died in 632 CE. Regarded by many as his favourite wife, she was an active figure in numerous events and an important witness to many more.

Aisha was generous and patient. She bore without complain the poverty and hunger that was common in the early days of Islam. For days on end no fire would be lit in the sparsely furnished house of the Prophet for cooking or baking bread and they would live merely on dates and water. The poverty did not distress or humiliate Aisha and the self-sufficiency when it did arrive did not corrupt her gentle ways.

Aisha was also well known for her wisdom and curiosity. She would always ask questions and clarify even the smallest points; this made her a priceless resource. More than 2,000 hadith narrations can be traced back to her. Due to her vast knowledge, she was often consulted before rulings were made or decisions taken. She lived long after the death of the Prophet and was she was able to teach the Muslims their religion for many years before her death.

As we discussed in lesson 1, people, particularly children learn by copying the behaviour of the important or famous people in their lives. Try to remember the last time you listened to children playing; many of them desire to be the latest sports star or music sensation. Sadly in some cases by the time they reach adulthood these children can tell you everything about media stars but not a single fact about the companions of Prophet Muhammad. They can quote sporting statistics perfectly but stumble through the recitation of Al-Fatihah. On the Day of Resurrection, these entertainment idols will ignore and disown all those who took them as role models. Interestingly, at the conclusion of a Reebok ad the basketball idol walks to the camera and says, “Just because I dunk a ball doesn’t mean I have to raise your kids.” Even the stars themselves realise that they do not always display behaviour that others should aspire to or emulate.

Role models not only demonstrate the best behaviour, they also demonstrate how to learn from mistakes and failures. The sahabah in particular often found themselves in difficult situations and on steep learning curves. In many cases it was Prophet Muhammad himself who corrected their behaviour, and he did it in a way that did not humiliate or upset the offender. Good roles, such as the sahabah teach by their behaviour; they teach those who look up to them to live in a way that is pleasing to Allah. From them we learn that human beings are not perfect but they can seek to please Allah in everything they do and in every reaction to outside influences. 

Chamonix valley, Mont Blanc (IMAGE)

BgbZjDQIcAAPegj

info-pictogram1 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or, more commonly, Chamonix is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-easternFrance. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. The commune’s population of around 9,800 ranks 865th within the country of France.

Worry looks around, fear looks back, faith looks up, guilt looks down.

gb copy Worry looks around, fear looks back, faith looks up, guilt looks down.
es copy Preocupación mira a su alrededor, el temor mira hacia atrás, la fe mira hacia arriba, la culpa mira hacia abajo.
nl copy Zorg kijkt om zich heen, angst kijkt terug, geloof ziet op, schuld neerkijkt.
fr copy Inquiétude regarde autour, la peur revient, foi regarde, regarde vers le bas culpabilité.
de copy Sorge sieht sich um, blickt Angst, Glaube schaut auf, sieht die Schuld nach unten.
CN67867 Dānxīn kàn lái kàn qù, pà huíshǒu, xìnyǎng táitóu, nèijiù kànbùqǐ.
Sweden Oro ser sig omkring, skräck ser tillbaka, tro ser upp, skuld ser ner.
rus7897 Bespokoystvo smotrit vokrug, strakh oglyadyvayetsya , vera smotrit , chuvstvo viny smotrit vniz .
4523turkey Endişe, etrafına bakınır korku geri görünüyor, inanç arar, suçluluk aşağı görünüyor.
images Preoccupazione si guarda intorno, la paura guarda indietro, la fede guarda in alto, senso di colpa abbassa lo sguardo.
indonesiaID Khawatir melihat sekeliling, takut melihat ke belakang, iman mendongak, rasa bersalah melihat ke bawah.

Islam is the compass that keeps us headed in the right direction, even in the midst of confusing messages all around.

gb copy Islam is the compass that keeps us headed in the right direction, even in the midst of confusing messages all around.
es copy El Islam es la brújula que nos mantiene dirigimos en la dirección correcta, incluso en medio de los mensajes confusos a su alrededor.
nl copy De islam is het kompas dat houdt ons hoofd in de goede richting, zelfs in het midden van verwarrende berichten rondom.
fr copy L’Islam est la boussole qui nous maintient dans la bonne direction, même au milieu des messages confus tout autour.
de copy Islam ist der Kompass, der uns leitete in die richtige Richtung, auch in der Mitte der verwirrenden Meldungen rund um hält.
CN67867 Yīsīlán jiào shì, shǐ wǒmen cháozhe zhèngquè de fāngxiàng, jíshǐ zài hǔnluàn de xìnxī zhī zhōng gèdì de zhǐnánzhēn.
Sweden Islam är den kompass som håller oss på väg åt rätt håll, även mitt i förvirrande budskap runt om.
rus7897 Islam yavlyayetsya kompas, kotoryy derzhit nas v vernom napravlenii, dazhe v razgar vvodyashchuyu v zabluzhdeniye informatsiyu vse vokrug.
4523turkey İslam bize her yerinde, hatta kafa karıştırıcı mesajların ortasında, doğru yolda tutan pusula olduğunu.
images L’Islam è la bussola che ci tiene andando nella direzione giusta, anche nel bel mezzo di messaggi confusi tutto intorno.
indonesiaID Islam adalah kompas yang membuat kita menuju ke arah yang benar, bahkan di tengah-tengah pesan membingungkan di sekitar.