What is beauty?
By: William C. Chittick
Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of Islamic culture knows that it has produced extraordinary works of art and architecture — Persian miniatures, the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra. Few are aware, however, that this rich artistic heritage is firmly rooted in a worldview that highlights love and beauty.
The link between love and beauty is clear. We love what we find beautiful. Beauty attracts, ugliness repels. Nor are beauty and ugliness simply physical characteristics. We all know people who are outwardly attractive but personally repellent, and vice versa.
Beauty makes a massive appearance in love poetry like that of Ibn al-Farid, Rumi, Yunus Emre, and countless others. Their verses stir up wonder and delight by evoking the beautiful characteristics of the beloved.
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Subhana’llah: Arabian Horse (IMAGES)
The Arabian horse is the oldest purebred horse in the world. The Arabian was the horse the Bedouin people (nomadic people) of Arabia as early as 3000 to 2500 BC. They were later introduced into Europe and throughout the world. All Arabian horses have black skin underneath their coats, except underneath any white hair. When these horses lived in the desert, the black skin would help to protect them from the hot sun. Horses see, hear and smell better than humans. Horses are very sensitive to touch. They can sense a fly landing on any part of their body and use their tail to flick it off. A horse’s heart beats 46 to 42 beats per minute. If frightened this can rise quickly to over 250.
Documentary: Earthrise – Solar Revolution (Video)
From school children to night fishermen, solar lighting in Kenya is transforming the lives of thousands of people. As the sun sets over developing countries, more than a billion people are either plunged into darkness or forced to rely on polluting light sources such as kerosene.
While clean energy alternatives exist, switching to them has been slow and in Kenya, more than 80 percent of the country’s 40 million inhabitants rely on kerosene, candles and torches as their main source of light.
But the development of an all-in-one solar electricity system that powers lights, radios and phones is revolutionising thousands of households and businesses.
Robin Forestier-Walker travels to Kenya’s Rift Valley to see how innovative financing, distribution and product design is heralding a new era in solar lighting.
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