“Who run the world? Nerds”

Scientists, Feeling Under Siege brings back memories to Iraq Scientific Research Programmes which almost vanished as a result of ‘Iraq liberation’ reducing a country which in the 70s eliminated literacy (and then a leading ‘developed’ state in the MENA region); to nothing but a pit of corruption.

Since, many scientist has either been chased, killed or left the country. While, Iraqi youths either no longer afford to go to school or suffering from a crumbling education system. This is a country which used to offer free education and donate school books to neighbouring countries!

Invasion  or Liberation?  I ask, that leads to the murder of Iraqi expertise and the burning of its own scientific research archive !?

History repeats itself, as during the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols, the books from Baghdad’s libraries were thrown into the Tigris River in such quantities that the river ran black with the ink from the books.

As you google for information about the Iraq Scientific Research Centre you don’t find much information about what once was a leading research compound in the Middle East .

Scholars at an Abbasid library in Baghdad – Maqamat Al Hariri illustration by Yahya Al-Wasiti

My Grand Father and World War I 

My Grand Father and World War I  – a journey back into history

Part Iimg_0008

My grandfather was the manager of the Ottoman Empire telegram office in Al-Amara Iraq when the British army marched through Iraq in 1914.
They (I am told) refused to surrender and he was captured as a prisoner of war then transferred to India for 5 years. When he was released back to Iraq, he was unwell and didn’t live for very long. Continue reading

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 42: 15th century Qur’an bound in contemporary gold-stamped goatskin

The divine Art of Calligraphy … continues

Echoes from the Vault

As we begin to round out our last 10 binding posts, it’s time to start getting out the treasures! This week’s binding feature is one of the highlights of our Oriental Manuscript collection: ms19(o), a richly illuminated and complete 15th century Timurid Qur’an.

A dedication note has been pasted to the front cover (pictured above) that tells us that this Qur’an was produced in 1441-1442 (AH845) by a scribe named Muhammad Mu’min ibn Abdallah al-Muwarid. It is also noted that this manuscript was made for Sultan Abu Said Shuja ad-Din Bahadur Khan, who ruled the Transoxiana region in his time, and so we can assume that this manuscript and its binding might have been produced here. Sultan Abu Said Shuja ad-Din Bahadur was the grandson of Timur, the legendary 15th century conqueror of most of western, central and southern Asia and the founder of the Timurid…

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