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…

View original post 239 more words

An Excuse 

Is the deliberate association of Sunni Arabs to ISIL is part of a plan to gain support for displacing Iraqis ?  The dominating forces in Iraq are executing a plan for demographic change

Let’s remember that Iraq under the tyrant Sadam was a secular country where no extremists religious terrorist organisation existed …

Sectarian Tensions flare in Baghdad as some Sunni Arab families forced from Neighborhoods

No victorious but GOD, Andalusian tile

Cold War 2

Nowadays, our planet is much more kaleidoscopic and asymmetric in its violence than that, and the world is pretty much in flames already, should we care to look.

But a hot war would not mean Americans directly in hand-to-hand combat with Russians,


The Cry, Suad Al Attar, Iraqi Artist, 2004

conventionally or through nuclear weaponry. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction still applies. More probable, as in the last Cold War, is that they will try to stay out and allow their proxies to fight the wars for them

The Second Cold War will most likely take on that sort of character, as it is already, but in more places, with more deadly weapons, more terrorism, a greater death toll, less respect for national borders and, thus, with more dangers of escalation attached. Let’s hope Iceland manages to keep out of the way; few others will.

Extracts from

We are facing the possibility of a second Cold War – and if it happens, Isis will never be defeated
Every conflict during the Cold War was fought by armies or insurgents working on behalf of the Americans, Russians, or, occasionally the Chinese: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola and the list goes on. These countries would use proxies again, but with a higher death count, in the 21st century

Sean O’Grady, Wednesday 12 October 2016 Continue reading

ID CARD – Mahmoud Darwish Poem

ID Card

Mahmoud Darwish

Write it down! I’m an Arab
My card number is 50000
My children number eight
And after this summer, a ninth on his way.
Does this make you rage?
I am an Arab.
With my quarry comrades I labor hard
My children number eight
I tug their bread, their clothes
And their notebooks
From within the rock
I don’t beg at your door
I don’t cower on your threshold
So does this make you rage?
Write it down!
I am an Arab.

Continue reading