To highlight the UAE as a global capital for acceptance by means of the country’s administrative goals, as well as to solidify the nation’s role to promote progress and stability in the region, the President, Sheikh Khalifa, has officially declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.
The Ruler stated that in practice the importance of peace, tolerance, and co-existence in local, regional and international communities, the nation continues to carry on the teachings and legacy of Sheikh Zayed. Further saying that it’s among the most significant elements that it can impact on the citizens and the international community to ensure the safety, stability, and happiness of peoples across the world.”
Echoing these thoughts, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, VP and Ruler of Dubai, shares in social media: “Dear brothers and sisters, the President… has issued a directive to announce 2019 as the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, with the aim of solidifying the international role that the country plays as the capital of co-existence and meeting of civilizations.
Sheikh Mohammed believes that the foundation of a progressive society, one that is intellectual and humane and is a powerful tool that empowers civilizations and ensures the stability of a booming nation is tolerance.
He was also quoted saying that come this 2019, UAE will endeavor to present this value and direct the media, intellectual, and research production movements to reiterate this value in the region.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, stated that the world presently needs universal human values to be advocated for the benefit of the next generations.
The Year of Tolerance was announced to be an extension of the Year of Zayed since it sustains the values of co-existence that Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, formed amongst UAE’s general public.
Brief History of Tolerance in UAE
HH Sheikh Khalifa, in July 2015 has issued the Federal Decree Law No. 02 of 2015 about Combating Discrimination & Hatred. The decree seeks to protect all the people in the UAE, by means of a strong legislative ground for the environment of co-existence, tolerance, and acceptance. Its objective is to condemn discrimination against a person or groups based on social status, religion, principle, race, color or ethnic origin.
The UAE Cabinet presented the first post of the Minister of State for Tolerance in 2016. In the same year, the National Tolerance Program was launched in order to boost the values of tolerance and co-existence and to disallow manners of discrimination and hate. The country also launched various centers to counter extremism, including the Hedayah Centre, Int’l. Institute for Tolerance, and Sawab Centre.
The United Arab Emirates was also acknowledged for its programs and initiatives and in promoting tolerance to counter terrorism and extremism in global indices. In 2016, the country was awarded the top position in the region and 3rd worldwide in the Tolerance Index of the 2016 Yearbook published by the Int’l. Institute for Mgt. Dev’t, in Switzerland.
Must read: Simply way to promote peace
The Seven Pillars of Tolerance
The Year of Tolerance will focus on seven main pillars. The first pillar is Tolerance in Community. This seeks to foster the values of tolerance within the family and extends to various cultures which activate the role of UAE Community centers throughout the nation in promoting a unified society.
The second pillar tackles Tolerance in Education. The goal of this is to strengthen the teachings behind the importance of tolerance in the educational system – throughout schools and universities in the country.
The third pillar is Tolerance in the Workplace. How to create a safe and united workplace in the private and public sector, institutions and organizations that provide equal opportunity for everyone.
The fourth pillar talks about Tolerance and Culture where it targets to promote a cultural tolerance by setting up a variety of events and programs that celebrate over two hundred nationalities that reside in the UAE and enhance the interaction through arts and culture.
The fifth pillar focus on UAE Model of Tolerance where it aims to fortify the country as an international capital for tolerance through strings of projects and initiative that specializes in tolerance and communication amongst different cultures and civilizations.
The sixth pillar is about Tolerance in Legislation where it sees the Supreme Nat’l. Committee for Tolerance work on forming policies, legislation and exec. regulations that guarantee the sustainability of lessons and values that include a law on multiculturalism.
The seventh and last pillar is Tolerance in the Media. Recognizing the power of media in disseminating tolerance and the value of co-existence by means of targeted media campaigns while promoting the UAE Model of Tolerance throughout social media platforms and channels.
Pope Francis Visit to UAE
When the United Arab Emirates established ties with the Vatican 12 years ago, nobody could tell how the relationship would develop. Efforts in the past to unite the people of Christianity and Islam presented some challenges, but this papal visit could bring about a discovery of the common history that unites people of good faith.
This is the first visit by a Catholic Pope to the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam, and one cannot think of a better country than the UAE for this reception and celebration of unity.
The visit by Pope Francis to the UAE is a passage which offers a promise of the new beginning, wherein nationalities participate in dialogue, learn to accept each other and welcome the differences, and celebrate diversity.
On February 3, 2019, Pope Francis, the head of Roman Catholic Church will travel to Abu Dhabi to build bridges between people of the largest cultures and religions in the world and history will be made.
The following day, he will be received by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, prior to attending a private meeting of the Muslim Council of Elders at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the interfaith Global Meeting of Human Fraternity at the Founder’s Memorial.
Pope Francis will deliver a public Mass at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday morning at 10.30am, an occasion millions of Catholics in the UAE have been eagerly anticipating. Thousands of specially arranged buses will be taking people for the mass on Tuesday, where there will be no official parking.
The pontiff openly talks of differences, a first for a pope who practices a fearless papal pursuit to resolve those differences. His dialogue with Islam has brought criticism from theological conservatives but he has carried on. Pope Francis is not afraid to speak out in defense of Islam, nor is he afraid to defend the minority status of Christians in the Middle East.
Pope Francis’s momentous journey to the region embodies the UAE’s Year of Tolerance and has given a chance to reflect on its concept.
The United Arab Emirates is a nation believing in the power of reconciliation, one that is not afraid to dream of a tolerant future.
Upcoming 2019 Events
This year, the United Arab Emirates declared it will be a global coordinator for cooperation within a new Global Tolerance Alliance to encourage acceptance around the world.
An agreement on tolerance was signed by dignitaries from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Switzerland, and the United States – and also the Higher Colleges of Technology, Emirates Human Rights Association, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Tolerance-themed events and publications will take place all through 2019.
The declaration of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance was done days after it was announced that Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in February, a significant signal that the United Arab Emirates is welcoming and tolerant of all religions.
The Special Olympic World Games, which will take place on 14-21 of March in the capital city are also anticipated to strongly focus in a year-long series of events promoting tolerance.
It is going to be the first time that the Games will be assembled in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is estimated to draw in over 7,500 athletes coming from across the globe and a projected 500,000 audiences.
The athletes are going to compete in a range of events at eleven sited in Abu Dhabi such as the National Exhibition Centre, New York University Abu Dhabi, Zayed Sports City, Armed Forces Officers Club, the Yas Marina Circuit, Khalifa International Bowling Centre as well as the Abu Dhabi Yacht and Sailing Club.
Brief History of Tolerance in UAE
HH Sheikh Khalifa, in July 2015 has issued the Federal Decree Law No. 02 of 2015 about Combating Discrimination & Hatred. The decree seeks to protect all the people in the UAE, by means of a strong legislative ground for the environment of co-existence, tolerance, and acceptance. Its objective is to condemn discrimination against a person or groups based on social status, religion, principle, race, color or ethnic origin.
The UAE Cabinet presented the first post of the Minister of State for Tolerance in 2016. In the same year, the National Tolerance Program was launched in order to boost the values of tolerance and co-existence and to disallow manners of discrimination and hate. The country also launched various centers to counter extremism, including the Hedayah Centre, Int’l. Institute for Tolerance, and Sawab Centre.
The United Arab Emirates was also acknowledged for its programs and initiatives and in promoting tolerance to counter terrorism and extremism in global indices. In 2016, the country was awarded the top position in the region and 3rd worldwide in the Tolerance Index of the 2016 Yearbook published by the Int’l. Institute for Mgt. Dev’t, in Switzerland.
Background history of Ibn Battuta
Ever heard about Ibn Battuta? Oh, wait! You definitely should have heard about him: one of the greatest travelers that lived on earth. During his time on earth, he lived as an Islamic scholar with a difference, whose love for adventure was something indescribable. As much as the scholar lived an exemplary life in character and in the way he dealt with the people he met and lived with, so has his adventurous life also been a case of study that has made headlines in many magazines and journals, even many years after his death. For this article, we will be looking a bit into his personal life story, which is one of the most interesting to ever graze the earth, as well as picking some of his most important travels and talking about their highlights and significance to his overall life’s mission.
To complete grabs of his adventure, we will try to outline the events following each of his journey in a clear and vivid manner, and using easily understandable words to illustrate the events leading up to the journeys and part of what happened after each.
Ibn e Battuta‘s had his first journey in 1325 at the age of 20 years. He embarked on his first trip with a sole and unquenchable intention to fulfill one of the biggest pillars of Islam, “Hajj”, or a pilgrimage to Mecca. It was the events that followed this intention that added up to make him and the intention as popular as they’ve become today. It is on record that the highly regarded scholar traveled on for a total period of 29 years. During that period, he covered an incredible mark of 75,000 miles, covering over 44 countries. They were as at that time mostly the world’s greatest and most popular places been governed by Muslim Scholars/Leaders of “Dar al-Islam”.
The numerous journeys of Ibn Battuta are not without stories of the dangers he met and overcome. Some of the most popular dangers that have been told about were attacks on him by bandits, a ship that almost drowned with him onboard, and his near beheading by a tyrant leader. He got married a few times in some of the places he visited to and of course had many children throughout his traveling days.
At a time, when he was old and nearing the end of his life, the King of Morocco decided to hear the complete travel stories of Ibn Battuta and get it documented. Thanks to that move, we now have different translations of the account available to us. The original title name of the researched book was: “Tuhfat al-anzar fi gharaaib al-amsar wa ajaaib al-asfar”, or “A reward to the people who Intend the Miracles of worlds and the Wonders of the journey”.
With such a long title, a lot of people have generally to call it “The Journeys of Ibn Battuta” or “Ibn Battuta’s Rihla”.
Ibn Battuta Travels to the Red Sea and East Africa
Ibn Battuta came to Mecca and lived there for about a year, dedicating himself to the study of Islamic precepts. After staying for about a year in Mecca, the great scholar along with other pilgrims moved to Jidda on the Red Sea Coast. History has it that he and his co-travelers made this journey crammed onto a small ship was known as dhows. According to accounts of the travels of the scholar, the sail was not a too pleasant one. Of course, The Red Sea has never been one that’s easy to navigate, especially being characterized with a lot of rocks and coral reefs just under the waterline. Legends have it that during that time, pirates were regular in the sea, and they stole from wealthy travelers. The scholar’s ship faced its own share of turbulence. The first two days of the sail was calm and enjoyable, but things eventually changed and they faced a wind that drove towards them. Of course, with the wind against them, it became a serious struggle and they were driving off. Sailors became grievously ill because of the waves that entered the vessel. By this time, the lives of the travelers were in the hands of God, and He helped deliver them by pushing them to shore. Fortunately for Ibn Battuta and the other passengers, there were available camels to be rented, and they continued their journey on land.
The sea struggle didn’t end Ibn Battuta’s adventures and quest for knowledge. He did not relent; instead, he succeeded in visiting coastal cities and villages around the Yemen high mountains. During his time in Taiz, he stayed with the Sultan, and a horse was given to him before his departure.
He departed Taiz and headed down to the coastal city of Aden which served as a guard to the entrance of the Red Sea. The coastal city was popular to travelers and traders who sailed through the eastern parts of the sea, and they were often charged for tax or tariffs when they pass their goods through the port. At that time, ships popularly brought spices, iron, steel, medicinal herbs, Indian silks, cloth dyes, pearls, African Ivory, cowrie shells, Chinese potteries, and fruits.
During the lifetime of Ibn Battuta, the western half of the Indian Ocean trading centers was controlled by Muslim traders, so it was easy for the scholar to migrate from one Muslim community along the coast of Africa to the coasts of India and Southeast Asia. Of course, he was a Muslim and had the brain, so there was no limitation to the places he could visit, especially since he was a part of the international brotherhood of Islam, hence he could take advantage of the charity and hospitality of Muslims wherever he went.
From Aden, Ibn Battuta traveled through many routes down the coast of East Africa. His journey this time was blessed by favorable weather conditions and it was easy to have a smooth sail. As his ship made its way down the east coast of Africa, the scholar had his first stop in Zeila, a port in a large Muslim community in the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia. The scholar brandished Zeila with such words as “dirty” and “stinking”. The reason for the stink according to him was the quantity of fish and all the blood of camels that were butchered in its alleyways. Owing to all these, the scholar spent his nights on his ship, during his short stay there, despite the rough nature of the water.
After a short stint in Zeila, he continued southwards along with a team of mostly traders who were transporting their wares to Mogadishu, which was then the busiest and richest port in the whole of East Africa. They arrived there after a fifteen days journey. The Indian Ocean port served as a popular trading center for Arabic, Persian, Indian, and European merchants who along with their wares brought in their religion, culture, and languages to the region.
With Ibn Battuta’s status as a real scholar of Islamic religion and law, it was not difficult for the locals to welcome him. He met and feasted with important people throughout the week, before continuing his trip southwards to Zanj and then Mombasa. He moved on to the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, before eventually arriving at Kilwa, which is a part of Tanzania today.
Sailing the Black Sea
Ibn Battuta had a lot of big and small trips throughout his life. One of the trips that we consider significant enough to be here is his sail across the black sea. After staying for more than a month and waiting for the weather to stabilize, Ibn Battuta boarded a ship with a small party with a mission to sail across the Black Sea. Prior to this time, the scholar had spent almost a month to recover, refreshing his mind with new knowledge of the Koran and of philosophy and history. According to him, that one month had again repurposed his life and set him physically and psychologically ready for his next trip. During the sail across the black sea, a severe storm had hit their ship and almost capsized it. It was so severe that at some point co-sailors thought they’ll not make it out alive, but after several days of turbulence and panic, their sail arrived the opposite coast. From here, they found their way to Kaffa, a Genoese colony with ships numbering above 200 in its harbor. Among the people living in this place where traders from Genoa, Egypt, Russia, Venice, and a lot of other places. It was a dominant Christian town, hence there was only one mosque, and as a staunch Islamic scholar who’s longing was to uphold the precepts of Islam, the settings of the town angered Ibn Battuta and his friend, but since there was almost nothing that they could do at that time to salvage the situation, they moved to a city with more Muslim population the next day.
At the ports of the black sea, the goods of the steppe were being traded, including furs, grains, timbers, salt, honey, and wax. Other goods that were traded included those that had come along from China or Persia. At that time, the trade of slaves was also popular in the region. War captives and sad children of poor parents were also traded sugar plantation farmers from Cyprus or rich buyers from Italy.
By the time Ibn Battuta visited the black seaports, they had been in the trans-regional trade networks for more than two thousand years.
Ibn Battuta and his party of co-travelers arrived al-Qiram just in time to join another 700 miles trip to the Volga River, with the king of the Golden Horde and his army being their needed protection throughout the trip.
Ibn Battuta Travels on a Mongol Caravan
It was quite easy for Ibn Battuta and his traveling party to follow the tracks of Kipchak Khan Ozberg caravan and this was largely as a result of the number of people traveling with the king. The rulers travel party was so big that it could be confused to be a big city traveling with its population. They even had markets and mosques on the move. It was even possible to spot kitchen smoke from the people that cooked on the journey. This was how big the ruler’s party was, and to the scholar and his own traveling party, it was great news, since it meant that the protection provided by the king’s men reached them too.
On this side of the world, traveling at that time was not without horse pulled wagons, although in some cases, the wagon was pulled by ox or camels.
Normally, a rich Mongol will have their caravan looking like a big town, although with few men in it. It was so big that a single girl could be leading up to 30 carts.
One act that really surprised the scholar was how the Turks had their animals loosened up and sent into the fields during stops without the need for shepherds. The confidence in which the owners did all these with was striking, but this what because the on theft was heavy. A thief proven guilty to be in possession of a stolen horse was forced to restore it with nine more, and in the event where he fails to deliver, his sons become the needed replacement
If he doesn’t have a son, he is slaughtered like an animal.
According to Ibn Battuta, the food consumed by the Turks includes millet porridge or “dugi”. They also ate boiled or roasted sheep or horse. According to the scholar’s account of his finding in this case, the Turks didn’t consume meats without their bones mixed with it. They made a special salt-water sauce, which they dipped their meat in to season it before eating. The scholar also found that the Turks considered eating sweets as a disgrace. Instead, they drank made milk and millet beer, which Ibn Battuta couldn’t take because he was a Muslim.
Travels to New Delhi
Ibn Battuta’s trip to New Delhi is one of his adventures that are worth talking about. Through the high mountains of Afghanistan, the scholar made his way onto India, following after the footsteps of Turkish warriors, who invaded and conquered the Hindu farming people of the idea a century earlier and established the Delhi Sultanate. The Muslim soldiers had invaded the land, smashing the images and structures of the Hindu gods. After conquering the city, Turks from Afghanistan were brought in to replace the local Hindu leaders. The problem, however, was that the Muslim leaders brought in to rule the small cities in Delhi were not safe, as they continued to face strong opposition from the Hindu speaking people who were the majority in India. They were however threatened with periodic Mongol invasions from the north. In fact, as at 1323, The Chagatay Khan had even invaded India and was threatening Delhi before he was chased back across the Indus River by the feisty Sultan Muhammad Tughluq.
Slowly but steadily, India was becoming remodeled, with Muslim leaders gaining more control of the country and as was expected, their sphere of influence increased rapidly. Hindus even began to convert to Islam to find jobs in the new government. Becoming Muslims had strong economic benefits, and the people recognized it.
As a strategy to strengthen the Sultans held in India, he needed more administrators, scholars, and judges to be on his side and uphold his principles. He needed poets, writers, and entertainers who will tell good things about the new leadership and help influence the people at the grass root. The Sultan found it difficult trusting the Hindus because he had a strong fear that they’ll betray and rebel against him. Instead, he recruited talents from outside the country and rewarded them bountifully with good salaries and fabulous gifts. This single gesture brought in Muslims from Persia and Turkey, who were looking to leverage the improved wages and other incentives to better their lives. Soon, the ruling elites adopted Persian as their official language. It was during this time that Ibn Battuta arrived in the country, hoping that the Sultan would offer him employment.
However, Muhammad Tughluq has always been remembered as a ruler that was violent, erratic, and eccentric. His intelligence was renowned, so it was not surprising that he learned how to Persian poetry rather quickly and soon became a master in the art of calligraphy; he was so bright that he could comfortably debate issues bordering religion and conventional laws with highly schooled scholars. He also learned to speak and read Arabic so that he could fluently read religious texts like the Koran without help or transcription from anybody. However, there were a lot of instances where he stepped too far and made decisions that proved disastrous. He was known as a cruel man who was responsible for having rebels, thieves and good Muslim scholars who disagreed with him go through the same cruel punishment of gruesome murder. It was so bad that he punished even the friends of anyone who questioned any of his policies. According to Ibn Battuta, not a week passed at that time without the Sultan spilling the blood of Muslims right before the entrance of the palace. The methods he employed to kill these people were too gruesome to be mentioned.
Records have it that in late 1334, Ibn Battuta had moved to Delhi, in search of official employment. He signed a contract with a term that stated that he would stay in India. He applied wisdom in his approach to the Sultan, assembling gifts that included arrows, horses, camels, slaves, and other goods. It was great wisdom because he knew that the Sultan would give favors and gifts worth more than all his own gifts.
On arrival, Ibn Battuta got 2,000 silver dinars set up in a house that was completely furnished as welcoming gift. Although Muhammad Tughluq was not in Delhi as at the time of the arrival of Ibn Battuta, he heard of it and hired him in the service of the state without even seeing him. His employment came with an annual salary of 5,000 silver dinars. The average Hindu family lived on an average of 5 dinars per month.
Ibn Battuta and the other newcomers would later pay a visit to the Sultan on his return to Delhi, bearing their gifts. The Sultan was pleased with the arrival of Ibn Battuta and showered him with praises and material gifts.
Ibn Battuta eventually started out working as a judge and was given two assistants to help him interpret the Persian language and to help him out with administrative functions. He also joined the Sultan a lot of times in elaborate haunting expeditions. At that time, Ibn Battuta lived an extravagant life that pushed him into debt, although the Sultan paid off the debts.
Escape From Delhi
All the time while Ibn worked as a judge in Delhi, he was not comfortable with the tyrannical and always moody nature of the Sultan. The fear was that he could fall out of favor with the Sultan if he ever came at loggerheads in any decision with him, and that will come with a lot of disadvantages. When the Sultan offered him a task that was going to take him out of Delhi, Ibn Battuta welcomed it with open hands. He was in fact fascinated by the whole idea of being made as an ambassador of Sultan Muhammad Tughluq to the Mongol court of China. In the offer, he was to accompany 15 Chinese messengers back to their homeland, bearing gifts meant for the emperor. To the scholar, it was an opportunity to get away for Muhammad Tughluq and back to visiting more lands.
In 1341, Ibn Battuta set out as leader of a group moving from Delhi to China. The entourage bore gifts from Muhammad Tughluq to the emperor of Mongol. The gifts included: 200 Hindu slaves, 15 boy servants, 100 horses, and an incredible amount of swords, dishes, and clothes. The Sultan put about a thousand soldiers under the command of Ibn Battuta to help protect the treasury and supply until they were safely on board a ship headed for China.
It was only a few days into the journeys when 4,000 Hindu rebels attacked the traveling party. 4,000 were way more than the number of the traveling party, but Ibn Battuta claimed that he and his people easily defeated the rebels, despite their huge number. Later in the journey, they were again attacked and this time around, Ibn Battuta got separated from his companions. It was a force of over 10,000 horsemen. He managed to escape what was one of the greatest chases he faced throughout his lifetime. After the escape from Delhi, he again got confronted by another set of 40 Hindu robbers who took away all his possessions, except for his pants, shirt, and cloak. Some robbers abducted him and plotted to kill him at sunrise, but fortunately for Battuta, he could negotiate his release by giving his clothes to his abductors in return.
Eight days after his unprecedented release, the exhausted and almost naked scholar was rescued by a Muslim who carried him to a village. He recuperated quickly and within two days, he was ready to join and proceed with the party headed to China for his original mission.
The group continued without any trouble that they could not manage until they got to Daulatabad. In the city, they were safe. They rested there for a few days, before continuing on their journey. The group got to Gandhar within days from where they boarded four ships. Three of the ships were large shows, and they carried all the gift items, including the slaves, while the fourth ship was a warship which had soldiers on board to defend them against pirate attacks.
All the ships headed south and soon got to the port of Calicut. According to Ibn Battuta, they were received amid a great ovation. The locals used trumpets, drums, horns, and flags to welcome the traveling party. Ibn Battuta also got to see 13 Chinese junks in the harbor. He was impressed by the size and design of the Chinese junks. They were bigger and could contain a lot more than the dhow. They would later continue their journey to China on three of those Chinese ships. The over 1,000 crew on board helped move their gifts to the bigger ships, while Ibn Battuta had some personal time in the mosque, of course planning to join the ship later that afternoon.
After his time in the mosque, just when he was going to join the board, something very terrible tragedy happened. A violent storm had come up and the captains were forced to order the ships to wait out the storm out to sea, in deeper waters. Throughout the night, Ibn Battuta waited and watched on helplessly as the storm continued to rage, and by the next day, watched in horror as the storm pushed two ships to shore, broke them and sank them. No crew member survived from the ship that he was supposed to be on. It was a tragedy. The slaves, slave boys, and horses were all gone.
The other ship that carried the servants, slave girls and Ibn Battuta’s luggage had already set sail to China. This meant that the scholar was left alone, without any penny, and the shame of failing once again as a leader. He felt terrible. There was a slim chance of catching up the other ship, and he took the option. He sailed for 10 days and arrived at another port, where he intended to wait for the ship, but the ship never turned up. He’ll later hear many months later that the ship was seized by “an infidel” in Indonesia.
He was stuck and didn’t know where to go. He thought of the idea of going back to the Sultan of Delhi, but that scared him because he was not sure how the Sultan would take the news of his failed trip to China. He decided that picking a job with another Muslim sultan would be safer for him. Ibn Battuta fought alongside this sultan in day-long battle as a way to win over the sultan’s heart. Of course, the battle won him the needed favor and before long, the Sultan liked him and offered a young wife to him, which he declined for obvious reasons.
Soon, another battle was looming, and a defeat seemed inevitable this time. Ibn Battuta managed a very difficult escape through the battle line and went on to Calicut for the fifth time. From here, he decided to take a trip to China on his own accord. With an assurance that the Muslim communities along the way would help him with the issues of hospitality and comfort. He headed to China alone, taking the long route, although this time he would make a brief tour of the Maldives before going on to Sri Lanka.
Journey to the Maldives
After his stay in Delhi and all the events that ensued, it was time for Ibn Battuta to go on. On his way to China, he stopped over in the Maldives Islands, and again this place was significant to his trips. The Maldives is a tiny nation that is bordered on the southwest of India by the Indian Ocean. The island is popular for rising just a few feet above sea level. During the Medieval times, the Maldives Islands played a very important role serving as the major export city of coconut fibers and cowrie shells which was used as a medium of exchange in parts of Africa and Malaysia. In the twelfth century, the Maldives saw a religious revolution in which most of its people converted to Islam, from Buddhism. This was as a result of the act of a pious Muslim from North Africa who singlehandedly used recitations of the Koran go get rid of a terrible demon.
When Ibn Battuta arrived at Male, the capital city of Maldives, he was only planning to stay a short while and go on with his journey. But as fate would have it, he arrived at a time, when the rulers were looking for someone who was grounded in the laws of Islam and understood Arabic well to take the role of a chief judge. The rulers were delighted when they realized that their visitor fit requirements, so the sent gifts of gold jewelry, pearls, and slave girls to Ibn Battuta as a way to convince him to stay and take the role. They even put machinery in place to prevent him from leaving by ship, so it meant that he had to stay. He presented his own terms for which he would stay in the island. Listed among his terms were: He would be carried around Male in a litter, or on a horseback ride. He took a wife from the place and lived flamboyantly just like a king. The resulting events favored Ibn Battuta, and before you knew it, he was already seen as a part of the royal family and in fact the most important judge across the country.
As a chief judge, he was enthusiastic about his job, worked hard and tried everything within his power to establish a society guided strictly by Muslim laws. Some of the laws he established encouraged whipping and public disgrace for anyone that failed to attend Friday prayers. When thieves were tried and found guilty, their right hand was cut off. Women who exposed their nakedness were ordered to cover up, although he was not too successful in this one.
He took additional three wives, who were highly connected, and as a result, his power and affluence increased, and the people feared him more.
It didn’t take too long before Ibn began to make enemies after all power comes with stepping on a lot of toes. He came to loggerheads with the governors, and after heated arguments and political plots, the scholar decided that it was time to move on, after spending 9 months in the islands. He quit his job and moved on with his three wives, although he would eventually divorce them.
The Visit to Sri Lanka
At this point, Ibn Battuta already had lots of adventures. He had largely had favors and victories in most of the places he had gone to. Finally, it was time to go to China, but not without a brief stopover in Sri Lanka. He stopped in Sri Lanka with a purpose to go to a holy site on pilgrimage. The mountain, Adams Peak was a sacred place for Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus at that time. The significance of the mountain to the religions was related to the rock that looked like a large footprint on it. To the Hindus, the print represented the footprint of Shiva, to the Buddhists, it was Buddha, while to the Muslims, it represented the footprint of Adam, the first man thrown by God from the seventh heaven according to accounts by old pilgrims.
Ibn Battuta went to meet the king of Ceylon when he arrived. The king loved the way Ibn Battuta told the story of his life adventures and entertained the scholar with his traveling party for three days, before giving them permission to climb Adam’s Peak. The ruler also showered Ibn Battuta with gifts of pearls and rubies, slaves and supplies.
After visiting the pilgrim’s site, Ibn Battuta and his party boarded another ship, which was provided by the king. Mid into their sail, there were faced by a very serious storm which brought them very close to death. Their ship was wrecked, but fortunately for Ibn Battuta, he and some of his possession survived this time again. Again, all his possession was taken by pirates who eventually overpowered him and his party.
Ibn Battuta had to board another ship to his former home in Male, where he stayed again for five days. By this time, his pregnant wife had delivered his son, and it was an opportunity to see the boy, before joining a Chinese junk that was headed to China.
Finally, Ibn Battuta Reaches China
After departing the Maldives, Ibn Battuta sailed for 40 days, before arriving the busy seaport of Quanzhou China.
A lot of the things he saw amazed him, but he was not impressed with the way the people went about their culture. In fact, he was completely uncomfortable with a culture that he barely understood. The Islamic scholar was greatly disturbed by the level of paganism going on in China that he had to limit himself from coming outside so that he would not see all the “blameworthy” things that the people did. Once in a while, he came across Muslims and every Muslim he met was family to him. Despite their culture, however, Ibn Battuta noted that China was the safest and most agreeable country in the world for anyone to visit.
After staying a while here and meeting people, he would get back on a junk headed back for his hometown in Morocco, where he lived with many stories of his numerous adventures across the Dar al-Islam.
Dubai Expo 2020 is not far off and Dubai is already building its future. It will be the first world exhibition in a Middle Eastern country and full of surprises await you. World Expo 2020 will be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021. The Expo site, which will cover a total of 438 hectares, is located in the Dubai South district, near the Al Maktoum International Airport.
Preparations are already well advanced as Dubai moves into gear to host Expo 2020, which experts say should boost the city’s economy by injecting an impressive $ 23 billion. The World Expo is a prestigious international event that takes place in a different host city every five years. It acts as an important convening point for new technologies and ideas, as well as a platform for economic, social and sustainable development. Under the theme “Connecting Minds, Building the Future,” Expo 2020 will inspire stakeholders, participants and visitors to consider the future and the ways we all have to make a difference.
The first ever World’s Fair was held in London in 1851. Since then, it has grown in size and importance to become one of the largest international events, attracting millions of visitors every five years from all over the world. to the organizing city. Each edition acts as a major catalyst for economic growth at the chosen site, which is why the World Expo generates such competition for the right to organize this historic event.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Dubai Expo 2020.
The 2020 Master Plan
In 2010, in order to prepare for such growth, the Dubai government set up a committee comprising the Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Agency, the Electricity and Water Agency, Dubai Civil Aviation, the Department of Land Affairs and the Dubai Maritime City, with the goal of developing a master plan for the city in anticipation of 2020.
Three growth scenarios have been developed, but Dubai is on track to follow the “strong growth” scenario rather than those of medium or low growth.
This rapid growth is partly due to the influx of residents following the events of the Arab Spring, but Expo 2020 Dubai is also involved since the event offers the prospect of new jobs.
With such an influx of new residents comes the question of housing, jobs, infrastructure, resources and services needed. In this context, training opportunities and career opportunities abound for architects, construction professionals and, perhaps even more so, urban planners.
Planners planning a career in the United Arab Emirates may need additional training to learn about local laws and regulations. Fortunately, there are world-renowned universities in Dubai, offering masters and degrees in urban planning. Planners can benefit from tax-free salaries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the average monthly salary for an expatriate in the UAE is $ 10,904.
Whether officials want it or not, the UAE will face significant growth over the next five years. But with contingency plans in place and an influx of motivated expatriates seeking to broaden their horizons and work for a better city, it looks like the city is well positioned to make the Dubai 2020 master plan a reality.
Some of the Projects for Expo 2020
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing, known as “Sixth Crossing” will be the longest arch bridge in the world, with a range of 667 meters long. The bridge will be 1.6 kilometers long, 64 meters wide and 15 meters high above the water. It was designed by FXFOWLE and its construction will cost 2.5 billion UAE dirhams. lt is part of a 3 billion dirhams project to develop new roads near the Lagoons.
Dubai Adventure Studios
IMG World of Adventure is expected to open next year and will be the largest theme park in the world. Dedicated to cartoon characters from the Marvel and Cartoon Network universes, it will be located in Dubailand. Divided into four zones, the park will house a vertiginous roller coaster, offering more turns than Formula Rossa (located at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi). In November of last year, the company Meraas announced a project of 10 billion AED to build four new theme parks. Bluewaters Island Project
Comprising residential areas, recreation a. shopping centers, Jumeirah Beach Residence will appear as the focal point of the complex. The Ferris wheel, 210m high, will be the centerpiece of the project, offering a breathtaking view of the coastline and monuments of Dubai. At the base of the wheel will be a place of entertainment as well as an exclusive place for private events and conferences. An electronic platform with a large screen will allow the diffusion of films, advertisements, and information. This place will also house a souk a promenade a. a 5-star boutique hotel.
Dubai Design District
A landmark in the design industry, the Dubai Design District will feature studios, schools, boutique hotels, luxury apartments, and shopping streets.
Called to become an imposing monument attracting two million visitors a year, the Dubai Frame will be 150 meters high and 93 meters wide. It will take the form of a huge frame through which one will be able to see at the same time the constructions of modern Dubai, such as Emirates Towers or Burj Khalifa, as well as older districts of the city like Deira, Umm Harair or Karama. At the base of the frame, a museum telling the story of the development of the city will be built.
District One MBR / Mohammad Bin Rashid City
Currently, under construction; this area is located less than 3 kilometers (4 minutes drive) from the Burj Khalifa near Downtown Dubai, a must see location with large green spaces that will become a new city in the city, with residential areas and commercial. In addition, it will offer a park that can accommodate 35 million visitors a year and the largest pool in the world (40 acres, or 16 hectares).
It is a project inspired by the tales of Alladin and Sinbad: according to the Municipality of Dubai, the project will consist of three key buildings, including commercial offices and hotel rooms, with towers spread over a distance 450 meters- all this is located in Al Rigga, Dubai Creek. This project is under construction and the deadline for the delivery of the buildings is not yet defined.
Dubai Opera House District and Opera House
A modular structure of 2000 seats, designed to compete for tech the famous Sydney Opera House, will be built by Emaar as part of the Opera District project in Downtown Dubai. The venue will host operas, theatrical performances, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestras, films, sporting events, and seasonal programming: it is a centerpiece of the district, inspired by the traditional sailing boats of the area. The Persian Gulf, which promotes the arts, culture, and events on the Dubai stage.
Nakheel Mall will be the focal point of Palm Jumeirah and will be spread over five levels with 100,000 meters of space dedicated to shopping, three underground parking with 4000 spaces, 200 shops, two department stores, nine cinemas, a medical center, and a fitness center. An esplanade will also host many gourmet restaurants as well as shops offering a wide range of food and beverages. All should be completed in 2016.
Museum of the Future
The emirate will be enriched by a spectacular new building, a huge oval ring that will host by 2017 a center focused on technological innovations.
The measure is not valid in Dubai. The largest city-state of the Arab Emirates will be enriched with a huge oval ring which will contain by 2017 a Museum of the future. The book focused on technological innovations will be built at an estimated cost of $ 136 million. On Dubai’s main road, the building will be next to Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world at 828 meters.
Dubai, which is emerging as a major regional business center and tourist destination, also aims to become “a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs,” said the ruler of the emirate, Sheikh Mohamed Ben Rached Al- Maktoum, by launching the project last Wednesday. The Museum of the Future “will bring together the brightest designers, researchers, financiers and inventors under one roof,” according to its designers.
Its seven floors will house innovation labs concentrated on education, health, smart cities, transportation, and energy. The museum will also be a program for exhibiting and testing the latest innovations of technology giants and will offer opportunities for collaboration with firms and major universities or research centers around the world, say its promoters.
“The Museum of the future will be an incubator of ideas and real ideas, the engine of innovation,” said Sheikh Mohamed Ben Rached, affirming his ambition to “not be left behind” in a world “committed to a new era […] of great technological revolutions “.
The city-state of Dubai, which today has 2.3 million inhabitants, multiplies projects in anticipation of the World Expo it will host in 2020.
- When will the Dubai Expo 2020 take place?
The Expo will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 and will involve more than 180 countries and an estimated 25 million visitors, 70% of which are from foreign countries. The end of the works is planned for the end of 2019, in order to facilitate the tests and controls with a view to the grand opening.
Expo 2020 in Dubai will coincide with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the United Arab Emirates, the fiftieth “anniversary” of the wealthy Persian state, whose independence from the United Kingdom was ratified on December 2, 1971. The ribbon cutting is so very close.
After the Expo? Difficult to predict the future accurately. Most of the structures will be transformed into state-of-the-art university research centers, with a congress center, museums, exhibition spaces, and many innovative services for students and researchers.
- Dubai Expo 2020 theme
“Connect the spirits, create the future”. Much more than a theme, a true mission with which the World Expo intends to recall the spirit of collaboration in the name of development and innovation.
Under the theme of the catalyst of Dubai Expo 2020, three “sub-themes” are gathered to deepen and motivate the intention to “create the future”:
– sustainability, for progress that does not compromise the life and the needs of the generations future;
– mobility, to create new, more efficient connections (physical or virtual) between people, communities, and countries;
– the opportunities to be unlocked in favor of the future of the peoples.
A few words on the logo, which perfectly embodies the theme of Expo 2020: a ring composed of many small concentric circles that meet to form the central ring. Symbol of the unity of peoples and continuity between the present and the future. But to make the history of the logo even more fascinating is its origin.
The design is in fact inspired by an old gold ring dating back more than 6,000 years, recently discovered during archaeological excavations in the Saruq Al Hadid desert between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
- Aspiration of Dubai Expo 2020
Continuing with the theme of the event, the goal is to bring together ideas from around the world and to engage participants in addressing common challenges. Ideas will have to simplify life and improve its quality, not to mention what has been done with Expo 2015. Proposals and projects will, therefore, be synthesized in a common vision for our future. And the foundation of this change is the same Expo 2020 site.
Half of the electricity used during the event will be entirely generated by renewable sources, while 90% of the equipment to be used in new buildings will be converted and reused by older buildings and infrastructure. The Dubai Expo is also an opportunity to boost employment and investment: the sustainable development of tourist attractions, commercial and residential spaces will create approximately 277,000 new jobs, 40% of which are in the tourism marketing sector.
- Where will Dubai Expo 2020 location?
The Dubai 2020 exhibition area will be installed in a new exhibition center, covering more than 400 hectares, the Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali, located in the area adjacent to the new Al Maktoum International Airport, the largest world airport. By the number of passengers (160 million per year). The free zone surrounding the exhibition site should be served by the most innovative transportation network on the planet and will be divided into six separate districts (aeronautics, commercial, golf, logistics, exhibition and residential), as well as an airport and a business center. Center for start-up offices and large international companies in the commercial district.
- How to access the exhibition site Expo 2020?
The World Expo site is equidistant from the centers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the main cities of the Emirates, so easily accessible from the three airports: (DWC) Dubai World Central, (DXB) Dubai International Airport and (AUH) Abu Dhabi International Airport. The infrastructure connecting the different airports to Dubai and its main attractions is already efficient and reliable. However, in order to facilitate the transportation of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is planned to build a train for the least science fiction. This is the Hyperloop, a train-capsules powered by solar panels that connect the two cities (157 kilometers) in just 12 minutes!
- How will the Dubai Expo 2020 exhibition site be organized?
What are the pavilions not to be missed? According to early rumors, the project would draw in part from the logic of the traditional Arab market, the souk, where each type of commodity and food is housed in a different sector. In the center of the site, the central square Al Wasl (former name of Dubai), from where all the exhibition spaces open. In the center of the square are the smaller pavilions along the largest perimeter that extend like large petals.
Three main pavilions, each dedicated to one of the main thematic areas: sustainability, mobility, and opportunities. The sustainability pavilion will consist of a series of flat structures covered with photovoltaic panels. It will host the latest discoveries on renewable energies and energy innovation. The clover will be the symbol of the pavilion of mobility, the latter surrounded by a large square decorated with animations and lights.
Very interesting Pavilion Opportunity project: a kind of inverted pyramid, with openings, passages and even a covered garden that will be the “home” of events and thematic shows. Among the petals will be housing, as well as other important pavilions of Dubai Expo 2020, namely the Welcome Pavilion, the Pavilion of Innovation and the United Arab Emirates Pavilion. The “measure” of the project? About 4 km long and 1.8 amplitude. Despite its size, the exhibition space seems designed to be accessible and fully explored on foot.
- What to visit in Dubai during the Expo 2020?
Expo 2020 there are not only pavilions. Dubai is a metropolis in full evolution and transformation. Many attractions are being developed for the World Expo. Among these stands out (in every sense of the word) the Calatrava tower, designed to redefine the skyline of the city, which will become the tallest skyscraper in the world. Vertiginous is also the project “The Frame”, a building consisting of two towers 150 meters high connected by a bridge of 100 meters.
By 2020, many areas will be redeveloped and, next to the already existing complexes in Dubai, as a huge shopping center that will be built with an amusement park inside, a “citadel “with health clinics and research centers and an ecological harbor in the historic Dubai Creek.
Abu Dhabi is also in full fermentation. The capital of the Emirates will host an island dedicated to culture and especially museums. The works on the site announced the creation of an isolated pole of the Louvre designed by Jean Nouvel, a Guggenheim museum with the amazing architecture in neo-baroque style and the Zayed museum dedicated to the history of the Emirates.
- Tickets for Dubai Expo 2020
For the moment, the tickets are not yet available and it is difficult to give precise indications on this subject. The advice is to check the official website and not to miss to stay on our site. In the dedicated online portal, it is already possible, for example, to view all events, press releases and details of initiatives.
- Where to stay during Expo 2020
The large estimated participation has pushed the construction of new UAE hotels to increase the number of facilities. Forecasts speak of an increase of nearly 40,000 hotel rooms, from 65,000 currently to more than 100,000. In addition to new hotels, the renovation and modernization of existing structures are already in place.
- Other things to do in Dubai aside from the exhibition
With or without the Expo, Dubai is already worth the price of the ticket. The rich metropolis of the Middle East is a mix of architectural magnificence and natural charms. You can visit many attractions, from Deira Dubai to downtown Dubai, through the city of shopping, the marina and the historic Al Bastakiya, the old city completely rebuilt. The most famous buildings are the Burj Khalifa, whose record height will be supplanted by the Calatrava tower, and the Burj al Arab, a luxury hotel with a characteristic sail shape, overlooking the Persian Gulf. No less fascinating are the dancing fountains and the underwater zoo, both located in the Dubai Mall, a futuristic shopping center in the heart of the metropolis. Dubai is also a culture, religion, and nature, including desert safaris, cruises, and beautiful, sunny beaches.
Having 3500 km stretch of shoreline, the Kingdom of Morocco holds a solid tradition of aquatic fisheries. In 2014, its state fisheries production amounted to 1.3M tons, making it Africa’s biggest maritime fisheries producer and gaining the 25th spot worldwide.
The fishery industry in Morocco contributes about 2.3% to the gross domestic product or GDP, creating direct employment for more than a hundred thousand fishermen. An estimated 3M Moroccan people depend on their life source on fisheries.
It is in this idea that aquaculture in the country is very promising. As early as the 1950s, some mariculture like sea bass, sea bream, and shrimp was introduced in Morocco which undergone expansive growth in the 1980s. It was in 2009, during the launch of the new national fisheries plan called Halieutis, containing provisions for vital growth in aquaculture together with continued work in sustainable fisheries, has carried out a new momentum for the fishery industry. Two years later, the government, in support of its ambition, also created a specific agency called the National Agency for Aquaculture Development.
Morocco’s plan to double seafood exports by 2020
The government of Morocco launched large-scale plans to solidify its fishery industry, planning to take full advantage of the nation’s more than 3 thousand kilometers of marine coastline, fronting both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Morocco, with its 3,500 km coastline, exports roughly 80,000 tons of octopus yearly, more than 600,000 tons of frozen, fresh and canned seafood and fish products valued at €1.6bn every year. It supplies each year 1.2M metric tons of pelagic fish which includes sardines. About 139,000 tons of canned sardine is being exported and valued to be at $390m, of which around half of it is distributed to other African markets. These figures helped the nation become the largest producer of sardine and exporter of canned sardines in the world.
Morocco, at present, is Africa’s largest maritime fisheries producer and the world’s 17th largest producer of seafood, fishing and harvesting a total of more or less 1.5 million metric tons of seafood annually. The fishing industry accounts for 58 percent of the country’s food agriculture exports and seven percent of its total exports. As per the National Fisheries Office, the fishing industry produced $1.59 billion in exports in 2015. The Halieutis plan seeks to grow the value of seafood exports to over $ 3.10 billion by 2020.
Aquaculture was first introduced to Morocco in the 1950s with fresh sea bass, sea bream, and shrimp farms in the Mediterranean, and began a slow expansion from the 1980s. Cultivation of these species is expected to grow alongside shellfish such as oysters, mussels, abalone, and clams.
In 2016, the Morocco king opened the nation’s first marketable shellfish hatchery and farm. Established by Azura Aquaculture, the two-acre facility is a portion of a more expansive program created under the Halieutis plan and will play a part to advancing the sustainability of resources in the Dakhla-Oued Ed-dahab region on the Atlantic coast. It will also support the marketing of shellfish farming and the processing and promotion of roughly 1,000 metric tons of clams, oysters, and abalone. Specifically, it is tasked with reducing the animal health risks in relation to the importation of these species.
A Spanish mountainous village located 7 kilometers off the coast amidst Estepona, Marbella, and La Serrania de Ronda mountain range, Benahavis is one of the most mountainous villages with more than 5 thousand residents and yet close the resort beaches. The border of Benahavis municipality almost reach the coast but is not a coastline itself. Its topography passes through Guadaiza, Guadalmina, and Guadalmansa Rivers.
The town derived its name from the Arabic “Bin al Havis”, which means “son of Havis.” Havis is an 11th-century Moorish prince who ruled in Montemayor Castle.
Historical Background of Benahavis
The history of this town dates back to the latter part of the 11th century when Benahavís was founded by Arabs around the fortress that they had constructed to protect the Eastern section of the Arab castle of Montemayor. The community was closely drawn with Arabic past of Andalusia, specifically with Marbella, the municipality to which it belongs till it was bestowed in 1572 by Philip II the so-called “Carta Puebla.”
Montemayor Castle played an important role in disputes between succeeding Arab leaders in Andalusia, due to its strategic location. Also dated from the same period, the 3 towers; La Leonera, La Reina, and the Daiden, were constructed in the same vicinity to defend the castle. These fortifications were very significant throughout the battles that were executed amongst the various Kingdoms in and around Tarifa de Al Andalus due to their strategic value where most of the Northern region of Morocco can be spotted and controlled from its walls. The structure overlooking even the African coast, with up to 100 km of seaboard visible in fine weather was tremendously useful at a period when pirate attacks were common.
The Christian period started in January 1485 when the Catholic Kings entered the Marbella city, intended to conquer the last Moorish territory in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula and keys of the city were handed over to King Ferdinand by Mohammed Abunefa after the signing submission.
The Catholic Monarchs trusted their protection to Don Pedro Villandrado, the first Christian mayor of Benahavís. Right after, it resulted to a clash between Marbella and Benahavís which continued for more than 3 centuries, up until in 1572 when Benahavís realized its independence from Marbella, the moment when King Felipe II presented it with the “Carta Puebla”.
Present day Benahavis
These days, Benahavís is a typical Andalucian town with its street layout preserved in original form and several monumental features that bear witness to its glorious past.
Benahavís also takes pride in its majestic natural landscapes that are a must visit such as “Las Angosturas”, a tight gorge where Guadalmedina River passes through. The local municipal economy highly depends on tourism, due to its neighboring Marbella. Benahavís offers excellent international cuisines, impressive golf complexes that are located in the boundaries of the municipality. These features appeal to a huge number of investors who have put their investments into different property developments in the area which has contributed significantly to the town.
Travel to Benahavís
To get to Benahavis, you can choose from various airports such as Malaga International Airport and the Jerez Airport. However, the closest airport to Benahavís is Gibraltar’s North Front Airport which is just 31 miles away.
If you want to know what fun activities, things to do or must-see places you should check out, check out the list below. Do include these interesting tourist spots in your Benahavís itinerary.
- Castle of Montemayor
- Torre Tramore
- Torre Esteril
- Torre Daidin
- Torre Campanillas
- Torre Leoneras
Benahavis, being recognized to be Costa del Sol’s dining room of the is a paradise for food lovers and drinking buffs with its various types of restaurants and international dishes. While the majority of restaurants usually serve Spanish meals, visitors can order Italian food, French cuisine, and Indian curry. Every restaurant is known for preparing huge portions and offering visitors a great value for their money.
For excellent food quality and superb service, you can check out the following restaurants.
- Los Abanicos Restaurant
- Amanhavis Hotel & Restaurant
For a more unforgettable experience, try to indulge on a food journey and sample a wide selection of native favorites like meat dishes (venison, veal, rabbit or suckling pig); dishes like Fish and Shellfish Zarzuela and other kinds of exquisite recipes. A lot of restaurants also offer these other dishes that are most recommended like T-bone steaks, veal sirloin steaks, oxtail and the hot Spanish sausage they call chorizo.
There is land in Andalusia where anybody’s dream getaway comes true. Bordered by sceneries of great beauty and with unmatched natural environments. Exuding the Mediterranean and unadulterated maritime tradition. Marbella is the place where grand experience is the best start to appreciate life and be happy.
Marbella is called the golden city in Spain. It has 30 km of peaceful Mediterranean beaches with Sierra Blanca Mountains in the background. Marbella is located west of the Malaga, which is the capital city of Costa del Sol. Around 300,000 people living in the city and approximately two and a half million people visit Marbella every year.
Marbella is well known for its harbors and pristine shorelines. The place is called Puerto Banus and it is where you can find many locals and tourists walking around, enjoying the sun, and relaxing the lines of chic restaurants and cafes. The place becomes more alive at night as it also has plenty of bars. For those who love to shop, Marbella is a place to go as it has easy access to top designer stores. They can be found around the corners of the streets.
During the old times, Marbella was a small mining town. Now, it has grown into one of the most enchanting tourist spots on the Costa del Sol. The history is really prominent in its narrow cobblestoned streets and flower-ornamented plazas, which are filled with delightful shops selling all arts and crafts. One of the loveliest spots is the renowned Orange Square, which is located just off the main street and is home to the 16th-century town hall.
There is an old town in Marbella, which Spanish Christians retook from the Muslim invaders back in the 15th century. The place still has the remnants of Muslim arts and architecture and the people who visit the place without researching about the history of the old town will be surprised. It is very uncommon for a city that is associated with the contemporary world and wide-ranging tourism to successfully keep the treasures of the past. The old streets exhibit asymmetrical outline that is predominant during the Arabic era, while it ends to open squares, which are designed right after the Occupation of Christians.
Luxury is what best describes Marbella for its grand mansions and hotels. It is home to Royalties, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy tycoons. Marbella’s hotels are what attracted the movie stars back in the 50’s. Here you can find the world famous Marbella Club Hotel and to prove its Muslim heritage, there are structures built by Muslim Royalties like the mosque of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia as well as the white house which was built to serve as his summer residence. The mosque is a gift to the people of Marbella. There is a place called Golf Valley, which has the most number of courses than any other places in the world.
The climate in Costa del Sol, especially in Marbella, is said to give the finest microclimates among the cities, with neighboring highlands shielding this city from icy winds. Therefore, Marbella has the right taste of summertime and wintertime. The people who decided to live forever in the city appreciate the mild winters, as well as those who just want to pass their winter break away from their country.
Another thing that cannot go unnoticed to the visitors is the friendliness of the local Malagueños. They are jovial and enjoy the experience with the visitors who are generally from other countries or parts of Spain. They welcoming and have a tradition of cordiality that is rooted. The people are astonishingly accepting of all people, as there are mosques, Christian churches, shrines, and synagogues found anywhere in the city. The locals love conversation and celebrations. They relish gastronomic food and their local dishes also have a distinct taste of mixed culture.
Marbella’s history, its people, its streets, and its hidden beauty spots and monumental strength make it a place where the light of the dazzling sun shines incessantly. The bewitching power of the sea in Marbella embraces anybody from the first instant. It is a place for those who dream to live close to the stars, to live a life full of opportunities and feel deep inside the magnitude of peace and inner tranquillity.
What is Organic Farming?
Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system used to boost the production and condition of different communities in the agro-ecosystem, such as plants, soil organisms, people and livestock. The method is a holistic system of not using antibiotics, growth hormones, fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms. Its primary goal is to improve enterprises that are well-balanced and sustainable with the ecosystem.
Basic Principles of Organic Farming
- Protects the environment by minimizing erosion and soil degradation, cutting pollution, promoting a good state of health, and optimizing biological diversity and activity
- Relying on renewable resources in locally organized agriculture systems
- Maintains longer fertility of soil by boosting conditions of the soil
- Deliver careful attention to promoting the health and needs of livestock
- Recycle materials and sources to the best extent possible
- Careful preparation of processing and treatment of organic products to sustain the organic integrity and essential product qualities in every stage of production
Organic farming encourages the utilization of cover crops, crop rotations, and promotes a balanced host/predator relationship. The nutrients and organic residues sourced from the field are recycled back to the soil to maintain soil’s organic matter, and fertility, cover crops, and composted manure are used. Farmworkers practice preventative insect and disease control methods such as improved genetics, crop rotation, and resistant varieties. Some significant tools in organic farming include soil conservation systems and integrated pest and weed management.
As a rule, organic standards forbid products resulting from animal cloning and genetic engineering, artificial pesticides or fertilizers, and more. These prohibited practices and products should not be utilized on certified organic farms for no less than three years before the harvest of the verified organic products. Also, livestock should be raised organically and consumed 100 percent organic feed ingredients.
Why Buy Organic?
People buy organic foods for a variety of reasons. Some want to get food products that have no chemical pesticides or produced with no conventional fertilizers. There are a few who want to try new products. Other consumers consider the environmental issues, product taste, wanting to avoid foods from genetically engineered organisms that they prefer buying organic food products.
And while organic farming also raises a lot of challenges as certain products are more difficult to grow organically than others, almost all goods can be naturally produced.
Benefits of Organic Farming
Organic produce appeals to consumers looking for a healthier approach to food consumption. Thus organic farming can be rewarding. But beyond the ethics and business sense, such practice reaps some significant environmental benefits. The industry’s research development continues to discover evidence that supports the various health advantages of organic farming throughout the world.
Here are a few of the crucial benefits wherein organic agriculture and organic products are beneficial for the people and great for the earth.
- Fights Climate Change
Based on innovative research, organic soil has a dominant role to play in fighting climate change. The study reveals that organic soil stores significantly larger amounts of carbon than conventional soil, it locks away carbon and keeps it out of the atmosphere for longer than conventional farming.
National Soil Project at Northeastern University collaborated with The Organic Center and compared more than a thousand soils from conventional and organic farms to understand how the two agriculture management practices affect the elements of soil organic carbon.
- Feeds the World Sustainably
Researchers from Switzerland’s Research Institute of Organic Agriculture presented their study indicating that worldwide move to organic farming mixed with cutting off livestock feed from fertile farmland, and sizeable reduction in food scrap, will aid in feeding the world more sustainable in the future. The study’s conclusion, made public in the journal Nature Communications, reveals organic farming can support in providing adequate food and mends environmental impacts, as long as enough high quantity of legumes is produced.
- Protects the Health of the Farmers
According to the research of Science of the Total Environment that studied the impacts to man’s health overexposure to pesticide, there are several diseases generated from the environment such as short-term effects like headaches, nausea, eye and skin irritation, dizziness, and also long-term effects like asthma, cancer, and diabetes. The people that were part of the research called for the advancement of substituting biological pesticide and developing Integrated Pest Management techniques that do not depend on pesticides. Opting organic production means ruling out the utilization of poisonous, synthetic pesticides that significantly lessens the danger to the hardworking farmers who provide food on our tables.
- Promotes Biodiversity
According to studies put out by Global Change Biology discovered that organic farming helps biodiversity. Based on information gathered from across the globe, the study realized that in general, organic farms and fields with high-level of plant diversity grew both the abundance and the number of species of valuable insects like pest predators and pollinators. The organic vineyards in Spain according to a study issued in the scientific journal of Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment found that it serves as a home to more plants and butterflies compared to their conventional counterparts. The Japanese study confirmed this discovery stating that bird diversity is more abundant on organic as opposed to traditional apple orchards.
- Fights Antibiotic Resistance
Organic farming fights antibiotic resistance in many ways. Researches indicate that through eliminating the use of antibiotic in organic farms, livestock production, and food harbor fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria than traditional. A recent study in Microbiology found that pigs bred on organic farms have substantially fewer strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as Campylobacter which can infect man from livestock, than pigs grown traditionally. Also, the latest study also states that herbicides commonly used can have the unintended effect of increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and emphasized that organic can fight antibiotic resistance using the prohibiting most herbicides.
Because more people are concerned nowadays about the environmental toll of pollutant-heavy conventional farming methods, organics are turning out to be more popular as a lot of consumers are discovering organic farming’s tremendous benefits for individual health and the environment by choosing organic produce. Reports from people who have consumed organics said that their food taste and nutrition improved due to eating organically grown vegetables. Also, many people today choose to control their exposure to pesticide’s chemical residues on conventional crops.
The Kingdom of Morocco has introduced a sustainable development policy that shares a role in the long-term environmental strategy that it aimed to protect the country’s environment and natural resources, the constant government control of nature at the local level and the operations development intended to improve the citizens’ natural living environment.
Morocco has put its place as among the African nations at the forefront for environmental protection and implantation of eco-friendly policies with prominent projects that likewise appeals some sizeable foreign investments from The United States, Europe, and China. Two of them includes Africa’s biggest wind park and a massive solar thermodynamic system set at the Sahara Desert for which 2.6 billion dollars has been capitalized.
One more large-scale project of converting six hundred mosques in Morocco to become green buildings by 2019 is on its way with the collaboration of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Rabat and the government of Germany. The project will begin with huge cities like Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, and Marrakech, with the first hundred religious Islamic buildings. This green wave will later on also reach the country’s small villages.
The project’s concept is pretty simple – to replace lighting systems with low-power and lamps that can last longer as well as to put in place power systems for clean energy and hot water. These are Interventions that will greatly reduce the electricity cost by as much as 40%. Mosques can become the great model of sustainable architecture as these are places where many communities gather. Hopefully, these ideas can be reproduced.
To supply all government buildings with renewable energy by 2030 is an additional object of the administration. Furthermore, green investments are available to promote the sustainable tourism. In the words of the General Director of the National Agency for Renewable Energy Development and Energy Efficiency of Morocco, Said Mouline, “They are little steps but that’s what we are doing.”
Morocco Ahead on Sustainable Development Efforts
The Kingdom has a solid background in acquiring the environmental solution to its power essentials and growth targets. The nation remains in demonstrating that it remains a champion in climate change, and thus its initiatives have been internationally recognized. In accordance to an article published in a news organization, the Kingdom of Morocco is leading a renewable transformation as verified by the Climate Change Performance Index of Germanwatch, when the country ranked 8th in its list worldwide and leading the emerging economies.
As far as the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Morocco is doing a great lead. Altogether, the country has also stressed its allegiance to Africa and made an extra effort to concentrate world attention on tackle advancement and sustainability matters in developing nations, including the push for South-South cooperation in addressing these needs.
With initiatives remain to connect, Morocco is an ideal setting to hold conferences aimed at renewable energy and sustainable development in developing countries.
After successfully carrying out the COP22 or 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change wherein King Mohammed VI took a lead on a side session for African officials, the kingdom stands to continue its solid support. Agadir city hosted the 2nd annual Climate Chance Summit from September 11-13, 2017, whilst over two thousand non-state actors from almost 80 nations convened to talk over their responsibilities in keeping national-level commitments to fight global warming.
Morocco also led the negotiations on international trade and development chapter. There is a crucial value in solidifying the capacities of developing countries in the areas of statistics to keep an eye on the execution of sustainable development goals in these countries.
With a proactive foresight to improve Africa in a way that each African can get access to inexpensive housing and the continent can be regarded as the most advanced regions of development in the world real estate map, the 2017 Hotelier Summit (North Africa) in Casablanca was organized from October 4-6 focusing on sustainability in the hospitality and real estate sector. The country’s Green Building Council serves as the Official Sustainability Partner of the Summit.
Casablanca also hosted the Africa Renewable Energy Forum on November 29-December 1, which gathers the government and private group to delve into useful solutions on clean project funding, climate-smart solutions, and inventive community projects throughout the continent of Africa in the framework of COP22 commitments.
The first African country to host such summit that gathers together professionals and scientists from Africa and global public, the 7th Digital Earth Summit was set last 17 until 19 of April in El Jadida, carrying the theme “Digital Earth for Sustainable Development in Africa.”
Together with both the developed and emerging countries, solid leadership is required to work on global warming and answer the needs of energy using sustainable development. Let Morocco show the world how.
The industry renewable energy is going through constant momentum in the Kingdom, stated Aziz Rebbah, the country’s Minister of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development.
Rabbah recalled during a familiarity seminar about the solar energy in the agricultural sector on the various benefits of utilizing green energy regarding, innovation, investment, employment, industry, entrepreneurship and scientific research.
The minister stated further that because of the development accomplished in renewable energy, the nation is well on its way to aiming African and global markets as a result of Moroccan expertise, bigger projects launched and funding and assistance mechanisms were set.
As per the Director General of the Moroccan Energy Efficiency Agency or AMEE, Said Mouline emphasized the country’s efforts to trim down energy costs and made sure the balanced usage of energy, in agriculture in particular.
Emphasizing the need call for awareness among investors in the agriculture industry, Mouline evaluated several collaborations established by AMEE to assure energy efficiency, which among the key focus of the newly adopted strategy on national energy.
United Nations Development Program or UNDP representative applauded Morocco’s initiatives to foster the green economy and guarantee energy efficiency, highlighting the Kingdom’s involvement to obtain significant solutions to sustainable development obstacles.
The Union Road Association is a non-profit organization that is centrally based in Morocco. The aim of the organization is to create awareness and educate people all around the world to join hands to facilitate the handicapped and disabled citizens of Morocco. The association is concerned with utilizing the available tools, skills, sources and conduct extensive research work to truly apprehend and meet all the potential needs of the disabled people.
The Union Road Association is a non-profit organization. The organization is centrally based in Morocco. The Association first became operational in the year 2015. Ever since then it has been involved in making the lives of hundreds of physically or mentally disabled people better! The company is not a wide-scale organization but is a rather restricted organization with a handful of officials on the team. All other people who wish to join or serve alongside the organization are welcome to become part of the organization as a volunteer. The visionary mind, one of the founders and the honorary president of the association is Mohamed Dekkak has dedicated all his time, money, efforts and hard work to make Morocco better in every way possible. Union Road Association is one of the many causes Mohamed Dekkak leading in the country. The official website of the organization unionroad.org holds all mandatory information relevant to the association that is worth knowing about!
The Motto of the Union Road Association
There is only one single motto on which the Association has been functioning ever since it first became operational. The motto is to promote and spread joy and happiness amongst the handicapped people. There is no other purpose that the Union road association for handicapped people works for. The disabled and handicapped citizens, of not only Morocco but all around the world, have an increased tendency for depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems as a result of being deprived and lack of attention from people. The aim of the association is to, however, help the people of Morocco who are living with any disability, bringing joy to their life. People who are handicapped can also live a happy and fulfilling life. They can feel normal if they are made to felt normal!
The Policy of Union Road Association
Our policy at the Union Road Association is to bring happiness and joy into the life of people who are born with special needs or are this way because of some unfortunate event in their life. We do not help these people by providing them with financial aids or funding. In fact, our aim is to educate and empower them by offering them equal education and work opportunities for other people. The whole idea is to put people with special needs on the right track to help them build a better quality of life for themselves and paint the future bright!
Involvement with Union Road Association
As the honorary president of the Union road association, Mohamed Dekkak plays a pivotal role in the organization. He is the leader and the visionary mind behind the efficient running of the organization. The Union Road Association is an organization for the disable and handicapped. Mohamed Dekkak is one of the pioneers of the organization and is also actively involved in making the foundation work for the betterment of the disabled people of Morocco. He is a leading an entire expert team and is actively working to create opportunities for the handicapped people to help them live a better life. His whole idea is to spread happiness and joy amongst the less privileged, handicapped and people who are living with special needs.
Role as Honorary President in Union Road Association
The honorary president is one of the most important and pivotal positions for any organization. The person acting as the honorary president does not only enjoy immense liberty and freedom of operation but also holds immense responsibility on his shoulders to contribute to the efficient running of the organization in the long run. Mohamed Dekkak is the founder, pioneer and the honorary president of the Union road association. As the forerunner of the organization, he plays a very important role for the association on a wide scale. Let’s take a look at the roles and responsibilities that lie on the shoulders of Mohamed Dekkak as the honorary president of the Union road association.
The main purpose of appointing an honorary president for any organization is to appoint a head for the governing body. This person will overlook all activities that are carried out by the governing body to regulate the functionality within the organization. As Mohamed Dekkak holds this position for the union road association, he plays the same role for the organization.
By the international law, Mohamed Dekkak is appointed an honorary president for one year. However, since the organization has been functional ever since 2015, thus Mohamed Dekkak is being re-appointed to the same position for the firm every passing year. As the honorary president of the organization, the following are some of the pivotal role and responsibilities that fall onto the shoulders of Dekkak.
- Mohamed Dekkak is responsible for the governing body of the organization. He has the duty to overlook every activity that happens on the chair body level of the organization. Even if the president is not able to be present on every single functional day, it is important to remember that he is liable to get all reports of the days’ proceedings and will take action for future vendors accordingly.
- He is responsible for taking all important decisions for the organization. No activity, event or any other function can be carried out by the association without the consent or approval of the honorary president. So even if the president is not taking the decisions and other senior executive members are bringing forth their ideas, it is important to remember that nothing can proceed forward without the consent of the honorary president. All decisions for the organization, in relevance to all future activities, events, tasks and organizational plans will be implemented once they have been approved by the president.
- As honorary president, Mohamed Dekkak is obliged to be present at all meetings with the governing chair body of the organization. He is particularly liable to attend all meetings with other executive members of the organization, for instance, the vice president. He can, however, ensure a presence in either physical or virtual way. However, the president needs to be responsible enough to be present at all meetings and forums that are arranged to discuss the past, present and future activities of the organization.
The Message of Honorary President
On behalf of the Union Road Association, the honorary president, Mohamed Dekkak has a message to share with the world. Mohamed Dekkak sends out a message for the Union road association stating that we here at the organization have a deep vision. We want to life and life experiences worthy of people. There are countless individuals in our society that are living with physical disabilities and limitations. We wish to make these disabilities are a strength for the people rather than a limitation or weakness. The association is dedicated to improving the quality of lives for people. The association is dedicated to remove all barriers and create a meaningful life for the disabled. The whole intention is to create the world where the disabled people can live and prosper just like anybody else.
The union road association is dedicated to removing all hurdles that might stop the handicapped individuals from progressing or excelling in life. The foundation is committed to making Morocco and this entire world a worthy place for all such people to live and build a future in. We are striving to help the handicapped people live a life to their maximum potential and abilities. The organization intends to offer equal opportunities for every individual of the Moroccan society to access resources and take advantage of the opportunities that are provided to them to help them excel in life.
The truth is that we live in a society that is rich and does not lack resources. We have adequate resources in our society that are enough to facilitate any person; healthy, sick, handicapped or normal to flourish and excel in life. Every individual in the world has something unique and special about them, and the Moroccan society is no different. Every handicapped or person with special needs in our society has something very special about them! We want to bring all the skills and abilities of all such people to use to create a stable and strong community.
Hence, as an executive team, we had the vision to work for the betterment of the people who are born or get disabled in their lifetime because of any mishap or tragic incident in life. It is important to remember that the betterment of the individuals will automatically contribute to the progress of the society on the whole. Therefore, we intend to work to achieve the objective of social welfare that is the foundation of our work as well. The highlight of our vision is that it is intended to create balance and equilibrium in the society. Hence, the union road Association is actively working to fulfill dreams and accomplish goals on a large scale.
The Vision of Union road association
The vision of the Union road Association for handicaps is to create awareness on a global scale about the needs, necessities, and requirements of the disabled and needy people. This is a non-profit organization that is purely working with the intention to facilitate the disabled members of the society. We are committed to work for the betterment of the people and to give them a happy life. The aim is to encourage joy and happiness amongst the handicapped people. There is no other purpose that the Union road association for handicapped people works for. The disabled and handicapped citizens, of not only Morocco but all around the world, have an increased tendency for depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems as a result of being deprived and lack of attention from people. The aim of the association is to, however, help the people of Morocco who are living with any disability, to bring joy into their life. People who are handicapped can also live a happy and fulfilling life only if they are given a chance to do so. We at the Union Road Association are providing them with the chance that they need to excel and progress in life.
We wish to work to make the disabled members of the society a normal part of it. We want to work to provide them with independence and power to operate on a wide scale. The idea is to impart happiness in the handicapped and disabled individuals so that they can spread it around themselves as well. The handicapped individuals of the society can flourish progress and grow as equally as any other normal individual of the society. The only condition is that they are given the equal chances to grow as well. These people might require help and assistance from a young age, but this is only needed so that they can be independent in the later coming years of their life.
We are committed to fighting all barriers that might be a hurdle in way of the progress of these individuals. Hence, we are working to give them the chance of progress so that they can later become an independent entity of the society rather than a dependent burden. The core purpose of social services is to encourage people and create a workforce that contributes to the betterment and progress of the society. We encourage equality, and by equality, we do not mean to favor any particular gender and do not talk about gender biases. Instead, we are dedicated to creating equality by creating independence amongst people. We wish to make the disabled and handicapped people independent and responsible.
How is Union Road Association improving the quality of lives?
Mohamed Dekkak is the visionary mind behind the association. The organization is truly dedicated to making the quality of life and living better for the disabled, handicapped and people with special needs living in Morocco. As a rich cultural state, Morocco does not lack opportunities or adequate resources that are required for a happy, fulfilling life. The amazing thing about the union road association is that it is making life happier for the handicapped and disabled people by allowing them to live a life that is NORMAL. Whilst many other similar organizations are operating in various parts of the world; you will see that most of them offer only financial assistance to the less privileged and handicapped people. This is in the form of funding and monetary aids.
Honorary president Mohamed Dekkak and other officials at the Union Road Association have a different approach when it comes to this social cause. This organization is surely helping people with special needs but the ‘help’ is not being provided with financial assistance. In fact, the organization believes in making people with special needs happy and spreading joy amongst them is all about allowing them to live a joyous, normal life. A normal life does not necessarily need to be rich or wealthy. A normal life is all about happiness and being able to enjoy the good things in life.
In order to help handicapped and disabled people lead a normal life, the association is deeply involved in creating equal work, education and recreational opportunities for the deserving people. We provide the opportunities because we have the access to the needed resources. However, that is all we do for them. The rest is done by them on their own to improve their quality of life and lead a much happier life alongside friends and family members.
- The Union road association is dedicated to providing these people with adequate healthcare facilities. Every 1 out of 5 disability, either mental or physical or both, can worsen in a person as a result of lack of proper treatment. The association is fully understanding of this situation and is working to provide proper treatment to the needy people. The association is building healthcare homes and is providing the adequate set up to the pre-existing hospitals to properly care for these people.
- Recreational activities are strongly being encouraged for the disabled and handicapped people in Morocco. You will commonly observe races and other events happening on the streets of Morocco; all of which are dedicated to encouraging a healthier life amongst the needy and deserving people. These recreational activities are also helpful to provide entertainment to these people and bring a little color into their lives as well.
- The one thing that often surprises the world is the endless skill and capabilities that the handicapped people have been blessed with. It is often like people who are born with any disability are blessed with characteristics better than substitute the thing that is missing. The union road association is dedicated to helping the handicapped and disabled people polish their skills by providing them the adequate training and teaching that they will require to have.
- Education is the basic foundation that helps every living individual to flourish and prosper in the long run of life. The disabled, handicapped or less privileged people have equal right to acquire education and use it to create a happier and brighter future. Hence, the association helps to educate people and make them learn the basic principles of living a happy life.
Where do your donations go?
The union road Association is an organization that is solely non-profit in nature. We are also not sponsored by any government organization. Hence, we solely depend on the private donations we receive to remain functional. As a donor to the organization, you have the complete right to ask where all of the donations go and for what purpose are they being used.
The union road association is working to support and encourage all procedures that will promote the betterment of the local people and that will facilitate the progress of the Moroccan society. As a social welfare foundation, we are dedicated to using technological means to assist and aid the handicapped and less privileged to help them live a better life. The purpose is to create independence for all such people. An independent individual can contribute to the progress of the society alone.
The union road association, as already mentioned above is dependent on the private donations it receives as it has no government agencies that sponsor its functions. We are committed to serving for the cause we are operating, hence we do ask for monetary support as we are a non-profit organization. We do not work to earn profits but instead work to create revenue that can be reinvested for some bigger ventures in the future.
The staff of the union association only has 10 to 15 executive members, including the honorary president Mohamed Dekkak. All other members of the organization are working voluntarily for the firm. There are people from all levels; professionals, students and young graduates who are working with the firm to serve the purpose of social welfare. These people are lending their time, effort and abilities for the progress of the nation and the betterment of the handicapped individuals as well as the society on whole.
Every donation that is made to the organization is brought into use to fulfill the mission of the firm. The financial assistance helps the organization to fulfill its goals. We are acting as a connecting bridge between the communities to the disabled people. We are helping the needy people by creating awareness and bringing in help on a wide scale. It is actually very hard to believe that a major population of Morocco is actually disabled. Hence, it is not at all right to overlook such a large group of individuals that make up a huge portion of the society. Hence, we encourage help from the society to bring in manpower and financial help in order to aid our purpose to help the disabled. We wish to stand united with the people of our society in fulfillment of our goals in the long run. We are determined that we can bring change only if we wish to. The changes that we have seen in the society in the past 2 years are tremendous and we are committed to keeping going until we achieve all our goals on a wide scale.
With all the donations that you make, we are actively creating more and more opportunities for health care, shelter, clothing, education, employment, training and transportation for the disabled and handicapped people.
Union Road Association – Creating equal opportunities for everyone!
Training is a piece of the establishment. Amongst the many union road’s goals are the goals of full participation, free living, money related autonomy, and equivalent open doors. The affiliation is centered basically around the lifting access to instruction from preschool through post-graduate work. The executive team at the Union road association adopts a full strategy to manage access to instruction, including support, cooperation with instructive foundations, and activities expected to separate what thwarts to training.
Union Road Association is functioning to ensure that all people who are handicapped will have the benefit to the equivalent open door, to be monetarily autonomous, and to be paid and spare without endangering access to the administrations. These are the backings that allow them to live and work freely which is in turn also a contribution to the progress of the society.
The access to quality, cheap therapeutic administrations is the premise of a free autonomous life. For individuals with insufficiencies or any kind of physical or mental disabilities, which at the time do need the medicinal services administrations, access to therapeutic protection is vital. The affiliation supports quality physical and mental wellbeing that is accessible, sensible, group based and receptive to impediment uncommon necessities.
Many individuals with inabilities pick up from long haul medicinal care and bolster programs. These projects give therapeutic care, units, for example, individual care and different administrations. The Union Road Association helps these activities that advantage a great many individuals with incapacities. Moreover, the establishment underscores on group-based care that will energize interest in the work drive.
We screen and are supportive of a change in medicinal services laws, approach and enactment on well-being data innovation, and also a proposition on state subsidizing for long haul mind. Union Road battles for equivalent access to transportation for crippled people, including pushing a superior access to open transportation and immense interest in accessible travel decisions and travel situated change.
Striving to make Morocco a better place!
As a non-profit organization, we are committed to working for the social welfare of people. The association is not involved in making profit margins. In fact, every revenue that is generated through the activities of the organization; all of it is re-invested into the organization for future vendors. The main aim of the organization remains to be to serve the handicapped and disabled people. We are striving to make Morocco a better place on the face of the earth. Hence, we are committed and solely dedicated to helping all those people pursue their dreams and turn them all into reality, who otherwise would have been a burden on the society. We want to make every individual independent and do not want any disability to stop a person from achieving his dreams or goals.
The core purpose of social services is to encourage people and create a workforce that contributes to the betterment and progress of the society. We encourage equality and by equality, we do not mean to favor any particular gender and do not talk about gender biases. Instead, we are dedicated to creating equality by creating independence amongst people. We wish to make the disabled and handicapped people independent and responsible.
If you ask for reasons why disabled people should be given an equal chance to contribute to the welfare of the society, allow us to give you one reason that should be enough to convince you in this regard. The handicapped and disabled people are considered as a ‘burden’ on the society because people think that they are useless and have no contribution to make to the society. Instead, all they do is ask for help from the society to survive. This can, however, be reversed and this is exactly what they Union road association intends to do. Only if you start to consider the economic growth that the society will have once the disabled people are also able to make their contribution to the progress of the society. The economy of the country will become more stable and the growth rate will be faster. The people that are mostly considered to be a burden on the society can actually play a pivotal role to make the society flourish.
A disabled person does not need pity but actually needs motivation and encouragement. Here is how we encourage the disabled members of our society to play their part and live a happy life and build a stable future.
- We encourage participation
We are encouraging participation of all members of the society. There were times when the disabled and handicapped people were believed to be a burden and disgrace for the society. However, those times have now passed by. Today, we are encouraging the disabled to participate in the development and the progress of the Moroccan society. We at the union road association are staunch believers that the disabled people have the power to take our society to new heights. We encourage participation of all members of the society on all levels because we believe that is the only way we will be able to live a happy and fulfilling life. The purpose of life is to be productive in your acts. We encourage participation so that the handicapped people do not only build a happier future for their own selves but are also able to contribute to the prosperity of the society, country and the world, on a global scale!
- We are making the disabled more responsible!
We hear most of the people, stone-hearted ones, but we hear them complaining about how the disabled and handicapped people are a burden on the human society. What we forget is that we are the ones who make them a burden and added responsibility on others because we do not allow them to be responsible on their own. The truth is that they are fully capable of being responsible and productive if given the chance. The union road association is giving this chance to such people; to be productive and to work for self-efficacy. We should give them the chance to be responsible, do things and make life decisions on their own. This is not only important for the progress and betterment of the society but is also extremely crucial to impart confidence and self-worth in such people.
- We promote equality
The union road association is a proponent of equality. We are committed to creating equal opportunities for every single individual that lives in the society. We are more concerned with creating opportunities rather than fighting for equality. We believe that equality can be created and discrimination on all levels can only be eradicated if we let every person play their individual role. A disabled person is that way but not by individual choice. Hence, he or she should be treated no differently than a normal person. It is mandatory to provide equal work opportunities and give equal chances to access education in order to ensure that the person will be able to create a stable future in the long run.
- We are helping to achieve goals!
Did you know that the person who is in the wheelchair can actually paint wonders? The person who is blind has a voice that is capable of creating magic? The little girl you think is unable to speak is actually blessed with a supremely high IQ level? It is important to question why we ignore all such things in life. These are the people who can be pillars of a stable society. We should learn to start to treat them as an independent entity that can actually be useful to the society rather than a burden that only suppresses the growth of the economy. These people also are born with dreams and also have goals set that they want to achieve in the long run. We facilitate these people and help them to fulfill their dreams and turn them all into reality. The truth is that these people only lack the access to resources and hence this can be a major hurdle in the way of people’s growth and progress. Hence, we at the Union road association are working with people to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams by bringing their capabilities and skills into use.
Syncing Through Life and Times of Averroes
The unconditional commitment and dedication of Averroes Organization for Coexistence are achieving the goal of creating a bond of togetherness and a culture of Coexistence, Peace and Tolerance amidst various communities.
Through the leadership and guidance of Mohamed Dekkak, Executive President Averroes Organization for Coexistence based in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco, where Ibn Rushd marked history. May the organization become an opportunity for communities to build unity to achieve common aspirations and inspire to build bridges of togetherness.
“We are also identifying potential community leaders to be trained on strengthening community-led monitoring mechanism to live inspired by the teachings of Ibn Rushd so that we can strengthen ourselves and our community,” said Mohamed Dekkak, Executive President of the organization.
Below, Let us rediscover the Life and Times of The Muslim Aristotelian, Abul Walid Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd who was credited with having been a strong influence on the movement that ushered in the European Renaissance.
Averroes (or Ibn Rushd) was a prominent Andalusian Arab philosopher, thinker, doctor and jurist of the 12th century (1126-1198). He wrote numerous books (about seventy-eight) on topics as various as philosophy, theology, astronomy, physics, medicine, Islamic jurisprudence, law, and linguistics. He is considered to be a high-level intellectual of his time, and his works continued to influence intellectuals all over the world for centuries after his death. His wisdom and progressive ideas are praised.
Education and personality
Averroes was born in Cordoba in 1126 to a respectable family. His father and grandfather had themselves been prominent Qaadis (magistrates) of their time, and his family was highly respected among elites and knowledgeable people. Back then, Cordoba was a place of intense intellectual activity, and it is in this particular environment that Averroes started to get his education, under the guidance of brilliant professors. He began studying the Quran and Hadiths, grammar, poetry, writing and basic mathematics. His father trained him to Maliki Islamic jurisprudence. He then studied physics, astronomy, medicine and advanced mathematics.
His primary areas of interest were law and its principles (rather than Hadiths), along with Greek philosophy and sciences. Averroes was very competent in Khilaf (disputes in Islamic jurisprudence).
Averroes was a profoundly religious yet considerably progressive intellectual. His high spirituality did not prevent him, in any way, from having ideas, values, and philosophies that were ahead of his time. It even cost him his freedom, as he was imprisoned and exiled for a while, allegedly for his stance on the compatibility of religion with philosophy.
In 1153, at the age of 27, Averroes was invited to the capital of the Almohad caliphate (Marrakesh – present-day Morocco) by Caliph Abdul Momin Ibn Ali to offer consultations on astronomy, on the establishment of some schools in Morocco, and on the reform of the judiciary.
In 1169, he was introduced to Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf, with whom he discussed on subjects as the existence and the origins of the heavens. Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf himself was aware of what the works of Aristotle consisted in. As both the Caliph and Averroes shared similar views on different matters, Averroes remained in Abu Yaqub’s favor until the Caliph’s death in 1184. Initially, it is for the Caliph that Averroes started writing commentaries on Aristotle’s works. Averroes’ first commentary on Aristotle’s works dates back to 1169.
Also in 1169, Averroes was appointed Qadi in Seville until 1171, when he was appointed Qadi in Cordoba for ten years. It is mainly during those ten years that Averroes kept writing his Commentaries on Aristotle’s works. As a Qadi, he performed the same duties as a judge, except that his rulings were based on Islamic law and jurisprudence. In 1179, he once again became Qadi in Seville until he became a court physician in 1182. A little later during the same year, he was selected to be the chief Qadi of Cordoba, just like his grandfather had earlier been.
In 1184, Caliph Abu Yaqub died, and this was when Averroes’ fate started to change. He remained in royal favor for a while but was later charged with several serious offenses in 1195 and then tried in a tribunal in Cordoba. His teachings were condemned, and his works were partly burnt. Indeed, all his works on philosophy were burnt, but not the ones on medicine and astronomy. Averroes even had to exile to Lucena. It is assumed that the Caliph rejected him to gain more support from the more radical and orthodox Maliki jurists. Averroes was considered too progressive, and the orthodox jurists of the time did not agree with his views, that they qualified as a mere lack of faith in religion.
However, after a few years of exile, Averroes returned to Marrakesh and was in the Caliph’s favor again. Shortly after that, he died in 1189. Later on, his body was shifted to his hometown, Cordoba.
2. Averroes’ Scientific Contributions For the Modern World
Averroes first wrote a book at the age of 31. He quickly began to increase his writings and the variety of the subjects that he covered. He wrote about philosophy, medicine, jurisprudence, linguistics, and astronomy. The work that made him famous on a global level was his commentaries of Aristotle’s works. He is said to have written approximately 78 books.
In the field of medicine
Averroes’ work in medicine dealt with research, analysis, and treatment of diseases, although he noticeably preferred to research and study. His best-known work, in medicine, is Kitab Al-Kulliyaat (General Principles of Medicine), written in 1162 before he was appointed as the royal physician of the Almohad court. His book served as a textbook, officially used in western medical colleges and universities for centuries (until the 18th century). It was a book of great importance at the time, as Averroes made interesting and new findings.
In this book, Averroes provided an introduction to physiology. He openly expressed that he adheres to the scientific medicine that we inherited from the Greeks and underlined the necessity to apply the Prophet’s practices and advice in the field of medicine and medical care. Besides this, Averroes made great medical discoveries in his writings.
Averroes gave great importance to observation and experimentation. He considered it a necessity to have an overall knowledge of what natural science taught us in the fields of dissection and the function of body organs. He also was in favor of doctors consulting one another on various matters and this allowed to bring significant progress in the field of medicine.
Averroes’ works reflect his being a deeply religious and well-aware man. He believed that “Anyone who studies anatomy will increase his faith in the omnipotence and the oneness of God the Almighty.”.
Kitab Al-Kulliyaat, Averroes’ main book in the field of medicine, is divided into seven chapters:
- Anatomy of organs. Averroes described the spinal nerves and seven pairs of cerebral nerves and the two brains, mainly. According to Averroes, the ability to imagine, reflect and memorize belong to the brain. He also found out that the sensitive organ of the eye is the retina, and he was among the first ones to declare that it is the retina that perceives light.
- Averroes explained that with smallpox if one survives it, is a disease that one only gets once in a lifetime.
- Averroes gave answers and advice on diarrhea, commented on Galien’s De Febribus (On Fevers) and De Temperamentis. He devoted parts of this chapter to the semen (De Spermate), periodic fevers and putrid fevers. In another part of this chapter, he concluded that rabies is the disease that one gets after being bitten by a dog that is affected by rabies. He also agreed with Ibn Sina (Avicenna) on the fact that hereditary factors play a role in the transmission of certain diseases from father to son.
- Averroes described a significant number of diseases, along with their symptoms and complications. He even dealt with psychologic conditions such as wrath, sadness, anxiety, and epilepsy.
- Drugs and foods. Averroes firmly believed that a healthy diet, clean water, and good-quality pure air were the keys to good health. Medication, according to him, is a foreign body and the ingestion of medicines can potentially affect the functioning of body organs, especially the kidneys and the liver. His opinion on drugs was that, in medicine, one should first have recourse to speech, then herbs, and then, as a last resort, to bistoury.
- Averroes was the author of the first outline of the description of the sarcoptic mange mites, which cause scabies.
- Averroes dedicated a large part of his book to the different types of existing foods and remedies and their effects. He laid out the basic principles to follow to set the right dosages for medicines.
Besides Kitab Al-Kulliyaat, Averroes wrote other books on medicine. Nevertheless, it is Kitab Al-Kulliyaat that is widely known, even today.
In the field of astronomy
Kitab Fi-Harakat Al-Falak is the title of Averroes’ Treatise of Astronomy. It dealt with the movements of the spheres and the stars. He gave explanations on sunspots and justified the occasional opaqueness of the moon by the fact that the moon does not have the same level of thickness on every spot, but rather has thin and thick spots.
In the field of physics
Averroes came up with a new definition of force that is pretty similar to the definition of power used in physics today.
In the field of psychology
Averroes’ works on psychology evolved as he evolved. In his last work on psychology, he stated that there is only one material intellect. The material intellect does not differ from one human being to another, as it is the same for every human being. The reason behind the fact that different human beings may have different thoughts on the same matter is fikr (the process of active consideration). Some intellectuals disagreed with this idea of all human beings sharing the same “material intellect.”
In the field of law/Islamic jurisprudence
Averroes wrote three treatises in the area of Islamic theology. In The Decisive Treatise (Fasl al-Maqal), Averroes argued that Islam and philosophy are compatible. He wrote this at a time when most religious scholars considered that Islam needs to remain rigid and that it can not be interpreted with a philosophical mindset.
In the Exposition of the Methods of Proof, Averroes rejected orthodox and dogmatic viewpoints and gave his argument on the existence of God and His attributes. For example, arguments existed at the time (and they still exist) on whether God had a “body” or not. Many Orthodox scholars, considered it wrong to think that God may have a body and limited themselves to educating the masses about God being body-less. Averroes said that the reasoning of these orthodox scholars was misguiding and confusing the masses further and that the research made on the topic was poor. He further said that allusions were made in the Quran and the hadiths, about God being a “physical being” as well. So, in order not to misguide the population, it would be more appropriate to explain to them that God is a Light simply.
In Tahafut al-Tahafut (Incoherence of the Incoherence), Averroes once again argued that philosophy is entirely compatible with Islam, rejecting Imam Al-Ghazali’s arguments in particular.
In his book Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa-Nihayat al-Muqtasid, Averroes wrote on various subjects of Fiqh (Islamic law) and concluded that religion and law are not two separate things. These two areas of knowledge cannot be looked at separately. This conclusion made Averroes gain a respected reputation, even among Muslim scholars who were doubtful towards him.
In the field of philosophy
Averroes was mainly known to the world as the “Commentator,” as he commented and paraphrased Aristotle’s works. Averroes’ philosophy is a mixture of the thoughts of Aristotle in their purest form, and Islam. According to Averroes, nothing in Aristotle’s philosophy, if understood properly, contradicts the Quran or the Divine law that encourages to study all things with rationality. He elaborated the importance of uniting rationality/reason (ma’qul) with the tradition (manqul), considering that the truth can not possibly contradict the truth.
3. Main elements of Averroes’ thoughts
Averroes is characterized as a thinker and philosopher whose thoughts were significantly different from other thinkers of his time. Regarding several of his opinions, Averroes can be seen as an enlightened, wise, isolated and marginalized intellectual.
Islamic Philosophy and Aristotelianism
Hanbalite and Asharite schools were particularly skeptical towards philosophy. In a context of hostility towards philosophers, it is with great determination that Averroes kept arguing in favor of philosophy and open-minded reasoning. He kept demonstrating that philosophy and the use of intellect/reasoning/logic are encouraged in Islam.
According to him, Aristotelianism had been distorted and needed to be reinterpreted appropriately. Philosophy, he argued, is a set of conclusions reached using reason, cannot possibly contradict religion. And if there happens to be any conflict between religion and philosophy, then one should subject them to interpretation or allegorical understanding to remove the contradiction.
Averroes also made a distinction between three different modes of religious (and other) discourse. First, the rhetorical mode (consisting of persuasion), is the mode of discourse used in the Quran for instance. It is easily understandable for the masses. Second, the dialectal mode of discourse consists in debating. It is the mode of discourse used by theologians. Third, the demonstrative mode of discourse is used by philosophers, and it consists in logical deduction. He was in favor of using all these modes of discourse to reach better knowledge.
God’s Existence and Attributes
Averroes, In the treatise Exposition of the Methods of Proof, provided a critique of different doctrines of different Muslim schools, mainly the Asharite and the Hanbalite schools.
On the existence of God, Averroes demonstrated that the universe was designed as if it was made to support human life (Providence). He also suggested that God created all elements such as the Sun, the moon, the rivers, the seas, etc. for the welfare of humanity. He also pointed out that the mere appearance of other beings such as animals and plants showed that they were designed and therefore, there must be a Creator behind the creation: God.
On the attributes of God, Averroes was a strong believer in the doctrine of divine unity (tawhid). God has seven divine attributes: knowledge, life, power, will, hearing, vision, and speech, the most important one being knowledge. The knowledge that God possesses can’t be compared to the knowledge we, as human beings have. God knows the universe as its Creator whereas human beings are only the effects of the creation and therefore have limited knowledge.
The attribute of life is proved by the fact that God has the ability to will objects into being. Power is inferred from the fact that God brings creations into existence. Averroes argued that as long as God has power and knowledge, speech is one of his attributes too insofar as power and knowledge definitely result in the use of speech. Moreover, on the attribute of vision, Averroes argued that creating the universe without seeing it is impossible and therefore, God must possess the attribute of vision, too.
The origins of the universe according to Averroes
In his Incoherence of the Incoherence, Averroes expressed his stance on the creation of the universe.
Neoplatonic thinkers such as Al-Farabi and Avicenna argued that the world had always existed, to which Al-Ghazali responded in a furious manner, refuting all their theories and accusing them of unbelief. Averroes responded to Al-Ghazali in his book, arguing that the question of the universe being created in time or having always existed should not enable us to qualify any thinker of a disbeliever. He also pointed out that some passages of the Quran themselves implied the pre-existence of some aspects of the universe. Averroes, therefore, considered that reading the Quran carefully would allow us to understand that only the form of the universe was created in time, whereas its existence had been eternal.
Averroes’ political ideology
In his commentary on Plato’s Republic, Averroes laid down his ideas while commenting on Plato’s. Averroes explained that the ideal political scenario is one in which Plato’s ideas are combined with the Islamic tradition. For him, the Sharia should be the foundation of the state and the “philosopher-king” should be the imam, who would not only give fatwas but play the role of a (knowledge-lover, wise, just, true, and courageous) philosopher-thinker as well. If the ruling is made impossible for philosophers, these should nonetheless play an important role in the state, by influencing the rulers to achieve the ideal state.
Rather than exerting coercion on the citizens, Averroes was in favor of exerting persuasion on them, with the help of rhetorical, dialectical and demonstrative modes of discourse. War should be a last resort, to defend the state against enemies.
Women, in Averroes’ ideal state, are allowed to share responsibility in the administration of the state. Women’s passive role in the public affairs of the state should not be seen as a positive thing, as their becoming rulers, soldiers and philosophers would guarantee the well-being of the state, according to Averroes.
4. Averroes’ legacy
Today, Averroes is still recognized as a brilliant and genius thinker, philosopher and doctor of the 12th century. His findings in medicine make him still highly respected today. The plant Averrhoa, Lunar crater Ibn Rushd, Asteroid8318 Averroes… all these were named after Averroes.
His findings and writings had a significant influence on intellectuals throughout the centuries following his death. Jewish scholars such as Maimonides were impressed by Averroes’ works. In 1260, Averroes’ works on medicine were first published, along with his commentaries.
Averroes’ also considerably influenced intellectuals belonging to the Latin tradition. Indeed, the fall of the Western Roman Empire had resulted in Europe’s cultural decline. The legacy of the Greek, including Aristotle’s, was lost and it is precisely Averroes’ works on Aristotle (commentaries and translations) that helped the Christian West, to some extent, to have proper access to knowledge again. Later on, some intellectuals in the West criticized Averroes’ positions on the concepts of “eternal, pre-existing world” and “Providence.”
In the Muslim tradition, Averroes’ works didn’t seem appealing at first. Aristotle’s works had already been studied and translated, and this is why Muslims did not pay too much attention to Averroes’ new interpretations. It is only in the 19th century that Averroes became more valued, partly because the Muslim world was going through a phase of modernization and re-awakening at that time.
In conclusion, Averroes is one of those intellectuals of the Andalusian Arab world of the 12th century who not only was able to achieve great things during his life but also managed to be followed and studied long after his death. For centuries after his death, intellectuals continued to study his works and writings and to be impressed by his findings.