Braille
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Blind researchers no longer have to be accompanied when looking through references and books to complete their scientific papers or just when reading. Within weeks, they’ll be able to do all that on their own as a large number of books and references in Braille become available at the Egyptian National Library. Even more significant is the fact that they can request specific references to be translated to Braille using a printer at the Library.

Dr. Ahmad Shawky, head of the library, said to Al-Hayat, “The Library is following a methodical plan to make its resources available to all groups, including the visually impaired. Their section is being developed to include a library of the most well-known books and references, whether written in Braille or audio materials, as part of a greater plan to digitize the different contents of the library, including books, references, scripts,  documents, regular publications, as well as music and audio materials.”

The Hall of the Visually Impaired is one of the halls within the Special Groups Department of the Library (established in 1870). There is also a section for art and another for music but they weren’t very active. The Library is working to change that by not just limiting the services to reading and instead, extending them to include courses and workshops for the visually impaired. This direction is reminiscent of another undertaken by the national media organization Akhbar El Yom when it released the first general publication in Braille directed toward the visually impaired. It is also worth noting that the content writers of Akhbar Braille are visually impaired. The first issue was released last March.

 

This is a translation of an Arabic article by Rihab ‘Ulaiwah and was published on Al-Hayat Newspaper on 8 July, 2017.

Stuttgart: Exotic Animals and Plants

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Wilhelma is more than just a zoo. The heritage-protected park is home to exotic animals as well as plants; therefore it is the only zoo-botanical garden in Germany. There are terraces with roses, old sequoia trees, a small forest of magnolias, and historic green houses, where the climate is optimal for tropical flowers. More than 10,000 animals also live on the 30 hectares. Especially popular in Wilhelma are the aquarium and the primates. The kindergarten of gorilla babies is great.

Read the original German article on deutsch perfekt.

 

The Physical Benefits of Fasting

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It protects the body from tumors.

Fasting provides protection against cancerous tumors. Similar to the surgeon’s scalpel, it removes cancerous tumors and damaged or dead cells. The hunger imposed on the body invokes the internal systems to regenerate weak cells in order to adapt to hunger. This presents the body with a golden opportunity to regain its energy and health. Fasting also protects the body from the harm of stones, calcium deposits, adenoids, cysts, and tumors in their early formations.

It protects the body from sugar.

Fasting lowers blood sugar, giving the pancreas a break. Decreasing food intake for ten hours or more means less food in the body, which means less need for insulin released by the pancreas. Thus, the pancreas relaxes, sugar levels balance, and the body regains its health.

It protects against joint pain.

Although joint pain is considered incurable, studies have proven that fasting for at least three consecutive weeks is an effective treatment for joint pain because it rids the body of poisons.

 

This is an excerpt of an Arabic article by Duha Isma’il published on mawdoo3.com

Syrian Cuisine and the Strange Names of its Dishes

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Syrians take pride in their cuisine among Arab countries as it is very rich and has not become a commercial and touristic exporte like the Moroccan or Lebanese cuisines, for example. It remained a hidden gem that you’ll only taste if you visit Syria or a Syrian home.

Syrians have dispersed because of the war and carried their cuisine with them to the countries of refuge.

Forget the dishes that first come to mind when thinking of Syrian cusine — Shawerma, Hummus, and Kubbeh. These are typical dishes and ones the Syrian kitchen shares with the rest of the Arab world.

We are talking about local dishes sung by the locals while many wonder whether they are really names of dishes or television competitions: Shish Barak, Al- Basha wa ‘Asakro, Ash Shakriyeh, Haraq Usaba’o, Sheikh al-Mahshi, Kishk al-Fuqara’, and others with strange names.

“These dishes cannot be older than the 17th century,” says Rita Barish, Syrian cuisine expert currently living in Berlin. She explains that in recent centuries, nutrition has turned into more of a luxury in terms of the ingredients with the development of factors that led to an increase in production and abundance, in addition to the world’s introduction to potatoes and tomatoes following the discovery of the two Americas, which changed the world’s cuisines.”

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This is an excerpt of an article by Islam al-Kalhi. Read the full original Arabic article on Raseef 22.

The Benefits of Silence

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Learn About the Many Benefits of Silence

Al-Araby al-Jadid

6 May 2017

We live in a world full of sounds; some are melodious and others are noisy, but rarely do we experience silence. Is this important? Actually, it is. According to the website Psychology Today, silence has several benefits, below are some.

  1. Silence contributes the development of the brain. A 2013 study about the brain’s structure and functions showed that at least two hours of silence can lead to the development of new brain cells related to learning and memory.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels through increasing cortisol and adrenaline. A study in 2006 found that silence can decrease stress within just two minutes.
  3. Silence helps the body and mind relax more than listening to music, as indicated through lower blood pressure and an increase of blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence improve sleep.
  5. 20th century studies linked between noise pollution and higher percentages of heart disease and ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). The World Health Organization likened this pollution to a “modern plague”.
  6. Conor O’Shea, who interviewed 100 people on a retreat, found that they had increased levels of awareness and gave more time to reflection. Everyone should listen to their inner voice before making decisions.
  7. Silence helps increase our ability to think. This might seem obvious but often we find ourselves forced to finish a report amidst noise and some people study while listening to music; several studies have shown that this is not [productive for focusing].
  8. Caroline Myss says, “The soul always knows exactly what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.” How to achieve that is up to you. For example, you can meditate for 10 minutes in complete silence and this might help you calm down and think of what to do. Give priority to what matters, then, the secondary details will be what you always wanted them to be, secondary.
  9. Abraham Lincoln says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We must realize that silence is many times the best strategy, not jut for ourselves, but for others as well. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? Do I have to say this?

This is a translation of an Arabic report that appeared on Al-Araby al-Jadid.

Sanaa, Yemen

Alex Potter fotografiert den Jemen

Articles, Translations

Original English post by Kaeleyn Forde:

“Fresh out of nursing school and just 22 years old, Alex Potter dreamed of being a photojournalist and bridging the gap between her home in the Midwest and the Middle East. After graduating from college, Potter left her native Minnesota and traveled to Jordan. When she saw that Yemen, a country on the Arabian Peninsula, had a big election coming up, she hopped on a plane in a matter of hours. Potter has been living in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, ever since.”

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German translation:

Frisch von der Universität und nur 22 Jahre alt, träumte Alex Potter davon, eine Fotojurnalistin zu werden und die Lücke zwischen ihrem Heimat im Mitteleren Westen und dem Nahen Osten zu schließen. Nach dem Studium, verließ sie ihrer Heimat in Minnesota und reiste nach Jordanien. Wenn sie sah, dass den Jemen, ein Land auf der arabischen Halbinsel, bald Wahlen durchfuhren wurde, stieg sie nach nur Studen in einem Flugzeug ein. Seitdem wohnt Potter in der Hauptstadt Sana’a.

Read Kaelyn Forde’s full post from August 26, 2015 and view Alex Potter’s eye-opening photo essay of Yemen. Visit Alex Potter’s website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

 

A Japanese Surprise…Beware of the Victory Sign

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In a strange piece of news, the National Institute of Information in Japan announced that making the v-sign in photos is not recommended, in fact completely unsafe,  as it may lead to identity theft.

According to DP Review, a website concerned with the latest technologies in the world of photography, a report issued by the Institute said that the technology of determining fingerprints has become so unbelievably advanced that it can now determine the hand- or fingerprints of any individual through a simple photo published on SnapChat or any other social media network. They warned that the technology is widely available and easy to use.

According to the Institute, this advancement is thanks to smart phones with high resolution cameras that can capture much detail. Researchers were able to copy fingerprints from a photo that was taken using a mobile phone three meters away from the subject. However, naturally, the copying requires that the fingerprints be clear in the photo and that the photo be taken somewhere bright and that it meets a certain size and quality.

 

Read the original Arabic article published on Al Arabiya on 19 January, 2017.