Thursday, 26 November 2009

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎) "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a holiday celebrated by Muslims (including the Druze) worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.
Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Quran. Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba).
Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Traditions and practices

Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer (ṣalātu l-`Īdi) in a large congregation in an open area or mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called uḍiyyah (Arabic: أضحية‎, also known as "al-qurbāni"), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a year old.
The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food during these days.
Distributing meat among people is considered an essential part of the festival during this period, as well as chanting Takbir out loud before the Eid prayer on the first day and after prayers through out the four days of Eid. (See Takbir in "Traditions and practices" of Eid el-Fitr.) In some countries families that do not own livestock can make a contribution to a charity that will provide meat to those who are in need.

Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendar

While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, due to the fact that the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International date line.

The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are calculated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day. Future dates of Eid al-Adha might face correction 10 days before the festivity, in case of deviant lunar sighting in Saudi Arabia for the start of the month Dhul Hijja.

1427 (Islamic Calendar): December 30, 2006 announced (calculated date: December 31, 2006)

1428 (Islamic Calendar): December 19, 2007 announced (calculated date: December 20, 2007)
1429 (Islamic Calendar): December 8, 2008 announced (calculated date: same)
1430 (Islamic Calendar): November 27, 2009 announced (calculated date: same)
1431 (Islamic Calendar): November 16, 2010 (calculated)
1432 (Islamic Calendar): November 6, 2011 (calculated)
1433 (Islamic Calendar): October 26, 2012 (calculated)
1434 (Islamic Calendar): October 15, 2013 (calculated)
1435 (Islamic Calendar): October 4, 2014 (calculated)
1436 (Islamic Calendar): September 23, 2015 (calculated)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A Portuguese Women considered the "Woman of the Year" on UAE

Maria da Conceição is a Portuguese with 32 years old living and working for six years in Dubai as a flight attendant in Emirates Airlines.
Last night, the Portuguese won the award for "Woman of the Year" in the United Arab Emirates.
Maria da Conceição won the "Humanitarian of the Year" with the creation in 2005 of the Dhaka Project, an initiative that aims to take from the cycle of poverty hundreds of children in a suburb of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and was also elected in the maximum category with the award "Woman of the Year".
The categories and nominees in each for the 2009 Awards were:

The Achievers -- Business Category (Sponsored by Philips)
Mariya Kassam - The Dynamic Diva
Jelena Bin Drai - The Salon Success Story
Farah Foustok - The First Lady of Finance
Eileen Wallis - The PR Princess
Danielle Wilson - The Online Entrepreneur
Artists -- Art and Culture(Sponsored by The London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery)
Asmaa Al-Shabibi - The Design Diva
Nadine Knotzer - The Avant-garde Artist
Shivani Pandya - The Director's Cut
Sarah Belhasa - The Fashion Entrepreneur
Dalia Dogmoch - The Queen of Culinary Delights
Humanitarians -- Charity
Tala Dionisi - The Ambassadorial Angel
Isabelle Le Bon - The Queen of Hearts
Maria Conceicao - The Wings of Dhaka
Sonia Brewin - The Artist's Saviour
Dr Cathy Leibman - The Voice of Hope
Visionaries -- Lifestyle
Mariam Hareb - The Avid Environmentalist
Sahar Mekkauui - Lady of Luxe
Nicole Betts - Ms Movember

Lale Ansingh - The People Person
Padma Coram -- The Entertaining Philanthropist


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Luís Ferreira Master Thesis about UAE Urbanism

Luís Ferreira, an Architect that cooperate with Edigaia Architect Tânia Gama in the development of RAK Edigaia first project, did his Master Thesis based on UAE Urbanism and give it the title "Fresh Water Gulf".

I will post here the abstract of the thesis. Thank you Luís Ferreira for your collaboration in this blog.

Both architectural and urban practices in some Arab countries have been revealing an exponential growing way and also a degree of wonder that no one can disregard. Among all nations in the Arab League, a country emerge from its great achievements, especially in those fields - the United Arab Emirates.

With an oil sustained economy and ruled by a neutrality stance facing all conflicts that happen in its neighborhood, this 7 emirates federation reclaims its independence in 1971 and soon takes the economic growing path, supported by its natural resources wealth (oil and natural gas) and total openness to the rest of the world.

In a timescale of three decades, its territory sees itself dominated by the desire to show the world its wealth and potential, its cities build themselves at a frenetic pace, moved by the ambition of its governors in placing the Emirates on the global scene.

The adoption of the modern language in their cities was believed since its ruling origins as a requirement for its worldwide recognition and so for the external investment catching. Dubai, the most mediatic city, also known as a superlative city, becomes an oasis for the catching of that kind of investment, tax free and providing a familiar lifestyle to the occidental expatriate/tourist, tolerating his vices. Abu-Dhabi, the oil soaked capital, has a more contained development at a first stage, only recently joining Dubai in the mega development and commercial openness phase.

Today, the social and ecologic echoes of an exponential urban growth pace based on the adoption of architectural and urban languages alienated from the social and climatic country’s reality are being felt. Non criticized urban strategies and Guinness Book mega developments captivated world attention, but were also them (and their subjacent strategy) that contributed for the social segregation atmosphere that dominates the entire country’s territory.

Both in the labor or touristic field, the United Arab Emirates economy and development was since its origins supported by the expatriate population sector. Nowadays, the expatriates constitute somewhat 80% of total country’s population. The greater part comes in search for some wealth, staying always for a certain period of time. Likewise, the Emirates acquire a virtual demography condition – expatriate population will leave without looking behind at first sign of trouble.

The climatic context was also neglected, the generic modernism that rules great parts of these cities forces an unmeasured waste of resources – the excessive energetic spend on cooling spaces and the extreme water consumption that some structures require are components that place the Emirates on the top of the list of countries with the biggest ecological footprint, which leads to some alerts and reprehensions by the international community.

Recently, there’s a positive sign on engaging all those issues by the government, shown by planning approaching that includes the city’s whole and their different social layers, by probably more efficient economic diversification strategies and by serious incursions in the use of renewable energies.

Will the United Arab Emirates follow the path leading to its territory and regime sustainability?"