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Al-Hakim Mosque

The Mosque of al-Hakim, nicknamed al-Anwar, is a major Islamic religious site in Cairo, Egypt. It is named after the sixth Fatimid caliph and 16th Ismaili Imam; this mosque started being built by al-Aziz, the son of Mu'izz in 990 A. D, it was named after Al Hakim. This mosque Al Hakim bi Amr Allah took over 20 years to build using a lot of money; the style of this mosque is the Fatimid. The interior of the mosque is an open courtyard with columns parallel, forming a rectangle shape all around. In late 1010, Al Hakim ordered for the minarets to be at an angle and that the columns of the masjid to be tall to cover the inside of the mosque; the mosque's walls were symmeterically arranged within eachother. The mosque had more than thirteen entrances hence the open space courtyard, one can enter from wherever. Masjid Al Hakim is similar in architectural design with the mosque Ibn Tulun. Both mosques are located in Egypt. You can see below how open the mosque was and how indeed it does resemble a lot like Ibn Tulun Mosque architectural design.

It consists of an irregular rectangle with four arcades surrounding the courtyard. An unusual feature is the monumental entrance with its projecting stone porch, it is located in Islamic Cairo, on the east side of Muizz Street, just south of Bab Al-Futuh The most spectacular feature of the mosque are the minarets on either side of the facade. The two minarets stood independent of the brick walls at the corners; these are the earliest surviving minarets in the city and they have been restored at various times during their history. The massive salients were added in 1010 to strengthen their structure, the northern minaret was incorporated into the city wall. Inside, these strange structures are hollow, for they have been built around the original minarets, which are connected with brackets and can still be seen from the minaret below. A picture of an old minaret from years ago from masjid Al Hakim is displayed below in black and white to the right, it is the mabkhara finial of northern minaret from this Masjid There was name plate engraved on stone located at the top of entrance gate facing inside of Mosque.

This plate got damaged with time and, one piece of it was found during renovation work. When enquired with archeological authorities few more pieces of the plate were recovered. With further research the details about missing piece of the name plates were collected, replica of missing part were made and, complete name plate was reinstalled at its original location by Dawoodi Bohra Spiritual Leader, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin.. Few pieces in the name plate which looks old and having dark color are the original ones. Fourth line ending part and beginning of fifth line of the name plate mention the name of Imam "Haakim amar-i-llah" in Kufi Arabic scripts. An another name plate of marble is installed just below the main name plate during renovation work, having details about the history of the Mosque and its renovation work done. At various times, the mosque was used as a prison for captured Franks during the Crusades, as a stable by Saladin, as a fortress by Napoleon, as a local school.

As a result of this the mosque had fallen out of use. The condition of the structure was as such that few portion of the mosque is left out as shown in the photo of ruins placed in gallery. In 1980 ACE/1401 AH, the mosque was extensively refurbished in white marble and gold trim by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin the head of the Dawoodi Bohra, an international Ismaili sect based in India. Remnants of the original decorations, including stucco carvings, timber tie-beams, Quranic inscriptions were restored as part of the renovations, his intent to restore the ancient Al-Hakim Mosque as a place of worship in contemporary times necessitated a lighting solution that provided this important functionality to the mosque and did so in a manner that paid tribute to the Fatimid tradition of illumination and its aesthetics. The miraculous emergence of the mishkat or small lantern from the niche of the richly decorated façade of Al Jami al Aqmar provided that solution; the niche in which the lantern motif was found has been compared to the mihrab niche of Al Azhar mosque, the same now found in Al-Hakim mosque, which has a central motif that resembles a large lamp or lantern.

Today the mosque is a place of worship. Its unique minarets attracts foreign tourists. Al-Hakim Mosque is now a place for Egyptians to pray and enjoy the calm and peacefulness of the mosque. List of mosques in Cairo

Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Addison Smith is a British novelist specialising in historical fiction about the international involvement in Southern Africa across four centuries, seen from the viewpoints of both black and white families. An accountant by training, he gained a film contract with his first published novel When the Lion Feeds; this encouraged him to become a full-time writer, he developed three long chronicles of the South African experience which all became best-sellers. He still acknowledges his publisher Charles Pick's advice to "write about what you know best", his work takes in much authentic detail of the local hunting and mining way of life, along with the romance and conflict that goes with it; as of 2014 his 35 published novels had sold more than 120 million copies, 24 million of them in Italy. Smith was born in Northern Rhodesia, his father was a metal worker who opened a sheet metal factory and bought a cattle ranch. "My father was a tough man", said Smith. "He had massively developed arms from cutting metal.

He was a boxer, a hunter much a man's man. I don't think he read a book in his life, including mine"; as a baby, Smith made a full recovery. He spent the first years of his life on his father's cattle ranch, comprising 12,000 hectares of forest and savannah. On the ranch his companions were the sons of the ranch workers, small black boys with the same interests and preoccupations as Smith. With his companions he ranged through the bush, hiking and trapping birds and small mammals, his mother read to him every night and gave him novels of escape and excitement, which piqued his interest in fiction. Smith attended boarding school at Cordwalles Preparatory School in Natal. While in Natal, he continued to be an avid reader and had the good fortune to have an English master who made him his protégé and would discuss the books Smith had read that week. Unlike Smith's father and many others, the English master made it clear to Smith that being a bookworm was praiseworthy, rather than something to be ashamed of, let Smith know that his writings showed great promise.

He tutored Smith on how to achieve dramatic effects, to develop characters, to keep a story moving forward. For high school Smith attended Michaelhouse, a boarding school situated in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, he felt that he never "fitted in" with the people and interests of the other students at Michaelhouse. On a positive note, he did start a school newspaper at Michaelhouse for which he wrote the entire content, except for the sports pages, his weekly satirical column became mildly famous and was circulated as far afield as The Wykeham Collegiate and St Anne's. Smith worked on his father's cattle ranch and served with the Rhodesian Police. "I would get called out and have to get bodies of children from pit lavatories after they had been killed with pangas ", he recalled. Smith wanted to become a journalist, writing about social conditions in South Africa, but his father's advice to "get a real job" prompted him to become a tax accountant. "My father was a colonialist and I followed what he said until I was in my 20s and learned to think for myself", he said.

"I didn't want to perpetuate injustices so I left Rhodesia in the time of Ian Smith."He attended Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1954. He subsequently found work with the Inland Revenue Service. Smith turned back to fiction, this time determined to write it, found that he was able to sell his first story to Argosy magazine for £70, twice his monthly salary, his first attempt at a novel, The Gods First Make Mad, was rejected, so for a time he returned to work as an accountant, until the urge to write once again overwhelmed him. He tried another novel: I wrote about my own father and my darling mother. I wove into the story chunks of early African history. I wrote about white. I wrote about women. I wrote about love and loving and hating. In short I wrote about all the things I loved better. I left out all the immature philosophies and radical politics and rebellious posturing, the backbone of the first novel. I came up with a catching title, When the Lion Feeds.

When the Lion Feeds tells the stories of two young men, twins Sean and Garrick Courtney. The characters' surname was a tribute to Smith's grandfather, Courtney James Smith, who had commanded a Maxim gun team during the Zulu Wars. Courtney James Smith had a magnificent mustache and could tell wonderful stories that had helped inspire Wilbur. Smith's agent in London, Ursula Winant, managed to sell the book to William Heinemann for an advance of £2,000 and an initial print run of 10,000 copies; the book went on to be successful, selling around the world and enabling Smith to leave his job and work full-time. Charles Pick, who bought the book for Heinemann became Smith's mentor and agent. Smith says Pick gave him advice he never forgot: "Write for yourself, write about what you know best." Pick advised: "Don't talk about your books with anybody me, until they are written." Smith has said that, "Until it is written a book is smoke on the wind. It can be blown away by a careless word."In 2012, Smith said When the Lion Feeds remained his favourite because it was his first to be published.

Film rights were bought by Stanley Baker but no movie resulted. However, the money enabled Smith to quit his job in the South African taxation office, calcul

Brussels Conference Act of 1890

The Brussels Conference Act of 1890 was a collection of anti-slavery measures signed in Brussels on 2 July 1890 to, as the act itself puts it, "put an end to Negro Slave Trade by land as well as by sea, to improve the moral and material conditions of existence of the native races". The negotiations for this act arose out of the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference 1889–90; the act was applicable to those countries "who have possessions or Protectorates in the conventional basin of the Congo", to the Ottoman Empire and other powers or parts who were involved in slave trade in East African coast, Indian Ocean and other areas. For example, Article 21 describes the zone in which measures should be taken, referring to "the coasts of Indian Ocean, the Belouchistan up to Tangalane... " and Madagascar. The Act provided for the establishment of a relevant International Bureau in Zanzibar. In Art. 68, "the Powers recognize the high value of the Law on the prohibition of Slave Trafficing of blacks, issued by His Majesty The Emperor of the Ottomans on 4–16 Dec. 1889, are assured that a surveillance action will be taken by the Ottoman authorities in the western part of Arabia and on the routes that keep that coast in communication with other possessions of His Imperial Majesty in Asia."

Similar actions were called on to be taken by the Sultan of Zanzibar. The participants agreed to stop sales of guns and other weapons to Africans; the parties to the agreement were: Austria-Hungary Belgium Congo Free State Denmark France Germany Italy Netherlands Ottoman Empire Qajar dynasty Portugal Russia Spain Zanzibar Sweden–Norway United Kingdom United StatesThe Brussels Act was supplemented and revised by the Convention of Saint-Germain-en-Laye signed by the Allied Powers of the First World War on 10 September 1919. 1926 Slavery Convention Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery Slave Trade Acts Jean Allain, "Fydor Martens and the Question of Slavery at the Brussels Conference". "Brussels Conference Act, 1890". General Act of the Brussels Conference relative to the African Slave Trade Slave trade and importation into Africa of firearms and spiritous liquor