A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, whether or not it takes place in a special building. Informal and open-air places of worship are called musalla, while mosques used for communal prayer on Fridays are known as jāmiʿ. Mosque buildings contain an ornamental niche set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca, ablution facilities and minarets from which calls to prayer are issued; the pulpit, from which the Friday sermon is delivered, was in earlier times characteristic of the central city mosque, but has since become common in smaller mosques. Mosques have segregated spaces for men and women; this basic pattern of organization has assumed different forms depending on the region and denomination. Mosques serve as locations for prayer, Ramadan vigils, funeral services, Sufi ceremonies and business agreements, alms collection and distribution, as well as homeless shelters. Mosques were important centers of elementary education and advanced training in religious sciences.
In modern times, they have preserved their role as places of religious instruction and debate, but higher learning now takes place in specialized institutions. Special importance is accorded to the Great Mosque of Mecca, Prophet's Mosque in Medina and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. In the past, many mosques in the Muslim world were built over burial places of Sufi saints and other venerated figures, which has turned them into popular pilgrimage destinations; the first mosque was built by Muhammad in Medina. With the spread of Islam, mosques multiplied across the Islamic world. Sometimes churches and other temples were converted into mosques, which influenced Islamic architectural styles. While most pre-modern mosques were funded by charitable endowments, modern states in the Muslim world have attempted to bring mosques under government control. Increasing government regulation of large mosques has been countered by a rise of funded mosques of various affiliations and ideologies, many of which serve as bases for different Islamic revivalist currents and social activism.
Mosques have played a number of political roles. The rates of mosque attendance vary depending on the region; the word'mosque' entered the English language from the French word mosquée derived from Italian moschea, from either Middle Armenian մզկիթ, Medieval Greek: μασγίδιον, or Spanish mezquita, from Arabic: مَـسْـجِـد, translit. Masjid, either from Nabataean masgĕdhā́ or from Arabic Arabic: سَـجَـدَ, translit. Sajada ultimately from Aramaic sĕghēdh; the first mosque in the world is considered to be the area around the Ka‘bah in Mecca, now known as Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarâm. A Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari states that the Kaaba was the First Mosque on Earth, the Second Mosque was the Temple in Jerusalem. Since as early as 638 AD, the Sacred Mosque has been expanded on several occasions to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims who either live in the area or make the annual pilgrimage known as Ḥajj to the city. Others regard the first mosque in history to be the Quba Mosque in present-day Medina since it was the first structure built by Muhammad upon his emigration from Mecca in 622, though the Mosque of the Companions in the Eritrean city of Massawa may have been constructed at around the same time.
The Islamic Prophet Muhammad went on to establish another mosque in Medina, now known as the Masjid an-Nabawi, or the Prophet's Mosque. Built on the site of his home, Muhammad participated in the construction of the mosque himself and helped pioneer the concept of the mosque as the focal point of the Islamic city; the Masjid al-Nabawi introduced some of the features still common in today's mosques, including the niche at the front of the prayer space known as the mihrab and the tiered pulpit called the minbar. The Masjid al-Nabawi was constructed with a large courtyard, a motif common among mosques built since then. Mosques had been built in Iraq and North Africa by the end of the 7th century, as Islam spread outside the Arabian Peninsula with early caliphates; the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala is one of the oldest mosques in Iraq, although its present form – typical of Persian architecture – only goes back to the 11th century. The shrine, while still operating as a mosque, remains one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims, as it honors the death of the third Shia imam, Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Hussein ibn Ali.
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As was the first mosque in Egypt, serving as a religious and social center for Fustat during its prime. Like the Imam Husayn Shrine, nothing of its original structure remains. With the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, mosques throughout Egypt evolved to include schools and tombs; the Great Mosque of Kairouan in present-day Tunisia was the first mosque built in northwest Africa, with its present form serving as a model for other Islamic places of worship in the Maghreb. It includes naves akin to a basilica; those features can be found in Andalusian mosques, including the Grand Mo
Sister cities or twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, counties, prefectures, regions and countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became used to form strategic international business links among member cities. In the United Kingdom, the term "twin towns" is most used. In mainland Europe, the most used terms are "twin towns", "partnership towns", "partner towns", "friendship towns"; the European Commission uses the term "twinned towns" and refers to the process as "town twinning". Spain uses the term "ciudades hermanadas", which means "sister cities". Germany and the Czech Republic use Partnerstadt / miasto partnerskie / partnerské město, which translate as "partner town or city".
France uses ville jumelée, Italy has gemellaggio and comune gemellato. In the Netherlands, the term is stedenband. In Greece, the word αδελφοποίηση has been adopted. In Iceland, the terms vinabæir and vinaborgir are used. In the former Soviet Bloc, "twin towns" and "twin cities" are used, along with города-побратимы; the Americas, South Asia, Australasia use the term "sister cities" or "twin cities". In China, the term is 友好城市. Sometimes, other government bodies enter into a twinning relationship, such as the agreement between the provinces of Hainan in China and Jeju-do in South Korea; the douzelage is a town twinning association with one town from each of the member states of the European Union. Despite the term being used interchangeably, with the term "friendship city", this may mean a relationship with a more limited scope in comparison to a sister city relationship, friendship city relationships are mayor-to-mayor agreements. In recent years, the term "city diplomacy" has gained increased usage and acceptance as a strand of paradiplomacy and public diplomacy.
It is formally used in the workings of the United Cities and Local Governments and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and recognised by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. A March 2014 debate in the British House of Lords acknowledged the evolution of town twinning into city diplomacy around trade and tourism, but in culture and post-conflict reconciliation; the importance of cities developing "their own foreign economic policies on trade, foreign investment and attracting foreign talent" has been highlighted by the World Economic Forum. The earliest known town twinning in Europe was between Paderborn, Le Mans, France, in 836. Starting in 1905, Keighley in West Yorkshire, had a twinning arrangement with French communities Suresnes and Puteaux; the first recorded modern twinning agreement was between Keighley and Poix-du-Nord in Nord, France, in 1920 following the end of the First World War. This was referred to as an adoption of the French town; the practice was continued after the Second World War as a way to promote mutual understanding and cross-border projects of mutual benefit.
For example, Coventry twinned with Stalingrad and with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, all three cities having been bombed during the war. The City of Bath formed an "Alkmaar Adoption committee" in March 1945, when the Dutch city was still occupied by the German Army in the final months of the war, children from each city took part in exchanges in 1945 and 1946. In 1947, Bristol Corporation sent five'leading citizens' on a goodwill mission to Hanover. Reading in 1947 was the first British town to form links with a former "enemy" city – Düsseldorf; the link still exists. Since 9 April 1956 Rome and Paris have been and reciprocally twinned with each other, following the motto: "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; the support scheme was established in 1989. In 2003 an annual budget of about €12 million was allocated to about 1,300 projects; the Council of European Municipalities and Regions works with the Commission to promote modern, high quality twinning initiatives and exchanges that involve all sections of the community.
It has launched a website dedicated to town twinning. As of 1995, the European Union had more than 7,000 bilateral relationships involving 10,000 European municipalities French and German. Public art has been used to celebrate twin town links, for instance in the form of seven mural paintings in the centre of the town of Sutton, Greater London; the five main paintings show a number of the main features of the London Borough of Sutton and its four twin towns, along with the heraldic shield of each above the other images. Each painting features a plant as a visual representation of its town's environmental awareness. In the case of Sutton this is in a separate smaller painting showing a beech tree, intended as a symbol of prosperity and from whi
Mont Fleuri is an administrative district of Seychelles with its main part located on the island of Mahé. It includes the six islands of the Sainte Anne Marine National Park and two islets further east
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Seychelles
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral or Cathedral of Victoria, is a religious building of the Catholic Church located in the town of Victoria, on the island of Mahé capital of the African archipelago nation of Seychelles. The cathedral is located near the Anglican Cathedral; the church recalls the French colonial style. It is part of the Latin Church and Roman Rite, serves as the seat of the bishop of the the Diocese of Port Victoria, established in 1892 by Pope Leo XIII; the first reconstruction of the cathedral started in the same year. Roman Catholicism in Seychelles
Seychelles the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean. The capital of the 115-island country, lies 1,500 kilometres east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south. With a population of 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country. Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations. After proclamation of independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, with agriculture being supplanted by rising service and public sectors as well as tourism. From 1976 until 2015, nominal GDP output has increased nearly sevenfold and the purchasing power parity nearly sixteenfold. In late 2010s, the President Danny Faure and the National Assembly presented plans to encourage foreign investment in order to further upgrade these sectors.
Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal excluding the French regions. It is one of only a handful of countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country's newfound economic prosperity, poverty remains widespread due to a high level of economic inequality, one of the highest in the world, unequal wealth distribution among the populace which vastly favors the upper and ruling class; the Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles; this assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910. The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place on 15 March 1503, recorded by Thomé Lopes aboard "Rui Mendes de Brito" part of the fleet of the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama. Da Gama's ships passed close to an elevated island Silhouette Island and the following day Desroches Island; the earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the "Ascension" under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.
A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were said to be used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mahé by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Louis XV's Minister of Finance; the British frigate "Orpheus" commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mahé on 16 May 1794. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain. Jean Baptiste Quéau de Quincy, the French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality. Britain assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970. Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth.
In the 1970s Seychelles was "the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set". In 1977, a coup d'état by France Albert René ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham. René discouraged over-dependence on tourism and declared that he wanted "to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois"; the 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991. In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President René, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d'état attempt. There was a gun battle at the airport, most of the mercenaries escaped in a hijacked Air India plane; the leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS. Clodo stood trial in South Africa as well as in his home country Germany for air-piracy. In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President René to request assistance from India.
In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup. The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993. In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the Seychelles president, head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature; the unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemblée Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms; the Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals.
The highest court of law
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Tropical rainforest climate
A tropical rainforest climate is a tropical climate found within 10 to 15 degrees latitude of the equator, has at least 60 mm of rainfall every month of the year. Regions with this climate are designated Af by the Köppen climate classification. A tropical rainforest climate is hot and wet. Tropical rain forests have a type of tropical climate in which there is no dry season&mash. In rain forest climates the dry season is short, rainfall is heavy throughout the year. One day in a tropical rain forest climate can be similar to the next, while the change in temperature between day and night may be larger than the average change in temperature during the year. A tropical rain forest climate is found at latitudes within 15 degrees North and South of the equator, which are dominated by the Inter tropical Convergence Zone; the climate is most found in South America, Central Africa, Southeast Asia and Oceania. These rain forests are monotonously wet throughout the year. Locations in Oceania, areas along the coast of South and Central America, from Ecuador to Belize, parts of Central Africa, much of Indonesia have this type of climate.
When tropical rain forest climates are more dominated by the ITCH than the trade winds, so located near the equator, they are called equatorial climates. Otherwise, when they are more dominated by the trade winds than the ITCH, they are called tropical trade-wind climates. In the last case there are a number of instances where this climate is found some distance away from the equator. For instance, Santos and Palm Beach, Florida are not only far removed from the equator, but are located just outside the tropics. Both cities feature a tropical trade-wind rain forest climate, with noticeably cooler and warmer periods of the year. Tropics Köppen climate classification