The Bedul Bedouin inhabit the region around Petra, (UNESCO Heritage Site since 1985). Bedouin culture is the root and origin of all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula (with the exception of Israel) and pre-dates Islam. The five tribes of Bedouin in Petra are named the Bedul.
Ethnohistoric study secures the presence of the Bedul to the Valley of Petra to at least the beginning of the 19th century. Numbering only about 1,000 people, the Bedul, nevertheless, represent a distinct case of an indigenous people encountering the benefits as well as the threats of rapid modernization.
Traditional Bedul Habitation in and around Petra included black tents of woven goat hair, numerous masonry structures in natural rockshelters, and the occupation of empty Nabataean tombs. The latter has received the most attention in recent years due to its visibility to the tourist trade. However, habitation in tombs within Petra itself is but one form of a diverse and extensive settlement pattern likely employed for centuries. In light of this, the direct impact from Bedul habitation upon the archaeological resources is relatively low when compared to the impacts of development and planned increases in the numbers of tourists.
While international interest in Petra, exemplified by tourism, increased throughout the 20th century, the Bedul continued their traditional activities of goat pastoralism and rainfall farming of wheat and barley. Even in the late 1980s, most of the farming was done without mechanization, the fields tilled with ards, and even harvested by hand. Dairy products are well represented by goat milk taken daily for the manufacture of a "yoghurt," known as laban, typically processed into a highly storable dried form.
By the late 1960s, a formal development plan for Petra National Park was funded by USAID, and U. S. National Park Service was enlisted to advise on the future of Petra. Relocation of the Bedul away from the most significant Nabataean monuments was advised at that time, but a government-built settlement was not constructed until 1985.
Now named Umm Siehoun, the village was a mixed blessing for the Bedul, bringing access to better education and health care, but decreasing their access to traditional pastoral and agricultural lands and the cash economy of tourism. Thus, many resisted the move and continued to live in caves, rockshelters, and black tents in 1988, adhering to the traditional life.
Bedul hospitality and their knowledge of traditional values of past populations could be well used for the promotion and welfare of tourism.
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as Sanātana Dharma (a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law", "the eternal law that sustains/upholds/surely preserves"), amongst many other expressions. Generic "types" of Hinduism that attempt to accommodate a variety of complex views span folk and Vedic Hinduism to bhakti tradition, as in Vaishnavism. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism grants a great degree of freedom of belief and worship. Also, the concept of heresy is absent.
Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India and, as such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major religion" in the world.
Most Hindu traditions revere a body of religious or sacred literature, the Vedas, although there are exceptions. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, atheism, agnosticism, gnosticism among others; and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.
A large body of texts is classified as Hindu, divided into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy and mythology, and provide information on the practice of dharma (religious living). Among these texts, the Vedas are the foremost in authority, importance and antiquity. Other major scriptures include the Upanishads, Purāṇas and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a syncretistic treatise from the Mahābhārata, is of special importance. It combines Vedanta, Yoga, and some Samkhya philosophy into its discussion of good conduct and life.
The Rig Veda, the oldest scripture and the mainstay of Hindu philosophy does not take a restrictive view on the fundamental question of God and the creation of universe. It rather lets the individual seek and discover answers in the quest of life.
There are four Vedas (called Ṛg-, Sāma-, Yajus- and Atharva-). The Rigveda is the first and most important Veda. Each Veda is divided into four parts: the primary one, the Veda proper, being the Saṃhitā, which contains sacred mantras. The other three parts form a three-tier ensemble of commentaries, usually in prose and are believed to be slightly later in age than the Saṃhitā. These are: the Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇyakas, and the Upanishads. The first two parts were subsequently called the Karmakāṇḍa (ritualistic portion), while the last two form the Jñānakāṇḍa (knowledge portion). While the Vedas focus on rituals, the Upanishads focus on spiritual insight and philosophical teachings, and discuss Brahman and reincarnation.
Hinduism does not have a "unified system of belief encoded in declaration of faith or a creed", but is rather an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena originating and based on the Vedic traditions.
The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent and is first mentioned in the Rig Veda.
The word Hindu was first used by Arab invaders and then went further west by the Arabic term al-Hind referring to the land of the people who live across river Indus and the Persian term Hindū referring to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustān emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus".
The earliest evidence for prehistoric religion in India date back to the late Neolithic in the early Harappan period (5500–2600 BCE). The beliefs and practices of the pre-classical era (1500–500 BCE) are called the "historical Vedic religion". The Vedic religion shows influence by Proto-Indo-European religion. Modern Hinduism grew out of the Vedas, the oldest of which is the Rigveda, dated to 1700–1100 BCE. The Vedas center on worship of deities such as Indra, Varuna and Agni, and on the Soma ritual. Fire-sacrifices, called yajña were performed, and Vedic mantras chanted but no temples or idols are known.
The major Sanskrit epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, were compiled over a protracted period during the late centuries BCE and the early centuries CE. They contain mythological stories about the rulers and wars of ancient India, and are interspersed with religious and philosophical treatises. The later Puranas recount tales about devas and devis, their interactions with humans and their battles against rakshasa.
Three major movements underpinned the naissance of a new epoch of Hindu thought: the advent and spread of Upanishadic, Jaina, and Buddhist philosophico-religious thought throughout the broader Indian landmass. Mahavira (24th Tirthankara of Jainism) and Gautama Buddha (founder of Buddhism) taught that to achieve moksha or nirvana, one did not have to accept the authority of the Vedas or the caste system. Buddha went a step further and claimed that the existence of a Self/soul or God was unnecessary. Buddhism peaked during the reign of Asoka the Great of the Mauryan Empire, who unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE. After 200 CE several schools of thought were formally codified in Indian philosophy, including Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva-Mimamsa and Vedanta. Charvaka, the founder of an atheistic materialist school, came to the fore in North India in the sixth century BCE.
The concept of a "power" that is held to lie behind nature and that keeps everything in balance became a natural forerunner to the idea of Dharma. The Upanishads saw dharma as the universal principle of law, order, harmony, all in all truth, that sprang first from Brahman. It acts as the regulatory moral principle of the Universe.
Karma and samsara
Karma translates literally as action, work, or deed, and can be described as the "moral law of cause and effect". According to the Upanishads an individual, known as the jiva-atma, develops sanskaras (impressions) from actions, whether physical or mental. The linga sharira, a body more subtle than the physical one but less subtle than the soul, retains impressions, carrying them over into the next life, establishing a unique trajectory for the individual. Thus, the concept of a universal, neutral, and never-failing karma intrinsically relates to reincarnation as well as to one's personality, characteristics, and family. Karma binds together the notions of free will and destiny.
This cycle of action, reaction, birth, death and rebirth is a continuum called samsara. The notion of reincarnation and karma is a strong premise in Hindu thought. The Bhagavad Gita states:
“As a person puts on new clothes and discards old and torn clothes, similarly an embodied soul enters new material bodies, leaving the old bodies.(B.G. 2:22)”
Samsara provides ephemeral pleasures, which lead people to desire rebirth so as to enjoy the pleasures of a perishable body. However, escaping the world of samsara through moksha is believed to ensure lasting happiness and peace. It is thought that after several reincarnations, an atman eventually seeks unity with the cosmic spirit (Brahman/Paramatman).
The ultimate goal of life, referred to as moksha, nirvana or samadhi, is understood in several different ways: as the realization of one's union with God; as the realization of one's eternal relationship with God; realization of the unity of all existence; perfect unselfishness and knowledge of the Self; as the attainment of perfect mental peace; and as detachment from worldly desires. Such realization liberates one from samsara and ends the cycle of rebirth. Due to belief in the indestructibility of the soul, death is deemed insignificant with respect to the cosmic self. Thence, a person who has no desire or ambition left and no responsibilities remaining in life or one affected by a terminal disease may embrace death by Prayopavesa.
Serengeti is derived from the Maasai language ‘Maa’, "Serengit" meaning "Endless Plains”. Approximately 70 larger mammal and some 500 avifauna species are found there. The high diversity of species is due to the diverse habitats ranging from riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, rhinos, zebras, buffalos, cheetahs and elephants are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.
The Serengeti hosts the largest mammal migrations in the world, which is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. Each year around the same time the great wildebeest migration begins in the NgoroNgoro area of the southern Serengeti of Tanzania.
Ngorongoro Crater, one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles for its magical setting, is a sanctuary for the amazing wild life trapped inside it. It formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two or three millions years ago. The extraordinary volcanic landscape with alkaline lakes, plains and hills is the home of local Maasai tribes which still maintain their traditional way of life.
Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, the highest ‘walkable’ snow-covered equatorial mountain in the world (5,892m), a magnificent and spectacular undertaking. Stories of its resident man-eating spirits living on the highest volcanic cone Kibo, are now relegated to the realms of fiction and legends. The mountain ‘which defeats the leopard’ still shines in the African sun with its brilliant white top … the snows of Kilimanjaro…
It is said that the Carnival of Venice was originated from a victory of the "Repubblica della Serenissima", Venice previous name, against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico in the year 1162. In the honour of this victory, the people started to dance and make reunions in San Marco Square. Apparently this festival started on that period and become official in the Renaissance. After a long absence, the Carnival return to operate in 1979. The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of their efforts. Today, approximately 3,000,000 visitors come to Venice each day for Carnivals.
There is very little evidence explaining the motive for the earliest mask wearing in Venice. It has been argued that covering the face in public was a uniquely Venetian response to one of the most rigid class hierarchies in European history.
The first documented sources mentioning the use of masks in Venice can be found as far back as the 13th century. The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.
Venetian masks are characterised by their ornate design, featuring bright colours such as gold or silver and the use of complex decorations in the baroque style. Many designs of Venetian masks stem from Commedia dell'arte. They can be full-face masks (e.g. the bauta) or eye masks (e.g. the Columbina).
The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy.
Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Venice always traded with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world extensively. By the late thirteenth century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe. At the peak of its power and wealth, it had 36,000 sailors operating 3,300 ships, dominating Mediterranean commerce.
The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark (officially known in Italian as the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco and commonly known as Saint Mark's Basilica) is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. It is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has only been the city's cathedral since 1807, when it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, formerly at San Pietro di Castello. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building has been known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold).
The Doge's Palace (Italian: Palazzo Ducale) is a gothic palace, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, opening as a museum in 1923.
As well as being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797, when its role inevitably changed.
Venice was subjected first to French rule, then to Austrian, and finally in 1866 it became part of Italy. Over this period, the palace as occupied by various administrative offices as well as housing the Biblioteca Marciana and other important cultural institutions within the city.
Islam (English /ˈɪzlɑːm/; Arabic: الإسلام al-ʾislām) is the monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله Allāh), and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.
Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to worship God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets.
About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, 25% in South Asia, 20% in the Middle East, 2% in Central Asia, 4% in the remaining South East Asian countries, and 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of Europe. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world (see Islam by country). With about 1.3-1.57 billion Muslims, comprising about 21-23% of the world's population, Islam is the second-largest religion and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.
Islam's most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawhīd (Arabic: توحيد). God is described in chapter 112 of the Qur'an as: "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (112:1-4) Muslims repudiate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, comparing it to polytheism, but accept Jesus as a prophet.
The Islamic holy books are the records which most Muslims believe were dictated by God to various prophets. Muslims believe that parts of the previously revealed scriptures, the Tawrat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospels), had become distorted—either in interpretation, in text, or both. The Qur'an (literally, “Reading” or “Recitation”) is viewed by Muslims as the final revelation and literal Word of God and is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature work in the Arabic language. Muslims believe that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad by God through the archangel Gabriel (Jibrīl). The Qur'an was reportedly written down by Muhammad's companions (sahabah) while he was alive, although the prime method of transmission was orally.
The Qur'an mentions the names of numerous figures considered prophets in Islam, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, among others. Muslims believe that God finally sent Muhammad (Seal of the Prophets) to convey the divine message to the whole world (to sum up and to finalize the word of God).
Ritual prayers, called Ṣalāh or Ṣalāt (Arabic: صلاة), must be performed five times a day. Salah is intended to focus the mind on God, and is seen as a personal communication with him that expresses gratitude and worship. Salah is compulsory but flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on circumstances. The prayers are recited in the Arabic language, and consist of verses from the Qur'an.
A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims, who often refer to it by its Arabic name, masjid. The word mosque in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated to Islamic worship. Although the primary purpose of the mosque is to serve as a place of prayer, it is also important to the Muslim community as a place to meet and study.
The pilgrimage, called the ḥajj (Arabic: حج ḥaǧǧ) during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. Rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the black stone if possible, walking or running seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.
Most Muslims belong to one of two denominations; with 80-90% being Sunni and 10-20% being Shia.
Sunni Muslims are the largest group in Islam, comprising the vast bulk (80-90%) of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, hence the title Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā‘ah. In Arabic language, as-Sunnah literally means "tradition" or "path". The Qur'an and the Sunnah (the example of Muhammad's life) as recorded in hadith are the primary foundations of Sunni doctrine. According to Sunni Islam, the "normative" example of Muhammad's life is called the Sunnah (literally "trodden path").
The Shi'a constitute 10–20% of Islam and are its second-largest branch. They believe in the political and religious leadership of Imams from the progeny of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who Shia's believe was the true successor after Muhammad. They believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs. To most Shias, an Imam rules by right of divine appointment and holds "absolute spiritual authority" among Muslims, having final say in matters of doctrine and revelation. Shias regard Ali as the prophet's true successor and believe that a caliph is appointed by divine will.
Sufism is a mystical-ascetic approach to Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use. However, Sufism has been criticized by the Salafi sect for what they see as an unjustified religious innovation. Many Sufi orders, or tariqas, can be classified as either Sunni or Shi'a, but others classify themselves simply as 'Sufi'.
On a journey through East Africa: Kenya and Tanzania. The coffee farmers living in the jungles at the bottom of Kilimanjaro, growing coffee on plantations inherited from one generation to another, harvesting every seven years the coffee berries which will undergo the long exhausting process of becoming the pure ‘Arabica’, the coffee with the most amazing blends and aromas in the world.
The city of Lhasa contains three concentric paths used by pilgrims to circumambulate (walk around) the sacred Johkhang Temple, many of whom make full or partial prostrations along these routes in order to gain spiritual merit. The innermost, the Nangkor circle, is contained within the Johan Temple, and surrounds the sanctuary of the Jowo Shakyamuni, the most sacred statue in Tibetan Buddhism. The middle circumambulatory, the Barkor, passes through the Old Town and surrounds the Jokhang Temple and various other buildings in its vicinity. The outer Lingkor encircles the entire traditional city of Lhasa.
Hundreds, if not thousands of Tibetans are following this circuit at any one time from sunrise to sunset. Old women in traditional dresses wear faded aprons over heavy cloaks and slowly spin their portable prayer wheels. The women's faces are very dark from all the outdoor work and every inch of skin is cracked and lined with wrinkles but thet still have amazing beautiful smiles when they greet you with "Tashi Dele!"
Each morning Tibetans offer a lighted butter lamp, representing the illumination of wisdom, along with seven bowls containing pure water (or symbolic offerings of washing water, drinking water, flowers, scent, perfumed water, food, and sound) before the images on their household shrine. The butter lamp usually being placed between the fourth and fifth bowls. At funeral ceremonies or when visiting temples and going on pilgrimage to sacred sites, Tibetan Buddhists often light a large number butter lamps together at one time.
Inside the Potala, the butter lamps help to focus the mind and aid meditation. According to the Root Tantra of Chakrasamvara, "If you wish for sublime realization, offer hundreds of lights". Pilgrims also supply yak butter for the lamps to gain merit.