Govt approves $17.3M for Emancipation celebrations

first_imgThe Social Cohesion Ministry, with responsibility for culture, youth and sport, has been allocated $17.3 million for the hosting of this year’s Emancipation activities.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who made the disclosure on Friday, said the money would be divided among the African organisations registered with the Ministry for the hosting of events in the respective villages.In addition to the traditional celebration in the National Park, Minister Harmon said, a special Emancipation event will be hosted at the Union Cultural Complex, Union, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). Emancipation is celebrated on August 1 to commemorate the abolition of slavery in 1834.last_img read more

World’s oldest library to reopen

first_imgThe oldest library in the world, founded by a woman, is being rehabilitated by another woman. The al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez, Morocco will reopen its doors in May 2016. The refurbishment came with its challenges and surprises for architect Aziza Chaouni. A new lighting system was fitted in the library’s main reading room. (Image: Aziza Chaouni, TED)• Mandela: a life in books• Jacana gives flight to new literary voices with BlackBird Book• Mandela’s presidential years to get book treatment• Celebrating books: National Library Week• Ginwala helped shape South Africa’s history Priya PitamberThe oldest working library in the world, the al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez, Morocco, founded in 859, is reopening its doors in May this year. This comes after the Moroccan Ministry of Culture approached architect Aziza Chaouni to rehabilitate the crumbling establishment.In an interview with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), the global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, she spoke passionately about the project.Rich in historyThe library was founded by a woman, Fatima el-Fihriya, the daughter of a rich immigrant from al-Qayrawan, today’s Tunisia.According to TED, el-Fihriya spent her entire inheritance on building a mosque and knowledge centre.“Mystic poet and philosopher Ibn al-‘Arabi studied there in the 12th century, historian and economist Ibn Khaldun attended in the 14th century, while in medieval times, al-Qarawiyyin played a leading role in the transfer of knowledge between Muslims and Europeans,” reads the TED website.When Chaouni first visited the library, she was shocked at the state of the buildings and how this affected the condition of ancient manuscripts, which covered a range of subjects such as astronomy, law, and theology.Challenges and surprisesShe also noticed that in its 1 157 years of existence, the library had been extended in a hodgepodge manner.“Throughout the years, the library underwent many rehabilitations, but it still suffered from major structural problems, a lack of insulation, and infrastructural deficiencies like a blocked drainage system, broken tiles, cracked wood beams, exposed electric wires, and so on,” Chaouni said.There were other challenges too, such as finding similar material to match ancient mosaic, cracked wooden railings and ceiling beams. But, she said, there were many surprises too.A startling aspect about restoring such an old building was never knowing what was behind its walls. “You could scrap it and find a painting, take out the painting and find a door, and so on. We discovered some unexpected things, especially underground, such as a centuries-old sewage system.”al-Qarawiyyin library, Morocco, founded in 859 by a woman, reopens after delicate restoration by arch. Aziza Chaouni pic.twitter.com/ySdM7LyeEw— Roberta Busnelli_IQD (@RobertaBusnell1) March 11, 2016It’s about balanceThroughout her work on the project, Chaouni wanted to keep the harmony between the past and the present.“There has to be a fine balance between keeping the original spaces, addressing the needs of current users, including students, researchers and visitors, and integrating new sustainable technologies — solar panels, water collection for garden irrigation.”She also updated the fountains in the library’s grounds. “Embedded within the dense urban fabric of the Unesco World Heritage Medina of Fez, fountains are part of the city’s vast and ancient water network,” reads the website. So Chaouni was careful when she restored what was there. Where she built new fountains, she made sure she used local construction materials and systems.Today, as she puts the finishing touches, Chaouni is proud, tired and eager to open the library doors to people once more.“Both Moroccans and foreign visitors will get to glimpse, for the first time, some of the library’s amazing and unique manuscripts, as well as to enjoy its architecture.”last_img read more

First Look at SnapGroups: A Delightful Tool For Lightweight Discussion

first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Update:Just after we posted this, Fletcher says he’s lifted the password from the site and it’s live! SnapGroups makes it really easy to create a group discussion around a particular topic, invite people, set variable privacy controls and then participate in that conversation as part of a whole “newsfeed” style stream of updates from all your various groups in one place. Fresh comments, likes and dislikes get pushed to your browser live using a home-made bit of AJAX and the whole thing couldn’t be much simpler. It’s a lot of fun to use, in fact.Fletcher says this is only the beginning, that all kinds of features are still to come, but he’s focused on the basics for now. He started working on the site in October and says his favorite part of the project was “learning about the new technologies that have sprung up in the past couple years.” “The various databases that have come out recently are great,” he told us. “I’m using Mongo, but there are many interesting projects now.” The core of the site is written in C++.Fletcher says SnapGroups will go live tomorrow morning. You should try it out when it does. Invites to groups will no doubt be flying around Twitter and Facebook. It may very well become something you want to use regularly. Hopefully there will be a way to export your conversations easily. Fletcher is a pretty straightforward guy and will probably implement just about anything that enough people ask for and that isn’t too hard to do.Mark Fletcher has a habit of building relatively simple things, like the first major email list system and the first popular RSS reader, that end up being a defining player in the rise of a new era online. Simple, real-time group communication? Not at all hard to imagine that being a big new thing as well. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Mark Fletcher builds software, that’s just what he does. He may have sold the system that became Yahoo Groups for $400 million, and then made millions selling Bloglines to Ask.com as well, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop making software. And it’s not just any software he makes, either. Those two projects changed millions of peoples’ lives.Tomorrow morning Fletcher will unveil his newest creation, a lightweight group communication tool called SnapGroups. We first wrote about it two weeks ago but hadn’t been able to take a look until tonight. We’re happy to report that you’re probably going to like it a lot: it’s easy, it’s clear, it’s got good social design and it’s real time. Check out the screenshots below. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Groupware#Product Reviews#web marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

₹2,100-crore bonus for Chhattisgarh’s farmers

first_imgChhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Thursday announced a bonus of ₹2,100 crore to paddy farmers of the State. The Opposition termed the decision an “election ploy”.Mr. Singh said, “The Prime Minister asked me to immediately disburse the bonus for last year before Diwali. Next year’s bonus will also be disbursed on time. Thirteen lakh farmers will be benefited.”The State BJP government has been facing criticism from the Opposition for its failure to disburse the bonus to paddy farmers since it was elected to power for the third consecutive time in 2013. Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel said, “The government didn’t want to give the bonus. It has made the announcement to save its face as it is being accused of corruption.” Ajit Jogi, Chhattisgarh Janata Congress chief, said, “They have always made false promises. If they really have guts then disburse bonus from 2013 to 2018 and increase the Minimum Support Price.”Sanket Thakur, convener of Chhattisgarh Kisan Majdoor Mahasagh, said the Chief Minister was trying to score a brownie point by announcing the bonus in an election year.last_img read more

Congress puts Mallikarjun Kharge in charge of Maharashtra

first_imgSlowly clearing out what many consider “dead wood”, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday appointed 75-year-old Mallikarjun Kharge as the party’s general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, replacing 68-year-old Mohan Prakash.Mr. Kharge’s appointment has come as a surprise for many in the party since he already holds two key positions. He is leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha and also the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee. His appointment has started speculation on whether Congress will be replacing him as leader of the party in Lok Sabha.A question many Congress leaders are pondering over is whether Mr. Gandhi will take the reins in his hands. “That was my first thought too. However, he [Mr. Gandhi] has not spent much time in Parliament. And Leader of House is a position where you have to be present each day, be attentive, stand and fight for the party. Will he want to immerse himself in hot water?” said a senior Congress leader.Maharashtra is an “extra-ordinarily” crucial State since it sends 48 MPs to the Lok Sabha, second only to Uttar Pradesh (80 seats).“It is a calculated step. [We needed] a person with some political heft and experience,” a State leader said. It also helps that Mr. Kharge speaks Marathi and has handled the State in the past.“I thank Sonia Gandhi ji, Rahul Gandhi ji for giving me the opportunity. I also thank people of Maharashtra and State unit for their cooperation and love,” Mr. Prakash saidlast_img read more