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BANDUNG, Indonesia, June 11, 2018 (News Wires) — Indonesia’s first Islamic fashion school is teaching students in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country the usual skills of design, styling and marketing — but with a religion-specific twist.

As demand grows for Islamic apparel, featuring variations on traditional headscarves and long, flowing dresses for women, while men are targeted with robes or shirts embroidered with religious motifs, about 140 students have signed up.

“We want our students to make unique designs and become leaders in modest fashion,” said Deden Siswanto, who founded the Islamic Fashion Institute nearly three years ago in Indonesia’s third largest city of Bandung.

“We also teach them about wearing clothes according to Islamic rules.”

Nearby sat a group of young women working at sketchboards and sewing stations in the school, which offers nine-month courses in fashion styling, marketing, and basic styling.

Both men and women, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, may join. But teachers must be Muslim, to ensure familiarity with Islamic business practices.

The trend towards garments that meet religious requirements is becoming more visible among the burgeoning middle class in Indonesia, where, for years, few Muslim women covered their heads, or opted for traditional batik or Western clothing.

The country hosted its first Muslim Fashion Week in 2015 and the industry ministry aims to make Indonesia a “Muslim fashion hub” by 2020.

One of the students at the school, Runi Soemadipradja, said she started wearing a headscarf in 2007 but found few options suitable for Muslims.

“I started designing my own clothes,” she said.

“We are overwhelmed by this (demand). So far I have released 10 collections.”

By Salwa Samir

Founded in 969, the metropolitan city of Cairo is the largest in the Middle East and the Arab region. It has hundreds of landmarks that go back to Ancient Egypt. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is called "the city of a thousand minarets" because of the preponderance of Islamic architecture it contains.

For all the above reasons and much more, a new campaign dubbed “Khalik Zay Adam” or “Be like Adam” is trying to restore Cairo’s magnificent panorama and its clean streets by raising the awareness of its inhabitants and correcting the misconception they have accumulated over the years.

“It is said that in this ancient city, we are still educating some of its residents about not throwing garbage in streets and not wasting water and electricity,” Ahmed Marouf, director of the campaign, told the Egyptian Mail.

“We chose the name ‘Adam’ for the campaign because Adam is the first human being and the father of all mankind regardless of nationality, religion or gender,” said Marouf.

The campaign was launched in January by the Cairo Governor, Atef Abdel Hamid; and all the executive agencies in the governorate and in its 38 neighbourhoods are taking part in the campaign as well as a number of businessmen.

The aim of the campaign is to correct the misconceptions inherited by poor Cairenes, such as aimlessly spraying water everywhere especially during the summer, because they think it will cool the atmosphere when the weather is hot.

Another habit that is being targeted is the use of large amounts of water at the car-washing stations, with no recycling facilities in place. Yet a third habit is the throwing of garbage in the street, which has been a headache for years.

“People have grown up with these misconception and their children have inherited them unfortunately,” said Marouf.

“I know the campaign will take some time to change these deeply-rooted misconceptions. However, it is an essential step that the government must take,” he said.
He added that once it succeeds, it will be implemented in all other governorates.
The campaign is also aimed at raising people’s awareness of the need to preserve the architectural and historical heritage of the city which is irreplaceable.

“Cairo is an open museum that contains monuments of various civilisations. It is important to shed more light on the importance of the architectural places and we make this information accessible to the poor and convey the need to preserve these places,” Marouf pointed out.

About 900 young people have volunteered to work for the campaign. They roam the streets of Cairo, talk to the owners of shops and small markets about how to keep the surrounding area clean, and they offer them bins to put in front of their premises.

They also talk to café owners and advise them not to spray water in the street. They talk to the staff of petrol stations and advise them not to use large amounts of water when washing cars.

The campaign works also on developing people’s literacy by holding seminars at schools, youth centres and sports clubs for students and parents alike.
A number of Cairo schools have held exhibitions showcasing artistic works made out of recycled items by Cairo residents.

“Cairo has a population of 19.5 million. If we succeed in reaching all the schoolchildren, they will transfer the message to their parents and families and in that way, we hope to cover the whole governorate,” he said.

Cairo Governor Abdel Hamid recently announced that anyone found dumping garbage in the Cairo streets will be fined a minimum of LE2000, and a maximum of LE20,000.
The decision was taken in support of the “Be like Adam” campaign.

The governor also warned against wasting water, confirming that the authorities would apply the law against violators. Water wasters will be fined between LE5,000 and LE10,000 and, in some cases, they will face prison.

Since 1925, when the population was 20 million, the governor said, Egypt’s share of Nile water has been 55.5 billion cubic metres per year. These days, he added, the per capita water share is 600 cubic metres per year.

Marouf said that the campaign was highlighting and honouring the important role of the garbage collector, in various ways, including in the media and in the TV series, something which rarely used to happen.

“The media and the ministry of culture should do the work of enlightening and educating citizens, especially those living in the poorer areas,” he said.

El-ARISH, Egypt, April 20, 2018 (MENA) – The Islamic Sharia calls for the protection of homeland as being one of the pillars of our beliefs, Egyptian Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa asserted on Friday.

Delivering Friday sermon at a mosque in Arish, in North Sinai, Gomaa said that the homeland's protection is a religious and national duty.

Also, he hailed the strong resolve and will of army and police personnel to purge Sinai from terrorists.

All scholars, writers, journalists and tribal elders play a role in the ongoing comprehensive counter-terrorism Operation Sinai 2018 through combating the extremist thought, he noted.

By Salwa Samir

The awe-inspiring rococo interior of the 20th Century Aisha Fahmy Palace in Zamalek is the backdrop for an exhibition entitled “Treasures of Our Art Museums: Masterpieces of Coptic and Islamic Textiles”.
On display for the first time in the grand salons of the Palace, resplendent with silk-clad walls, is a collection of textiles.The collection adds grandeur to this historic Palace that belonged to Ali Fahmy, who was King Farouk's army chief. He named it after his daughter. The Palace is now known as the Arts Centre.
Visitors can see the skill and artistry used in weaving textiles in the Coptic and Islamic periods. During the two eras, textiles were the focus of a great deal of attention and weavers reached a peak of creativity in terms of design, choice of material and decorative elements. The collection which is on display was taken from the Gezira Museum in Cairo.
The historical roots of this art date back to Ancient Egypt. There are scenes of the spinning and weaving of linen on the walls of the tombs in Luxor.
The ancient Egyptians used textiles in their funeral rites and linen strips were used during the mummification process. In Coptic times, designers traced the Pharaonic legends and developed them to serve the Christian religion. On display is a canvas in which a knight on a horse is depicted capturing his prey. The canvas was inspired by the legend of Horus attacking the god of evil Seth, to signify the ability of religion to save the world from evil.
Woven into the textiles from the Coptic are motifs of primitive animals and birds, half-human figures, knights and botanical and geometric patterns.
There is a canvas dating back to the 6th Century depicting two Abyssinian children. A Coptic-Egyptian mesh textile of the 7th Century is also on display. And there is a canvas from the 5th Century measuring 22x10cms, and a fragment of a Coptic-Byzantine shirt from the 6th Century measuring 114x37cm.
The textile industry continued to develop during the Ottoman era and was widespread in Egypt, Turkey, the Levant and North Africa. The textiles were characterised by a diversity of motifs which were naturalistic, representing flowers or compound leaves. The Ottomans wove the Kiswah of the Kaaba and the covers of shrines, which included inscriptions of Quranic verses and the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him).
Visitors to the exhibition will notice how the weavers largely used the same raw materials. Starting in the 4th Century, the use of silk became widespread. Egypt knew the manufacture of silk textiles starting with the Ptolemaic dynasty, and Alexandria was famous for producing the Roman emperors’ clothes.
During the Islamic era, the silk industry flourished in Sicily and Egypt during the Ayyubid and Mamluke periods.
On display are: a colourful sofa cover from India dating back to the 19th Century, a square tablecloth from the 18th Century and the huge cover of a mihrab (pulpit) from the 18th Century, measuring 305x165cms.
“I have never seen an example of weaving as magnificent as this before. It shows just how clever and ingenious the weavers were,” Rana told the Egyptian Mail, as she contemplated a prayer rug with Quranic verses intricately woven into the design, dating back to the 16th Century.
“I am really pleased, as a member of the public, to be able to see these treasures made by our ancient artisans, for free,” Rana said, as she photographed the work of art. The exhibition is open daily from 9am to 9pm except Fridays. It will run until April 12.