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Tag: Asia

Near Eastern and Semitic Studies Information Archive

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Near Eastern and Semitic Studies Information Archive (NESSIA), a digital library which aims to provide a collection of documents, books and images that are related to the Near East as well as Semitic studies. Our goal is to position ourselves as a useful resource for students, academicians as well as the average person interested in these subjects to visit our site and use our collection as a source for their references.

Between the 17th century and early 20th century, Orientalism was too clearly tainted by Judeo-Christian polemics. The term “Judeo-Christian” in itself is a term that ignores nearly a millennium and a half of Semitic history by its exclusion of Islam as a Semitic religion that today out-populates the “Judeo” by over a billion and is nearly equal to the “Christian” in that most inappropriate term. Though much valuable scholarship was found in that era, the sense of paranoia towards Islam was unambiguous as Orientalist scholarship attempted to discredit Islam upon every level as some illegitimate child of the Semitic tradition.

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Google features a “Merdeka-Raya” doodle

Google has featured a “Merdeka-Raya” doodle as a nod towards the dual occasions of Eid al-Fitr and Malaysia’s Independence Day which falls on the 30th and 31st of August respectively this year. The doodle features the “ketupat”, which is a type of packed rice delicacy unique to the region (Southeast Asia), especially in Malaysia, and also the Malaysian national flag, the Jalur Gemilang. I checked both versions of Google and apparently the doodle is featured on both the .com and versions. This means that the doodle can be seen worldwide and not just in Malaysia alone. I consider this to be Google’s acknowledgement of Malaysia and perhaps signifies the growing importance of the Malaysian online market in Google’s viewpoint.

Having said this, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all Muslim readers a blessed Eid and Selamat Menyambut Hari Kebangsaan to all Malaysians.