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AN ORANGUTAN WALKS INTO A DOCTOR’S OFFICE ….. Veterinary staff members of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme center conducts medical examinations on a 14-year-old male orangutan found with air gun metal pellets embedded in his body in Sibolangit district in northern Sumatra island. The orangutan was rescued by Indonesia’s ministry of forestry personnel and Orangutan Information Center on April 15, 2014 in nearby Langkat district in a small patch of forest and agricultural plantation. The center has cared for over 280 orangutans rescued from palm oil plantations, poachers and pet owners and over 200 have been reintroduced in the wilds. The critically-endangered primates population are dwindling rapidly due to poaching and rapid destruction of their forest habitat that is being converted into palm oil plantation.

SUTANTA ADITYA/AFP/Getty Images

Why Is Much of Indonesia Muslim?

The short answer: trade in the Indian Ocean with Muslim traders.

The long answer: Spices, historically, have been immensely valuable. And where could one obtain spices? India and Indonesia. So trade around the Indian Ocean went to both places, then back to the Middle East and Africa. Eventually, the Europeans joined, adding another arm to the spice trade. The Indian Ocean trade system was usually conducted like a relay, similar to the Spice Route. So Indians would sail to Java, buy spices, and return to Gujarat. Muslim traders from what is today Saudi Arabia or Kenya would said to Gujarat, buy the spices, and bring it back. From their home cities, they would sell the spices on to the next link in the chain. Indonesia was visited by Muslim merchants at least by the 1200s; many settled down and married locals while continuing to work in Indian Ocean trade. Slowly, Indonesians began converting. The earliest archaeological evidence of local converts to Islam (from gravestones) dates to 1211. And there is some evidence that some Indonesians converted for economic gain: to get better deals out of Muslim traders.

By 1500, there was even a Muslim sultanate, the Aceh Sultanate, which was based in the tip of modern-day Sumatra, in today’s Aceh province of Indonesia. They were a powerful, trade-based kingdom which battled with the Portuguese for control of the Malaccan Strait. The Aceh Sultanate was called the “porch of Mecca,” and became a center of Islamic scholarship, where the Qur'an and other Islamic texts were translated into Malay. The existance of this culturally and militarily powerful state encouraged even more Indonesians to convert.

If You Think These Kids Are Having Fun, You’re Very Wrong. What They’re Actually Doing Is Unbelievable.

Think about the children that moan and groan about getting up for school in the morning. Now, think about this: there are children from around the world that daily risk their lives, just so they can get an education. They walk miles after miles, climb rope bridges and even zip line to get to class, all to do something that countless American students have handed to them on a platter.

This will make waiting at the bus stop look easy.

There used to be a reliable bridge near Batu Busuk village in Sumatra, Indonesia, that children could use to get to school.

When bridges collapse from flooding or age, they must tightrope walk across them like these children are doing from Sanghiang Tanjung village.

The gap they have to traverse is over 30 feet long and they have to tackle this on TOP of a seven mile walk.

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