al sand

Geomantic Tablet

Numerous divinatory arts have been practiced by Muslim societies across the centuries. Since God has absolute control of the universe and of all that we see and understand, omens such as dreams could be recognized as God-given signs.

The ‘Science of the Sand’ (ilm al-raml) is a divinatory technique that interprets a series of figures made of clusters of dots or lines. It can be used to answer all manner of questions from the fidelity of a spouse to the gender of an unborn child. This extraordinary and unique Geomantic Tablet made in Syria (639 AH / 1241–2), made of brass, silver and gold, offered an alternative way to produce geomantic figures normally traced manually in the sand.

You can see it on display, until next weekend, in our Power and Protection exhibition which explores Islamic art and the supernatural.

Images © Trustees of the British Museum


A weekend in Dubai, UAE.

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So like I mentioned I’ve been reading the first FMA novel, and for like half the book now Ed’s just been thinking about the fact that Russel is way taller than him. Check it, this is what happened when he was sent to go wash up:

“He was lying about his age! I know it!” Edward insisted, sounding more hopeful than confident. “Let’s see… I grow about two inches per year… And we were about eight inches apart… so… Four years? That would make him nineteen!” Edward proclaimed, heedless of the possibility that he might not grow two inches next year. Somewhere along the way he had progressed from estimating Russel’s age to imagining himself at nineteen: Tall, handsome…
“Nineteen!” Edward crowed, turning to Alphonse with a big grin.
“Um, Ed? What’s up? You’re kind of smirking…”

Also there’s this

The scan came out bad but it says “Over 170 cm (5′ 6″)”

Starry dunes

Sandy formations of this type develop when there is no single dominant wind direction, a multiplicity of them combining instead to shape the landform. This process is not confined to our planet, as these examples, which could easily be in the Rub al Khali (the Empty Quarter) of the Arabian Peninsula, were actually snapped on the next planet out from the sun, namely Mars.


Image credit: NASA


Around The World In 80 Days: United Arab Emirates

Along The Curve II
Photo Credit: (Baber Afzal)
Hatta Panorama
Photo Credit: (Samy Al Olabi)
Photo Credit: (M Khalil)

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