Akhbar Braille: Egypt’s first magazine for the blind

The magazine offers the visually challenged an opportunity to work in journalism.
Updated 25 August 2017
0

Akhbar Braille: Egypt’s first magazine for the blind

CAIRO: In a long-awaited achievement, Egypt now has its first magazine in Arabic Braille, offering visually challenged people an opportunity to work in journalism. 
Akhbar Braille is published by Akhbar El-Youm, a semi-official daily newspaper in Arabic, and has columns on culture, art, sports, technology and politics. The Braille reading and writing system represents letters by raised dots.
The editor in chief of Akhbar Braille, Ahmad Al-Maraghy, told Arab News that the path to starting the magazine “wasn’t lined with flowers,” as it had to overcome many challenges to prove the idea was worth it. 
“Officials in charge of granting us a press license were surprised when they first received our first draft of the magazine, because it was an all-white paper print,” he said. 
The magazine’s team is made up of 20 editors who are all visually challenged. Nearly no reading material is available to the visually impaired in Egypt — some 3 million out of a population of 92 million. 
While the idea first occurred to Al-Maraghy in 2007 by meeting a visually impaired person by coincidence, he said he had several trials in Braille publications before this edition. 
“From a humanitarian perspective, I believe that being unable to see is the most difficult thing in the world,” he said.
Getting ads for the magazine was a challenge, he added, because people had never advertised in Braille before.
But it managed to attract some advertisers and receive sponsorship from a private bank. “I didn’t want the magazine to be seen as a charity or treat it that way,” he said.
“I’ve approached institutions who are aware of their social responsibility and are willing to develop their communities,” Al-Maraghy added.
“Our magazine is the first publication in Egypt and the Arab world to be published completely in Braille style.”
The 68-page publication currently prints 1,000-2,000 copies per month. Its free copies are distributed at public libraries, universities, schools or centers frequented by the visually impaired, in Cairo and other cities. 
Al-Maraghy wants to increase circulation throughout Egypt and start a daily publication. “It’s not a magazine about the blind, it’s for the blind, to serve their needs and interests,” he said.
“We hope our publication reaches audiences in the Gulf and the rest of the world.”


Google Doodle remembers discovery of Egyptian Khufu Ship

Updated 26 May 2019
0

Google Doodle remembers discovery of Egyptian Khufu Ship

  • The ship is believed to have been built for Khufu, the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt
  • Over 1,200 pieces were reassembled by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities in order to restore the ship

DUBAI: Today’s Google Doodle marks the 65th anniversary of the discovery of the Khufu Ship, one of the world’s oldest and largest boats, found in Egypt.

The ship, now preserved in the Giza Solar Boat Museum, is believed to have been built for Khufu, the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, who is entombed inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Unearthed in 1954 by archeologist Kamal El-Mallakh, remnants of the massive ship were found buried under a stone wall on the south side of the pyramid.

Over 1,200 pieces were reassembled by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities in order to restore the 143-feet long, 19.6-feet wide vessel. The whole process took over a decade to finish.

It’s still unclear what the ship was originally intended for – some experts say it was used to transport Khufu’s remains to his final resting place, while others believe it was placed at the location to transport him to the afterlife, according to Ancient Egyptian tradition.

Some experts suggested that the ship might contain clues to the construction of the pyramids, which still causes debate among scholars.