‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin gravely ill

Singer Aretha Franklin, a multiple Grammy Award-winner whose legacy stretches back decades, is gravely ill. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2018
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‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin gravely ill

  • Singer Aretha Franklin, a multiple Grammy Award-winner whose legacy stretches back decades, is gravely ill
  • Franklin, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, last performed in November 2017

CHICAGO: Singer Aretha Franklin, a multiple Grammy Award-winner whose legacy stretches back decades, is gravely ill and surrounded by relatives, a reporter and family friend wrote on his website Monday.
The 76 year-old “Queen of Soul” Franklin, known for hits such as “Respect” (1967) and “I Say a Little Prayer” (1968), “is gravely ill in Detroit. The family is asking for prayers and privacy,” wrote Roger Friedman on the Showbiz 411 website.
Franklin, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, last performed in November 2017 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. Her final public performance was in Philadelphia in August 2017.
“It was a miraculous show as Aretha was already then fighting exhaustion and dehydration,” Friedman wrote, describing the Philadelphia performance.
Throughout her lengthy career Franklin accumulated 18 Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement.
Franklin’s hits include “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (1968), “Day Dreaming” (1972), “Jump to It” (1982), “Freeway of Love” (1985) and “A Rose Is Still a Rose,” (1998).
In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005, Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest award for an American civilian – by then-president George W. Bush.
In January 2009, Franklin sang at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration.


Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

Updated 18 July 2019
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Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land

  • Authorities estimate the mosquer dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries
  • Rare to find house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers

RAHAT, Israel: Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world’s oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on Thursday.
The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries.
There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Makkah but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.
Excavated at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque — a rectangular building, about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south toward Makkah.
“This is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.,” said Gideon Avni of the antiquities authority.
“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period.”