FaceOf: Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb,  Imam of Al-Azhar

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb served as Egypt's grand mufti from March 2002 until September 2003.
Updated 15 August 2018
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FaceOf: Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb,  Imam of Al-Azhar

Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb is the current imam of Al-Azhar, appointed by the former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, in 2010. 

Al-Tayeb met the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen on Tuesday in Cairo. They reviewed current Islamic issues and discussed ways to strengthen Islamic cooperation in countering terrorism and promoting world peace. 

Al-Othaimeen also met with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Saleh Shukry and discussed the latest regional developments and how to deal with the crises in several Islamic countries.

Al-Tayeb was born in 1946 in Al-Kurna village in the governorate of Luxor. He received his basic education at Al-Azhar school, where he memorized and studied the Qur’an and Islamic major works and texts. 

He joined the college of Fundamentals of Religion in Cairo and graduated from the theology and philosophy department in 1969. He obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees from the same department.

He speaks English and French languages fluently, and he has translated several books from French to Arabic. 

Al-Tayeb is a hereditary Sufi shaykh from Upper Egypt and has expressed support for a global Sufi league.

Al-Tayeb began his academic career as a teaching assistant in the department of theology and philosophy at Al-Azhar University in 1969. 

He became a lecturer in 1977 and an associate professor in 1982. Since January 1988, he had been a professor of philosophy at Al-Azhar University.

In addition to his academic career, Al-Tayeb served as the Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt from March 2002 until September 2003. He became president of Al-Azhar University in September 2003 until he was appointed in 2010 as Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.


Tunnel through an Australian mountain? No problem, says Elon Musk

Updated 17 January 2019
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Tunnel through an Australian mountain? No problem, says Elon Musk

  • The entrepreneur behind electric carmaker Tesla has most recently turned his sights on tackling city traffic via low-cost tunnels
  • Musk in 2017 made a Twitter pitch to build what was the world’s biggest battery in an Australian state to solve its severe energy crisis

SYDNEY: Australia could become a test ground for another of Elon Musk’s massive infrastructure projects after the maverick billionaire tweeted a “bargain” price to build a tunnel through a mountain to solve Sydney’s traffic woes.
Musk in 2017 made a Twitter pitch — and followed through with the offer — to build what was the world’s biggest battery in an Australian state to solve its severe energy crisis.
The entrepreneur behind electric carmaker Tesla has most recently turned his sights on tackling city traffic via low-cost tunnels created by his Boring Company, and in December unveiled a sample project near Los Angeles.
So when an Australian politician tweeted at Musk on Wednesday about the costs of drilling through a mountain range north of Sydney, he responded quickly.
“I’m a lawmaker in Sydney, which is choking with traffic. How much to build a 50km tunnel through the Blue Mountains and open up the west of our State?,” asked New South Wales state MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“About $15M/km for a two way high speed transit, so probably around $750M plus maybe $50M/station,” Musk replied late Wednesday, with his response liked more than 22,000 times on Twitter.
He has more than 24 million followers on the social media platform.
Another billionaire, Mike Cannon-Brookes, who founded Australian software startup Atlassian, weighed in on the exchange, saying the estimated price tag “sounds like a bargain for Sydney.”
The population of the Sydney region has grown by around 25 percent since 2011 to reach 5.4 million, out of a national population of 25 million, and road congestion is a major concern.
There was no indication the exchange of tunnel tweets would lead to any quick action, but it could bring some needed positive publicity for Musk.
Musk has risen to prominence with a series of ambitious ventures, particularly Tesla, but has also drawn plenty of criticism for some volatile behavior.
He waged a public battle with a rescuer who helped save a group of boys trapped in a cave in Thailand last year, calling him a “pedo guy” after the Brit slammed his idea of building a mini-submarine to save the children as a public relations stunt.
Meanwhile, riders who have tested out Boring’s prototype tunnel — where cars are lowered by lifts then slotted into tracks and propelled along at high speeds — have complained of a bumpy journey.