‘Muhammad the Messenger’ to be filmed in Qatar

Updated 01 September 2015
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‘Muhammad the Messenger’ to be filmed in Qatar

MONTREAL, Canada: Alnoor Holdings, a Qatar-based media group, announced that it has entered the execution phase for its septology film franchise based on the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Over $1 billion is allocated for the epic production that will be filmed in Qatar and selected global locations. The budget is one of the largest of its kind aligning it with productions such as the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings and Avatar. The septology has been developed in collaboration with the legendary and acclaimed producer Barrie Osborne (producer and Oscar winner for Lord of the Rings, The Matrix Franchise, Godfather and many others), who has played a key role from the onset of the project. The story lines are being formulated to launch the first film by 2018.
Current market dynamics stipulate that successful epic franchises exceed $ 1 billion budgets and such projects require dedicated time to amalgamate creative storytelling with associated sensitivities and complexities. It is well-known that projects such as Lord of the Rings required many years of development prior to production and such trends repeated in many other successful productions such as Avatar, World War Z and others.
Dr. Azahar Iqbal, International Productions Executive of Alnoor Holdings, has engaged more than 200 experts, scholars and writers from various countries around the world to conceptualize the septology. The process of enrichment of the storyline included experts from Hollywood and diverse cultural backgrounds to formulate it as a universal message for all humankind. The storyline has emerged as one that will certainly be captivating and is creatively set, with a balance between fiction and non-fiction. Dr. Iqbal states that the development stages of the septology over the last five years engaged professionals and experts in workshops in Qatar, London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Malaysia, Turkey and other locations.
Ahmed Al-Hashemi, Alnoor Holdings chairman, states that Alnoor wants the septology to reflect the true values and persona of the focus behind the epic — Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The development of this project has paid particular attention to quality of content, the latest cinematic technology, visual effects and storytelling. The films will bring a ‘wow’ factor in graphics and visual effects that has not been achieved before. The septology takes the protagonist(s) through a journey where he experiences the true love of his Creator — Almighty God, in ensuring that good prevails over evil. The protagonist(s) is on a quest for answers for the meaning and purpose of life. The storyline of each film is creatively aligned to the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) has not been physically depicted in the film.


Rwanda’s rhino population grows, tourists expected to increase

Updated 25 June 2019
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Rwanda’s rhino population grows, tourists expected to increase

  • There are only about 1,000 black rhinos left in the wild, Jes Gruner, the Akagera National Park manager, said
  • In 2017 tourism earned Rwanda $437 million

KIGALI: Rhino keepers who successfully delivered five endangered black rhinos to Rwanda spent months hugging and coddling them inside their transport boxes to prepare them for the journey, a rhino handler said as the animals were freed on Monday.
The two male and three female eastern black rhinoceroses were flown from Safari Park Dour Kralove zoo in the Czech Republic, where they had been getting to know each other after arriving from separate European parks.
“The preparation process took several months. It started in autumn last year when two animals were brought here from Denmark and England. They started to bond, which always takes weeks because black rhinos are very alert and nervous animals,” said rhino handler Jaromir Sejnoha from the Dvur Kralove Safari Park.
“In the final phase (of preparations) the rhino is trained to stay inside the box for several minutes. We feed them and hug them in there, so they aren’t scared of the box and become accustomed to it, and so on the day of transportation they don’t get nervous and the whole transportation goes smoothly.”
There are only about 1,000 black rhinos left in the wild, Jes Gruner, the Akagera National Park manager, said. The new arrivals mean Rwanda is home to 25 of them.
Tourism is a key foreign exchange earner in the East African nation, home to mountain gorillas and the so-called “Big Five” African game animals — lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, and leopard.
“Every year our tourism numbers are going up and bringing these rhinos I am sure will help,” Gruner said.
The park received 44,000 visitors who generated over $2 million last year, Gruner said.
In 2017 tourism earned Rwanda $437 million. Clare Akamanzi, chief executive of the Rwanda Development Board, said 2018 numbers were not yet ready due to a change of methodology.
The push for tourist dollars in not without controversy. The government’s 2018 deal to pay British football club Arsenal £30 million ($38 million) to have “Visit Rwanda” emblazoned on the team’s jersey was criticized by politicians in some donor nations who questioned whether it was a good use of money by a government still heavily dependent on foreign aid.