Digital collectibles company produces NFTs of all five volumes of 1400-year-old handwritten Qur’an

Matadee founder Deepali Shukla said all five volumes of the oldest handwritten Qur’an manuscript are available as NFTs. (Supplied/MetaDee)
Matadee founder Deepali Shukla said all five volumes of the oldest handwritten Qur’an manuscript are available as NFTs. (Supplied/MetaDee)
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Updated 10 September 2022

Digital collectibles company produces NFTs of all five volumes of 1400-year-old handwritten Qur’an

Digital collectibles company produces NFTs of all five volumes of 1400-year-old handwritten Qur’an
  • London-based Metadee is selling unique digital copies of the manuscript, which was written by Zayd ibn Thaabit, personal scribe of the Prophet Muhammad

LONDON: A UK-based marketplace for digital non-fungible tokens has announced plans to tokenize and sell all five volumes of the oldest handwritten Qur’an manuscript available in the public domain.

Metadee, which offers digital artworks and collectibles from around the world, said in July that it had tokenized the third, fourth and fifth volumes of a copy of the Qur’an handwritten by the personal scribe of the Prophet Muhammad, Zayd ibn Thaabit, who served as the chief recorder of Qur’anic text.

Now it has confirmed that all five volumes will be made available as NFTs — digital objects specially encoded with proof of their unique nature and ownership — for purchase “to ensure everyone in any country, especially in countries which do not trade in crypto(currency), can access the manuscript.” In addition, the physical copies of volumes one and two are going up for auction.




Metadee said that this rare Qur’an manuscript is believed to have been written in 632 A.D. and has been authenticated and certified by the University of Oxford’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art. (Supplied/MetaDee)

One million NFTs of each of volumes three, four and five of the manuscript have been created and are available to buy for $200 each. The bidding for volumes one and two begins at $25 million per volume, and the successful bidder for each of them will receive the physical copy plus an NFT.

Matadee founder Deepali Shukla told Arab News that the Qur’an NFTs “are limited, digitized versions of the very first manuscript, handwritten in ink by the personal scribe of the Prophet (and) owing to their immeasurable historic and cultural value, the manuscripts are being seen as a cherished treasure by the faithful and art collectors alike.”

The company said that this rare Qur’an manuscript is believed to have been written in 632 A.D. and has been authenticated and certified by the University of Oxford’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, the leading global authority in dating archaeological artifacts using radiocarbon dating technology.

“In addition to owning and preserving a unique and significant artifact, any individual that owns such an NFT can pass it on to future generations using proof of ownership secured on blockchain,” Shukla said.

“Equally so, it is a great honor to bring enduring wisdom from 1,400 years (ago) and to make it even more valuable in today’s and tomorrow’s digital world.”

She explained that the original manuscripts from which the NFTs will be created are in the possession of a custodian family and kept in Geneva, Switzerland. Generations of the family have traveled through Madinah, Makkah and Syria over the years, and have guarded the volumes and kept them secure.




Matadee founder Deepali Shukla said that the Qur’an NFTs are limited, digitized versions of the very first manuscript, handwritten in ink by the personal scribe of the Prophet Muhammad. (Supplied/MetaDee)

“Thanks to tokenization, rare artifacts and holy texts can now be acquired more easily and accessed without the restrictions of time and space,” said Shukla.

“This helps enrich learning experiences, empowers communities, and makes knowledge more appealing for young people.”

Shukla, who describes herself as a collector and art enthusiast, said recently-launched MetaDee fills a significant gap in the NFT marketplace, in the sense that not everyone might feel attracted to the abstract.

“We have, therefore, innovated a marketplace for exquisite, real and rare digitalized collectibles,” she said. “What was once the exclusive domain of the rich and the ultra-wealthy is now democratized. Everyday people can now own such rare, exclusive and real tokenized artworks and collectibles.”

Shukla said that Metadee’s NFTs undergo extensive scrutiny and due diligence and each collectible is carefully studied, researched and scientifically validated as being one of a kind and valuable. Since the company began selling them, she added, it has received a great response from organizations, countries and even across religions.

“If we were to even set aside their collectible value, this undertaking is proving to be something truly empowering,” she said.

The Qur’an manuscript NFTs are unique, she added, because no other format assigns proof of ownership that can be verified and validated in perpetuity. They can be accessed anytime, anywhere around the world, are easily stored on the blockchain, and are transferable to new owners.

“Besides digital information, NFTs hold perpetual records using smart contracts that may be accessed on blockchain; therefore gifting, purchasing and selling collectibles is made easy within a safe and secure marketplace such as MetaDee.”

Shukla said that the market for digital NFT collectibles is the fastest-growing niche market, and is expected to be worth $700 billion in the coming decade, as several countries, including Saudi Arabia, have started to accept cryptocurrency and NFTs and some have even installed cryptocurrency ATMs.

“As time progresses, actual, tangible and real assets almost always endure, hence the rationale of augmented value of such tokenized assets seems to appeal to people,” she added.


Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup

Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup
Updated 14 sec ago

Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup

Qatar Creates, CR Runway announce fashion show at FIFA World Cup

DUBAI: Qatar Creates and CR Runway announced a fashion show, featuring more than 150 designers from 50 countries, set to take place on Dec. 16 at the FIFA World Cup.

The event will feature performances by the likes of DJ Snake, Kadim Al-Sahir, Khaled, Nancy Ajram, Ozuna, Zakes Bantwini and more with the proceeds going to Education Above All, a Qatari charity that aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for vulnerable and marginalized people, with a focus on the developing world.

Twenty-one Qatari brands will take part in the show, which will be made up of four choreographed runway presentations.

The show will feature an opening act with national ambassadors representing the 32 countries in the World Cup, all sporting customized jerseys. Then, two local Qatari brands — Aliya Al-Obaidly and Harlienz — will put on a performance entitled “Where the Sand Touches the Sea,” inspired by Qatar’s traditional practices of pearl diving.

The second act, titled “The Fashion World Tour,” will showcase works from designers from six continents. The third and final act, “One Night in Qatar,” will showcase haute couture and eveningwear created exclusively by international designers and brands for Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway.

The Qatar-based brands participating in the event are 1309, Al-Dukan, Aliya Al-Obaidly, Tamader Al-Sultan, Drizzle, Ghada Al-Buainain, Hairaat, Hamadis, Harlienz, Kaltham’s Pavilion, Lorenaa Michelle, Maryam Al-Darwish, Mhefhef, Muna Saad, Naila Al-Thani, Trzi, TIIYA, WAAD Designs, WADHA, Wit Noiz and Yasmin Mansour.


Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot

Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot
Updated 28 November 2022

Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot

Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot

DUBAI: US Palestinian Dutch supermodel Bella Hadid has given fans a behind-the-scenes look at her latest campaign for Austrian jewelry label Swarovski.

Hadid, who was announced as the label’s brand ambassador in May, took to Instagram to share photographs from the set of her latest shoot. In the snaps, the model is dressed as a bedazzled fairy, complete with a set of delicate wings.

The 26-year-old catwalk star took to Instagram earlier this year to share the news of her brand ambassadorship with her 56.4 million followers, writing: “Extremely honored and excited to be the new face of the iconic Swarovski.”

“Bella Hadid sums up the individualistic and transformative attitude of a new global generation,” said Engelbert in a statement at the time. “She is a multifaceted character who evades the boxes of rules and conformity. She goes from sporty to glamorous while remaining the same girl — the same Bella — with confidence and authority.

“Today, crystals are a dynamic part of our everyday wardrobe: A way of accentuating your individual style in a way that can be as casual as it can be elaborate. Bella is the poster girl for this state of mind,” added Engelbert.

The model shared behind-the-scenes shots from her latest shoot for Swarovski. (Instagram)

Meanwhile, Hadid said she was “very familiar” with the “timeless and iconic brand” before the partnership.

“I love the new collections and what the brand has been doing, especially these past two years under the creative vision of Giovanna, and I really see Swarovski as the contemporary jewelry brand of the future,” she said- in a released statement. “Jewelry is about expression and celebrating individuality — Swarovski celebrates all people and the idea of modern glamour, and I love that.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SWAROVSKI (@swarovski)

 

Hadid was recently named British GQ magazine’s “most stylish person on the planet” for 2023 in a statement that mirrored Swarovski’s sentiments regarding the model’s ability to traverse various fashion styles and pull them off with aplomb.

The magazine commended Hadid for her  “ability to make menswear, womenswear, smartwear and even wavywear work.

“Hadid does menswear better than most men — and she can still wear everything and anything else. Tailoring. Prada loafers. Big denim jackets. There was even a tie at one point. It’s wavy, classic and uncomplicated all at once,” the magazine added.


The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize
Desiree Bollier in the Chair and Global Chief Merchant of The Bicester Collection. (Getty Images)
Updated 28 November 2022

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

DUBAI: An international retail firm has launched the MENA edition of a prize for first-time women entrepreneurs that would allow them to set up or develop their startup businesses.

The Middle East and North Africa edition of The Bicester Collection’s “Unlock her Future Prize” was announced for enterprises that drive positive environmental, social and economic change, according to the company.

The Bicester Collection is a group of 11 open-air shopping destinations across Europe and China, which includes the Bicester Village outlet mall in Oxfordshire, UK. They launched the initiative in 2021 as part of their DO GOOD platform and have now expanded to the Middle East. 

“We’re delighted that in its inaugural year, the Unlock Her Future Prize will launch in MENA with the support of our partner Ashoka Arab World,” Chantal Khoueiry, chief culture officer for The Bicester Village, told Arab News.

“As an Arab woman, I believe I can speak for all when I say how committed we are to driving women’s empowerment and cultural progress. We recognize that if you have diverse voices, you can transcend anything. This is the essence of what we hope the Unlock Her Future Prize MENA edition 2023 will provide on behalf of Arab Women — the voice and support to build a progressive and sustainable future for people and the planet.”

Khoueiry added that applicants with an innovative idea, and those who have been operating for under five years, are invited to apply between Dec. 5 and Jan. 31, 2023.

An international committee of experts will review the applications and shortlist eight finalists who will be invited to pitch their ideas in Bicester Village, UK, to a panel of judges from the MENA region. Three winners will be announced on International Women’s Day next year.

“The winners will each receive a financial grant of up to $100,000 plus human capital support from a fantastic assembly of global experts.” They will also have access to an education and knowledge program with the prize’s regional academic partner, New York University Abu Dhabi, said Khoueiry.

  


Review: ‘The Guardians of Galaxy Holiday Special’ brings festive cheer to MCU

Review: ‘The Guardians of Galaxy Holiday Special’ brings festive cheer to MCU
Updated 28 November 2022

Review: ‘The Guardians of Galaxy Holiday Special’ brings festive cheer to MCU

Review: ‘The Guardians of Galaxy Holiday Special’ brings festive cheer to MCU

LONDON: Viewers over a certain age may find that the phrase “Holiday Special” sends a shiver down their spine, but fear not — James Gunn and the Marvel factory are here to cleanse your palette. Gunn, recently announced as the new head of the DC cinematic universe, still has one more Marvel movie on the horizon, but before “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” hits cinemas in 2023, the director has reunited with the ragtag group of heroes for a seasonal one-shot on the Disney+ streaming platform — the latest in Marvel’s series of Special Presentations after October’s “Werewolf by Night.”

In an attempt to cheer up fellow Guardian Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Mantis and Drax (Pom Klementieff and Dave Bautista) set out to give their friend an Earth-style Christmas, complete with lights, decorations and gifts. Except that their idea for a gift is to journey to Earth and kidnap actor Kevin Bacon, star of Quill’s favorite childhood movie, “Footloose.” Cue a series of comic interactions between the superhero Guardians and Earth’s population as they chase down and abduct Bacon and whisk him into space.

Unlike the now infamous 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special,” this festive “Guardians” installment is as slick as the wider cinematic universe. For starters, it has excellent production values, appearances from all the Guardians (including Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Vin Diesel as Groot, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, and Maria Bakalova as new member Cosmo), and a story that, while light and throwaway, still fits into the wider MCU narrative. If anything, this is more of a scene-setting exercise for “Volume 3” than a seasonal cash-in. Gunn, and his ensemble cast, have clearly grown to love these characters as much as anyone, so there’s a feeling of playful reverence about this “Holiday Special” — not to mention a welcome sense that, while it’s silly and festive, this is as important to the Marvel timeline as any of the big-screen movies.


Concert calendar: This week’s major concerts at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 

Concert calendar: This week’s major concerts at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 
Lil Baby will perform in Qatar on Dec. 3. (File/ AFP)
Updated 28 November 2022

Concert calendar: This week’s major concerts at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 

Concert calendar: This week’s major concerts at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 

DUBAI: For fans making their way to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, here are this week’s major concerts set to take place alongside the football festivities.  

Monday, Nov. 28: The ARAVIA festival will feature performances by Scooter, Vegie and Sokkary. The Arcadia Music Festival will kick off with Hernan Cattaneo, Miss Monique, Argy, Jonas Saalbach, Alfa Romero, Mark Knight, Tita Lau, Ferry Corsten, Nervo, ATB, Martin Jensen, Cedric Gervais, Burak Yeter and Joselito.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MDLBEAST (@mdlbeast)

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Rae Sremmurd, Dabous and Laymoon will take to the turntables at the ARAVIA festival, while the Arcadia festival will host Gorgon City, Argy, Jonas Saalbach, Alfa Romero, Citizen Kain, Vidal Rodriguez, ATB, Nervo, Burak Yeter, Ferry Corsten, Cedric Gervais, Martin Jensen, Burak Yeter and Mark Knight. British DJ Pete Tong will meet his fans at Bud World Club, while Canadian singer Nora Fatehi will perform at the FIFA Fan Festival.

Wednesday, Nov. 30: Gordo, Dabous and Laymoon will perform at the ARAVIA festival as the Arcadia Music Festival hosts Sebastien Leger, Argy, Citizen Kain, Jonas Saalbach, Alfa Romero, Vidal Rodriguez, Nervo, Ferry Corsten, ATB, Cedric Gervais, Mark Knight, Burak Yeter, Martin Jensen, and Block & Crown. Spanish singer Omar Montes will meet his fans at the FIFA Fan Festival as Colombian singer Ryan Castro opens the Qetaifan Beach Festival on Qetaifan Island North in Lusail.

Thursday, Dec. 1: Sebastian Ingrosso, Against Celebrities and DJ Leen will take to the stage at ARAVIA, while Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nervo, Ferry Corsten, Gorgon City, ATB, Cedric Gervais, Mark Knight, Burak Yeter and Block & Crown perform at Daydream Festival in the Doha Golf Club, Al-Egla. Brazilian singer Ludmilla meet her fans at Bud World Cup and US singer Trinidad Cardona’s gig will be at the FIFA Fan Festival.

Friday, Dec. 2: Against Celebrities and DJ Leen will perform again at ARAVIA along with US rapper Tyga. The Daydream Festival will feature performances by Armin Van Buuren, Sam Feldt, Ferry Corsten, ATB, Mark Knight and Burak Yeter. DJ Aseel will be at the FIFA Fan Festival.

Saturday, Dec. 3: ARAVIA will feature Benny Benassi, Sin Tek and Sheiq. Arcadia will host Sebastien Leger, Ae:ther, Armonica, Vidal Rodriguez, Joselito, ATB, Ferry Corsten, Cedric Gervais, Burak Yeter and Mark Knight. Lil Baby will perform at the Bud World Cup zone, while Gims will hit the stage at the FIFA Fan Festival.