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After The ProphetThis month’s preferred reading is After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton.

In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more than ever.
 
Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s ideal of unity.
    
Combining meticulous research with compelling storytelling, After the Prophet explores the volatile intersection of religion and politics, psychology and culture, and history and current events. It is an indispensable guide to the depth and power of the Shia–Sunni split.

 

 

 

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from Times of Oman..By ReutersOctober 20, 2014 Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's biggest bank has responded to criticism of its operations from Islamic scholars by pledging to convert itself into a fullfledged Islamic bank within about five years. The decision, made as the bank launches a $6 billion initial public offer (IPO) of its shares, the largest-ever equity sale in the Arab world, shows how Saudi Arabia's conservative brand of Islam can have a big impact on business decisions in the
from Al Arabiya..By Bernardo Vizcaino | ReutersOctober 20, 2014 Pakistan’s central bank will phase in new capital adequacy rules for Islamic banking subsidiaries and trade sharia-compliant government debt in the open market, addressing a lack of liquidity management tools in the sector. The initiatives are part of an ambitious five-year plan by the regulator to promote Islamic finance through an array of proposed legislative changes, product incentives and instructions to market participants. In April, the central bank
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from The Guardian..By Dyborn Chibonga in LilongweOctober 20, 2014 The paradox of uncultivated land and hunger can be reversed, says the head of Malawi’s smallholder farmers’ association  The continent will only provide 13% of its food need by 2050 - yet it holds half of the world’s uncultivated land Photograph: Martin Godwin/Martin Godwin African agriculture poses one of the greatest paradoxes of our time. Despite a decline in overall hunger on the continent, Institute of Food Policy Research Institue last
from Radio International Serbia..By Jelena MilenkovicOctober 17, 2014 Serbia is the first country in the region to have established the National Investment Board, with the goal of improving the making of projects that will be financed from the EU pre-accession funds, stated Minister of European Integrations Jadranka Joksimovic.  With the forming of the National Investment Board the Serbian Government has established a centralized national body to deal with the preparation and realization of the important, strategic infrastructural
Tagged in: European Union
from Al Bawaba..October 20, 2014 Organisations in the Middle East are facing greater challenges than employers elsewhere in the world with 70 per cent of the firms admitting difficulty in attracting and retaining critical skill and high potential employees, a report said. Seventy-five per cent of Middle East employers also said hiring activity has increased over the last year (versus 48 per cent globally), and it is now more than ever crucial for employers to recruit and keep
from Tengri News..October 20, 2014 Kazakhstan will have cleared all the procedures to access the WTO by December 2014, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports, citing Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Vice PM, as saying at the Almaty Invest forum. According to the official, “there is light at the end of the tunnel (…) October 9 in Brussels Kazakhstan and the EU signed a document to mark completion of the bilateral talks on Kazakhstan’s accession into the WTO. There are some issues
from Ventures Africa..By George MpofuOctober 20, 2014 The International Energy Agency (EIA) says Mozambique could get well over $115 billion in revenue from natural gas resources in the next 25 years as foreign companies begin active exploration activities. "The mega-projects will not likely spread the benefits of gas to the population since these large projects are capital intensive, with limited direct impact in terms of employment," said EIA in its latest report on Africa. The EIA report
Tagged in: Oil & Gas Revenue
from Ventures Africa..By Emmanuel IruobeOctober 20, 2014 A roundtable of seasoned development experts took into discussion Africa's current state of development at the 9th African Development Forum of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Morocco recently; their consensus was that Africa can potentially generate some $200 billion for sustainable development investment but only if moves to improve the climate for investment and trade while plugging illegal financial leakages. "Africa is not poor financially but
from Ventures Africa..By OnyedimmakachukwuOctober 20, 2014 With global oil prices currently falling to $87 amidst fears of further collapse, Nigeria would be the worst-hit African oil exporter if this drop should persist, the Business Insider says in its article that lists Nigeria among Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Russia and Venezuela as the countries that would be the most adversely hit by a price collapse. With the aforementioned countries needing oil to remain above a certain price in order
Tagged in: Oil & Gas Revenue
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from The Daily Star.. By Md Fazlur Rahman October 20, 2014 Consumers in Bangladesh have a largely optimistic economic outlook despite the continued uncertainty in the global economy, MasterCard said in a report. The country recorded the biggest improvement among the 27 countries from the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region covered in the study. In Bangladesh, consumer confidence jumped a whopping 25.9 points in the first half of 2014 to 66.4 points from the previous