Liberian Muslims, like their counterparts around world, yesterday ended the annual fast of their Holy Month of Ramadan, by offering prayers for peace and solidarity among Liberians. They gathered at their various mosques and centers in and around the country early Wednesday to offer prayers to Allah.Speaking to reporters, the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Liberia, Sheikh Omaru Kamara, called on Liberian Muslims to aid the government in protecting its citizens from violent extremism that is threatening peace and security around the world.Sheikh Kamara called on Liberian Muslims to resist violence as a means to solving problems, but rather promote peace, in order to move the country forward.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in an Executive Mansion release, thanked Liberian Muslims for fasting for peace during the Ramadan. She called on Liberian Muslims to join other Liberians in praying for peace in Liberia.The President further stated that all religions practiced in Liberia have major roles to play in promoting peace and unity, especially following the drawdown of the United Nation’s Mission in Liberia.Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim Lunar Calendar. During the month long fast, Muslims are required to show kindness to others, including non-Muslims, and other living creatures. They abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs (including sex and smoking). Meanwhile, several non-Muslim Liberians identified with the Muslim community celebrating the end of Ramadan. Bong County District #3 Representative, George S. Mulbah, presented several bags of rice to the Muslim Community in Bong County. Former lawmaker Kuku Y. Dorbor also presented several bags of rice to the Muslim community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Amazon is home to perhaps dozens of isolated tribes who make their living far off the grid from the wider society, growing crops and hunting and gathering in the forest. These reclusive peoples are threatened by drug running, illegal logging, and highway construction, even if they dwell in “protected” reserves in Peru or Brazil; one group, apparently pushed out of its lands, made contact this summer. Now, researchers have a new way of examining their fate without disruptive and frightening flyovers by aircraft. In a study published today in Royal Society Open Science, researchers use high-resolution WorldView or GeoEye satellite images to monitor demographic changes in isolated Amazon tribes. The scientists got location and population estimates for five isolated villages along the Brazil-Peru border from Brazilian government reports and other sources. Then they examined 50-centimeter resolution satellite images taken in 2006, 2012, and 2013 and could spot the peoples’ horticultural fields and characteristic pattern of either longhouses or clusters of small houses, shown above; these villages could be clearly differentiated from the transient camps of illegal loggers or drug runners. The images revealed demographic change over time. In just 14 months, between May 2012 and July 2013, for example, the inhabitants of a 2-decade-old village known as Site H cleared 16 hectares of forest to make new fields, bringing the total cultivated area to about 28 hectares. Such rapid growth may be due to indigenous families fleeing to Site H from their traditional lands, the researchers note. At about this time, loggers and would-be farmers from the outside world began pushing into the region on a road only 30 kilometers away.