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The Kiswa of the Ka'aba is a sign of respect, honor and reverence for The Holy House. The history of the Kiswa is part of the history of The Ka'aba. It was said that Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) covered the Ka'aba. It was also mentioned that Adnan son of A'ad, the great grandfather of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the first man to cover the Ka'aba with cloth. But the proven fact was that Tuba'a Al-Hemyari, King of Yemen, was the first to cover the Ka'aba with different kinds of heavy rough cloth. After Tuba'a, many people in pre-Islamic times covered the Ka'aba. They regarded this as a relig- ious duty. It was permitted that anyone who wanted to cover the Ka'aba could do so freely and whenever he liked. The Kiswa used to be made of straw, from striped Yemeni cloths, from silk, Iraqi pads, Yemeni shawls or Coptic Egyptian cloth. All these types of textile had been known in the pre-Islamic times. Coverings were put over each other. When they became heavy or started to wear out they were re- moved and then divided among the people or buried under the earth. One of the stories about the Kiswa in pre-Islamic times states that the father of Rabi'a son of Abdullah son of Amr Al-Makhzuumi.
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Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.