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Striving for Greatness

March 1, 2012 by  


By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO

picThe municipality of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has a reputation for larger than life projects that always succeed despite obstacles and delays. The sheer ingenuity of the Dubai government, and willingness to lay it all down on the line, is what makes the tiny Gulf emirate great. Honestly, who would have thought such a miniscule locale would produce the largest building in the world? It’s this “can win” mentality that has made Dubai one of the darlings of the Guinness Book of World Records. You think things are bigger in Texas? Let’s take a closer look at Dubai.

Dubai holds several world records in addition to the record for the tallest building in the world, the Burg Al Khalifa. Some of the other notable records include the “largest acrylic panel” in the world, which is actually the viewing panel of the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Center. Weighing in at an estimated 245,614 kgs, the panel gives visitors an obstructed view of over 33,000 aquatic animals and plant life. Dubai also set a new Guinness Record for the number of aluminum cans crushed by a “monster” truck in less than three minutes. In 2010, the Coca-Cola Company assembled approximately 61,606 cans of its popular energy drink BURN in the center of a sports arena. The monster truck was driven over the cans and crushed every last one.

The most recent world record to be set by Dubai is for the world’s largest book. The title of the book is, “This is Muhammad” and the pages within are a biography of Islam’s Holy Prophet. The book is exactly 5 meters tall and 8 meters in length. It weighs a whopping 1,500 kgs. The 420 pages that compose the book are made from recycled paper. The entire book is beautifully bound in the finest leather. An official from Guinness World Records was on hand this past week at a special ceremony to take measurements of the larger than life publication and present a certificate of world record status to the company behind the grandiose endeavor, the Mshahed International Group.

The head of the Mshahed International Group, Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Awlaki, shed light on the mission of the project during the ceremony. He said, “The aim of the project is to raise awareness about Islam and confront the distortion attempts facing the personality of the Prophet Mohammed by some of those who don’t know the full facts about Islam’s message.” The creation of the book took three years, over 100 workers and required immense research by some of the greatest scholars of Islam known today.

In addition to the record-breaking book, 500,000 human-sized copies have been printed are available in a wide array of languages including English, Arabic and Russian. The enormous book will be shared across the region, once it goes on tour, as it will be on display in several Middle Eastern and European countries. Speaking on behalf of the Mshahed International Group at the awards ceremony Awlaki said, “This book is for everyone – not just Muslims but everyone, be they Christian, Jewish or Hindu.”

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