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Avicenna, the sage and the philosopher



Fri, 14 Nov 2008 15:04:13 GMT
Ismail Salami, Press TV

Abu Ali Al-Husayn ibn Abdullah ibn Sina known as Avicenna was born into a middle class family in Afshanah, near Bukhara. His father was a governor of the Samanid dynasty.

After the death of his father, he began a period of wandering and turmoil. He sojourned for some time in Gurgan, Qazvin, Hamadan and Isfahan. A precocious genius, he is said to have cured the Samanid Amir Nuh Ibn Mansur at the age of 17, and by the time he was 18, he was accomplished in all branches of science.

Avicenna, also known as Shaykh al-Ra'is (Master and Head) died near Hamadan and was buried there. His scientific status won him different epithets such as Shaykh al-Ra'is, Hujjat al-Haq, Sharaf al-Mulk and Imam al-Hukama.

Avicenna's philosophy is composed of basic elements such as peripatetic philosophy of Aristotle, and a portion of Neoplatonic specific cosmological elements in synthesis with Islamic world vision. With all that, he is more a follower of Aristotle than others. Yet, he does not follow Aristotle blindly and imitatively. With his own initiatives, he shed light on the dark aspects of Aristotelian thought and endeavored to establish a new philosophical system by using Platonic and Neoplatonic thinking.
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Tajikistan: Most trends still negative in a sclerotic economy

 


 

Financial Times by Jon Boone

Shopping with her sister for vegetables and fruit in one of Dushanbe’s bazaars last week, Farida, a young Tajik woman, is extremely cautious about how she spends her money. The family budget is just $100 a month, a total dependent on whether her father, working on a construction site in far-off Moscow, is in work or not.

 

“We will spend hours trying to find the best deal and cheapest food, even if the vegetables are soft and mushy. We rarely eat meat.” If they run short one month they can turn to their two aunts, whose husbands also work in Russia, for financial help. It is estimated that, of a population of 7m, 1m Tajiks are doing the dirty jobs Russians do not want to do themselves and who cannot find jobs in their own country, whose sclerotic economy is crying out for reform.

 

About $1.8bn is sent back in remittances each year, making it vital for a country with a gross domestic product of just $3.6bn. The International Monetary Fund’s resident official describes the money as the “vital social safety net” that the government itself has singularly failed to provide.

 

Some foreign observers believe that, in a country where half the population lives in poverty, it is one of the few things keeping the troubled former Soviet colony from hurtling off the rails. “The real nightmare scenario will be what happens when the work dries up in Russia – construction is usually the first thing to go in a slowdown, and that is where most of the Tajiks are thought to be working,” says one western diplomat in Dushanbe, the capital.

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