The Indian Muslim profiles a professional calligrapher trying to preserve what he perceives as a dying art. He is quoted as equating calligraphy with recitation: "There are two major arts in Islam. Reciting the Quran well and writing the script of the Quran gracefully."
"Reciting well" would probably not describe a group of six men in Bahrain who are attempting to break the world speed record for reading the Qur'an aloud, which currently stands at "140 hours and two minutes."
Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)