Documentary Film based on Gibson's book: Qur'anic Geography


The Sacred City from Glasshouse Media on Vimeo.

A special word to evaluators

Dear Evaluator:

We feel that this little note is necessary since many evaluators seem to have misunderstood how we have intentionally designed our website. is among a new generation of websites that are trying to address what we feel is a growing need, specifically, sites designed to communicate information to the entire Internet community, including specifically the third world.

These websites, (including focus on two things: First and absolutely foremost, presenting useful information, and a distant second, a visual experience.

For hundreds of millions of non-North American/European users, the web is simply a source of information, not a means of entertainment. I have spent over twenty years living in the third world and have noticed that there are very few people here simply surfing the net looking for neat stuff. Almost everyone in this part of the world goes to the net to find information that they require. Very few homes have encyclopedias and there are very few public libraries. So the Internet fills this need. Therefore we strive to offer quality information at the expense of glitz and glamour.

The average net connection in the country where I currently live is around 24 baud, with many people logging it at 9-14 K baud. The fastest I can coax out of my current phone line is 30 K baud. At this rate, most of the Award Program websites are simply unavailable because they use fancy Flash front-ends that take a very long time to download. Therefore, it is the opinion of most users in the third world that sites with impressive graphics are simply not worth visiting. I have seen university students pay the equivalent of an entire day's wages just to log onto the internet for two hours at 14,000 baud and look for information that will help them with their assignments.

Nabataea.Net and other sites developed in the third world are different from the typical western genre. Our pages load very fast, and we offer in-depth information on our topic. This is very important to us, as we have over 450 pages packed full of information, and over one thousand maps and pictures.

It is also our opinion that many of the free HTML assessment services like HitBox Doctor, NetMechanic, and Bobby are misleading in their evaluations. They imagine that the best sites use the most modern code and adhere to standards that may not be useful and practical for many sites. For instance most of these programs insist that the programmer have two to three words of ALT texts embedded under images. It is our opinion, based on visually challenged people who view our site, that most images should rather have two to four lines of caption, such as you would find in a magazine or encyclopedia. Along with this, many of these programs complain if the programmer uses older HTML technology so that older browsers can access their site without difficulty. Here at we specifically use old technology, but we also ensure that new browsers have no problem with our antiquated html. It is our hope that many more WebPages will be developed that follow the same path, and that the Internet will become accessible to the billions of people in the third world who are just discovering the Internet, rather thant simply serving the elite in the west who are mostly looking for a good time.

Thank you again for visiting our site and for your assessment. We are very comfortable with the standards that we have set for ourselves, and hope that they fit into the standards that you have set for your award program.

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