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LE MONDE (France)

Worldcrunch

Baddre-Eddine Bentaïb, a French Muslim from the city of Orléans, has set up a website mapping and providing information on mosques throughout France. Now, he is embarking on a "Ramadan road trip" that will take him around the country.

When travelling around France for his work, Bentaïb discovered there was no easy way of finding a place of worship, he tells Le Monde, and so his idea, trouvetamosquee.fr (Find Your Mosque), was born.

Inspired by two Americans who visited a different mosque each day in New York for the thirty days of Ramadan, Bentaïb will travel from mosque to mosque providing videos and commentaries on his visits.

Other than providing essential information on mosques, Bentaïb seeks to "de-stigmatize" Islam in France: "I noticed that places of worship generally don't communicate via the Internet and because of this, when I would type in the word "mosque" the majority of sites would be Islamophobic," says Bentaïb.

He says he has received a positive response from imams and hopes the website will be a useful resource in helping them to communicate with one another.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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