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“Four weeks after the first mosaic was cut, the job of laying out the fountain’s pattern began. A new moualem arrived at Dar Khalifa. He was fine-boned and fragile, like a figure crafted from Meissen porcelain. Hamza led him into the house and through to the courtyard where the zelij cutters were sitting. The master craftsman unfurled a sheet of sackcloth on the green tiled floor and set to work. The central medallion was sketched out first. Then the 16 outer rosettes were drawn and, after that, the background. The moualem used tweezers to position the smallest hand-cut mosaics for the central medallion. So adept was his skill that he laid out all 5000 mosaics upside down, without any need to see the actual pattern on the reverse. His hands moved at the speed of light, plucking individual mosaics from the assorted piles and dropping them into place. I asked how he could do the job without seeing the colors. ‘Only a blind man knows the weakness of the eyes’, he said.” (


Intrauterine infection has been linked to preterm delivery and neurologic injury. Of significant importance to ophthalmologists is the link between hypoxic encephalopathy and damage to the visual cortex associated with intrauterine infection. Investigators from the University of Melbourne have now demonstrated …

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