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From sandy beaches to busy stock markets—people read the Quran in unusual places

Islam-Quran
Reuters/Peter Nicholls
1400-year-old?
This article is more than 2 years old.

The world has discovered the oldest Quran.

London’s University of Birmingham has found two folios of the Islamic holy text—kept since 1936 in its manuscript collection. Both appear to be from the same era as Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad, who is generally thought to have lived between AD 570 and AD 632.

As the world’s historians deal with the excitement of this discovery, Quartz brings you a collection of photos of people reading the holy text in the most unusual places—from war zones and refugee camps to stock markets and beaches.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil
An Egyptian man recites versus from the Quran at an underground metro in Cairo, Egypt.
AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
A woman reads the Quran on a beach as people in bikinis sunbathe and swim at sunset in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Reuters/Mohammed Salem
A veiled Palestinian woman reads the Quran on the beach in Gaza City.
Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi reads the Quran behind a barrier he erected at the entrance of Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo.
Reuters/Thomas Mukoya
Refugee pupils hold pieces of wood with Quranic verses written on them at a makeshift madrasa, or Islamic school, under a tree at the IFO2 east camp within the Dadaab refugee complex near the Kenya-Somalia border.
AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici
A wounded Syrian refugee reads Islam’s holy book as he lies in his bed at a private hospital in Antakya, Turkey.
AP Photo/Amr Nabil
An Egyptian broker, centre, reads the Quran during a break as others work in the Egyptian stock market in Cairo.
Reuters/Crack Palinggi
An Indonesian youth reads the Quran from a digital player at a book shop in Jakarta.
Reuters/Akhtar Soomro
A flood victim baby sleeps in a hammock as a man reads the Quran during Eid-al-Fitr celebrations while taking refuge in a relief camp for flood victims in Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
Reuters/Asmaa Waguih
A protester shields himself with a bucket while reading the Quran as protesters and army soldiers clash in Cairo.
Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi
Two soldiers from the central security forces sit on a military vehicle as they read the Quran near a checkpoint in Sanaa.

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