Middle East

Egyptian Saad Mohammed creates 700 metre Koran by hand

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Saad Mohammed has spent three years creating his scroll

An Egyptian school drop-out is hoping to make history after spending three years painstakingly creating what he believes to be the world's largest Koran.

Saad Mohammed's intricately decorated, hand-drawn scroll is 700 metres long (2,296ft) - which means, when it is unrolled, it is almost twice as tall as the 381-metre-high Empire State Building.

And up until now, Mr Mohammed, who lives in the town of Belqina, north of Cairo, has funded every centimetre of his passion project.

But he has big hopes for the scroll.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The school drop-out has also handwritten other books
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption It would take about five minutes to walk the distance covered by the length of the scroll

He believes the scroll is long enough to make it into the Guinness World Records, which has yet to set a record for the largest handwritten Koran.

But in order to achieve his dream and make it into the record book, he needs some help with the cost of entering.

"This Koran is 700 metres long, and of course that's a large amount of paper," he told Reuters TV.

"I self-funded this project for the past three years - and I'm an average person. I don't have assets or anything."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Mohammed has funded every penny of the costs so far
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The cost of the paper alone is not insignificant
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption But he hopes to get help so he can enter the Guinness World Records

Other record-breaking Korans

  • The oldest Koran in the world is officially - according to the Guinness World Records - the Holy Koran Mushaf of Othman, which was created in 655 and belonged to the Caliph Othman (c.AD 588-656). Nowadays, its 705 remaining pages are kept safe in Uzbekistan
  • Another contender for the largest handwritten Koran was unveiled in Afghanistan in 2012. It is more than 2.2 metres long and 1.55 metres wide, contains 218 pages of beautifully written text and is wrapped in a leather cover created from the skins of 21 goats. The 500kg (1,100lb) holy book took five years to create, but does not appear to have been officially entered in the Guinness Book of Records
  • No-one has claimed the record for the smallest Koran. However, in 2012 a resident in the UAE claimed their copy - at just 5.1cm long, 8cm wide and 550 pages - boasted that title to Emirates247

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