Google hearts the MidEast - Oodles of Google Doodles prove it!

Published March 26th, 2015 - 16:26 GMT

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What can be more brainless than a doodle, a simple sketch or squiggle made when your mind is otherwise occupied? Google turns that premise on its head with their “Google Doodles”; temporary visual breaks from the company’s standard homepage logo that celebrate specific holidays, events, and people.

Since the first one appeared in 1998 - celebrating Burning Man, America’s week-long art and music festival - the doodles have become more complex. The often-animated images now hyperlink to web pages offering deeper insight to the featured subject. History lessons delivered in a nano-second. We especially like when they tip their hat to the Middle East, which they've done many times, proving Google hearts our region! Continue reading below »

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Egyptian designer Shadi Abdel Salam created costumes, stage sets, and screenplays, working on some of Egypt’s most famous historical films before moving to the director’s chair.
Born in Alexandria in 1930 (he died in 1969), he trained in theater arts and architecture. This doodle commemorated his 85th birthday.
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Image 1 of 18:  1 / 18Egyptian designer Shadi Abdel Salam created costumes, stage sets, and screenplays, working on some of Egypt’s most famous historical films before moving to the director’s chair. Born in Alexandria in 1930 (he died in 1969), he trained in theater arts and architecture. This doodle commemorated his 85th birthday.

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Scholar Al-Biruni was born in what is now Uzbekistan in 973 CE.  His birth name (Abu al-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni) isn’t the only long thing on his CV! He excelled in physics, math, astronomy, science, history, and philosophy. Fluent in at least 7 languages, he wrote in Arabic.  A crater on the moon is named for him.
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Image 2 of 18:  2 / 18Scholar Al-Biruni was born in what is now Uzbekistan in 973 CE. His birth name (Abu al-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni) isn’t the only long thing on his CV! He excelled in physics, math, astronomy, science, history, and philosophy. Fluent in at least 7 languages, he wrote in Arabic. A crater on the moon is named for him.

Enlarge
Spin the globe to Iraq to meet Ibn al-Haytham, born in 1048, another Muslim smartie.  Nicknamed 'The Physicist' by European scholars, this polymath and philosopher made significant contributions to the fields of optics, astronomy, math, meteorology, and the scientific method.  He spent most of his life in the royal court of Cairo.
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Image 3 of 18:  3 / 18Spin the globe to Iraq to meet Ibn al-Haytham, born in 1048, another Muslim smartie. Nicknamed "The Physicist" by European scholars, this polymath and philosopher made significant contributions to the fields of optics, astronomy, math, meteorology, and the scientific method. He spent most of his life in the royal court of Cairo.

Enlarge
Morocco Independence Day marks the date in 1955 when the nation acquired limited home rule; it’s when Sultan Mohammed V created a constitutional monarchy with a democratic form of government. Spanish and French influence loomed large in modern times, but Moroccan history spans over twelve centuries, not counting classical antiquity.
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Image 4 of 18:  4 / 18Morocco Independence Day marks the date in 1955 when the nation acquired limited home rule; it’s when Sultan Mohammed V created a constitutional monarchy with a democratic form of government. Spanish and French influence loomed large in modern times, but Moroccan history spans over twelve centuries, not counting classical antiquity.

Enlarge
Singer Shoshana Damari was born in 1923 in Yemen, but her family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924. Her distinctive husky voice and Yemenite pronunciation proved popular (her first songs were radio broadcast when she was 14) and she became known as the 'Queen of Hebrew Music.' The doodle marked her 90th birthday. She died in 2006.
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Image 5 of 18:  5 / 18Singer Shoshana Damari was born in 1923 in Yemen, but her family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924. Her distinctive husky voice and Yemenite pronunciation proved popular (her first songs were radio broadcast when she was 14) and she became known as the "Queen of Hebrew Music." The doodle marked her 90th birthday. She died in 2006.

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Jordan Independence Day is observed every May 25, celebrating its 1946 freedom from British rule. The day is a national holiday for this country formerly called Transjordan, marked by special religious services, academic symposiums, and magnificent fireworks.
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Image 6 of 18:  6 / 18Jordan Independence Day is observed every May 25, celebrating its 1946 freedom from British rule. The day is a national holiday for this country formerly called Transjordan, marked by special religious services, academic symposiums, and magnificent fireworks.

Enlarge
The voice of Warda al-Jazairia was the soundtrack to the Arab Spring, expressing the aspirations of Arab nationalism and democracy. Born in Paris in 1939 to an Algerian father and Lebanese mother, she was Beirut-raised but fiercely nationalistic to Algeria. Her last performance was in Beirut in 2011, a year before “the Algerian Rose” died.
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Image 7 of 18:  7 / 18The voice of Warda al-Jazairia was the soundtrack to the Arab Spring, expressing the aspirations of Arab nationalism and democracy. Born in Paris in 1939 to an Algerian father and Lebanese mother, she was Beirut-raised but fiercely nationalistic to Algeria. Her last performance was in Beirut in 2011, a year before “the Algerian Rose” died.

Enlarge
Qatar National Day falls on Dec. 18.  It is a multi-day celebration to mark when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in 1878 rallied the peninsula’s tribes into a unified people. The government hosts events across the emirate, picking up the tab for free mass transit to most holiday venues.
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Image 8 of 18:  8 / 18Qatar National Day falls on Dec. 18. It is a multi-day celebration to mark when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in 1878 rallied the peninsula’s tribes into a unified people. The government hosts events across the emirate, picking up the tab for free mass transit to most holiday venues.

Enlarge
Averroes was a Berber scholar who wrote on logic, philosophy, theology, law, psychology, politics, music, geography, math, medicine, astronomy, and physics. The name is the Latinized form of his birth name Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rusd. Born in 1126, this doodle marks the 888th birthday of the 'founding father of secular thought'.
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Image 9 of 18:  9 / 18Averroes was a Berber scholar who wrote on logic, philosophy, theology, law, psychology, politics, music, geography, math, medicine, astronomy, and physics. The name is the Latinized form of his birth name Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rusd. Born in 1126, this doodle marks the 888th birthday of the "founding father of secular thought".

Enlarge
Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956 under Habib Bourguiba who later became the country’s first president. Controlled by the secular Constitutional Democratic Rally , formerly Neo Destour, the new nation existed as one of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes until the Tunisian revolution in 2011  - the start of the Arab Spring.
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Image 10 of 18:  10 / 18Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956 under Habib Bourguiba who later became the country’s first president. Controlled by the secular Constitutional Democratic Rally , formerly Neo Destour, the new nation existed as one of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes until the Tunisian revolution in 2011 - the start of the Arab Spring.

Enlarge
Salah Jahin was a Cairo-born cartoonist and popular playwright for puppet theatre. He penned political poetry and nationalist songs marking the age of Gamal Abdel Nasser, earning him the the unofficial title of Poet of the Revolution. In 1965, he won the Egyptian Order of Science and Arts of the First Class. He died in 1986.
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Image 11 of 18:  11 / 18Salah Jahin was a Cairo-born cartoonist and popular playwright for puppet theatre. He penned political poetry and nationalist songs marking the age of Gamal Abdel Nasser, earning him the the unofficial title of Poet of the Revolution. In 1965, he won the Egyptian Order of Science and Arts of the First Class. He died in 1986.

Enlarge
The Republic Day of Turkey is a bit of a misnomer! The “day” that commemorates when Turkey was officially recognized as a republic is a celebration that actually lasts 35 hours! Each year, the event centers on October 29 when it becomes nation-wide party time in Turkey and in Turk-ruled Northern Cyprus.
Reduce

Image 12 of 18:  12 / 18The Republic Day of Turkey is a bit of a misnomer! The “day” that commemorates when Turkey was officially recognized as a republic is a celebration that actually lasts 35 hours! Each year, the event centers on October 29 when it becomes nation-wide party time in Turkey and in Turk-ruled Northern Cyprus.

Enlarge
Every November 22, Lebanon celebrates liberation from the French Mandate, a national Independence Day marking the end of 23 years of French rule. Muslims and Christians united to make independence a reality, and the first Lebanese flag was raised on November 11, 1943. Viva la libération!
Reduce

Image 13 of 18:  13 / 18Every November 22, Lebanon celebrates liberation from the French Mandate, a national Independence Day marking the end of 23 years of French rule. Muslims and Christians united to make independence a reality, and the first Lebanese flag was raised on November 11, 1943. Viva la libération!

Enlarge
Google marked the 812th birthday of Persian polymath and writer who lived in the age of Genghis Khan - Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Born in 1201 in northern Iran, he was also an architect, astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, philosopher, physician, physicist, scientist, and theologian. But how was he with a football?
Reduce

Image 14 of 18:  14 / 18Google marked the 812th birthday of Persian polymath and writer who lived in the age of Genghis Khan - Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Born in 1201 in northern Iran, he was also an architect, astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, philosopher, physician, physicist, scientist, and theologian. But how was he with a football?

Enlarge
Palestine-born May Ziadeh was a pioneer who ran the Arab world’s most famous literary salon in Cairo during the ‘20s and ‘30s. She tackled ignorance and antiquated traditions, and corresponded for 20 years with Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. Never married and childless, she is considered the mother of modern Middle Eastern women.
Reduce

Image 15 of 18:  15 / 18Palestine-born May Ziadeh was a pioneer who ran the Arab world’s most famous literary salon in Cairo during the ‘20s and ‘30s. She tackled ignorance and antiquated traditions, and corresponded for 20 years with Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. Never married and childless, she is considered the mother of modern Middle Eastern women.

Enlarge
No sweat! Kuwait independence from British rule happened on June 19, 1962 - a happy commemoration but extreme summer temperatures make it too hot to celebrate. So the National Day holiday was moved to February 25th, a much cooler time to celebrate its historic struggle for independence.
Reduce

Image 16 of 18:  16 / 18No sweat! Kuwait independence from British rule happened on June 19, 1962 - a happy commemoration but extreme summer temperatures make it too hot to celebrate. So the National Day holiday was moved to February 25th, a much cooler time to celebrate its historic struggle for independence.

Enlarge
Most Arab nations celebrate Mother’s Day on 21 March. The holiday was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943 in one of his book, but the idea was ridiculed by then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He eventually came around, and Egypt’s first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1956. The practice has since been copied across Arabia.
Reduce

Image 17 of 18:  17 / 18Most Arab nations celebrate Mother’s Day on 21 March. The holiday was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943 in one of his book, but the idea was ridiculed by then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He eventually came around, and Egypt’s first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1956. The practice has since been copied across Arabia.

Enlarge
A government mistake underpinned Youssef Chahine’s evolution into a major film director. The young Egyptian went to Hollywood to pursue his filmmaking dream, but his parents ran out of money. Mysterious checks began to arrive allowing him to stay on. Years later he learned it was an error, by then he was directing epic Egyptian films!
Reduce

Image 18 of 18:  18 / 18A government mistake underpinned Youssef Chahine’s evolution into a major film director. The young Egyptian went to Hollywood to pursue his filmmaking dream, but his parents ran out of money. Mysterious checks began to arrive allowing him to stay on. Years later he learned it was an error, by then he was directing epic Egyptian films!

Enlarge

1

Egyptian designer Shadi Abdel Salam created costumes, stage sets, and screenplays, working on some of Egypt’s most famous historical films before moving to the director’s chair.
Born in Alexandria in 1930 (he died in 1969), he trained in theater arts and architecture. This doodle commemorated his 85th birthday.

Image 1 of 18Egyptian designer Shadi Abdel Salam created costumes, stage sets, and screenplays, working on some of Egypt’s most famous historical films before moving to the director’s chair. Born in Alexandria in 1930 (he died in 1969), he trained in theater arts and architecture. This doodle commemorated his 85th birthday.

2

Scholar Al-Biruni was born in what is now Uzbekistan in 973 CE.  His birth name (Abu al-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni) isn’t the only long thing on his CV! He excelled in physics, math, astronomy, science, history, and philosophy. Fluent in at least 7 languages, he wrote in Arabic.  A crater on the moon is named for him.

Image 2 of 18Scholar Al-Biruni was born in what is now Uzbekistan in 973 CE. His birth name (Abu al-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni) isn’t the only long thing on his CV! He excelled in physics, math, astronomy, science, history, and philosophy. Fluent in at least 7 languages, he wrote in Arabic. A crater on the moon is named for him.

3

Spin the globe to Iraq to meet Ibn al-Haytham, born in 1048, another Muslim smartie.  Nicknamed 'The Physicist' by European scholars, this polymath and philosopher made significant contributions to the fields of optics, astronomy, math, meteorology, and the scientific method.  He spent most of his life in the royal court of Cairo.

Image 3 of 18Spin the globe to Iraq to meet Ibn al-Haytham, born in 1048, another Muslim smartie. Nicknamed "The Physicist" by European scholars, this polymath and philosopher made significant contributions to the fields of optics, astronomy, math, meteorology, and the scientific method. He spent most of his life in the royal court of Cairo.

4

Morocco Independence Day marks the date in 1955 when the nation acquired limited home rule; it’s when Sultan Mohammed V created a constitutional monarchy with a democratic form of government. Spanish and French influence loomed large in modern times, but Moroccan history spans over twelve centuries, not counting classical antiquity.

Image 4 of 18Morocco Independence Day marks the date in 1955 when the nation acquired limited home rule; it’s when Sultan Mohammed V created a constitutional monarchy with a democratic form of government. Spanish and French influence loomed large in modern times, but Moroccan history spans over twelve centuries, not counting classical antiquity.

5

Singer Shoshana Damari was born in 1923 in Yemen, but her family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924. Her distinctive husky voice and Yemenite pronunciation proved popular (her first songs were radio broadcast when she was 14) and she became known as the 'Queen of Hebrew Music.' The doodle marked her 90th birthday. She died in 2006.

Image 5 of 18Singer Shoshana Damari was born in 1923 in Yemen, but her family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924. Her distinctive husky voice and Yemenite pronunciation proved popular (her first songs were radio broadcast when she was 14) and she became known as the "Queen of Hebrew Music." The doodle marked her 90th birthday. She died in 2006.

6

Jordan Independence Day is observed every May 25, celebrating its 1946 freedom from British rule. The day is a national holiday for this country formerly called Transjordan, marked by special religious services, academic symposiums, and magnificent fireworks.

Image 6 of 18Jordan Independence Day is observed every May 25, celebrating its 1946 freedom from British rule. The day is a national holiday for this country formerly called Transjordan, marked by special religious services, academic symposiums, and magnificent fireworks.

7

The voice of Warda al-Jazairia was the soundtrack to the Arab Spring, expressing the aspirations of Arab nationalism and democracy. Born in Paris in 1939 to an Algerian father and Lebanese mother, she was Beirut-raised but fiercely nationalistic to Algeria. Her last performance was in Beirut in 2011, a year before “the Algerian Rose” died.

Image 7 of 18The voice of Warda al-Jazairia was the soundtrack to the Arab Spring, expressing the aspirations of Arab nationalism and democracy. Born in Paris in 1939 to an Algerian father and Lebanese mother, she was Beirut-raised but fiercely nationalistic to Algeria. Her last performance was in Beirut in 2011, a year before “the Algerian Rose” died.

8

Qatar National Day falls on Dec. 18.  It is a multi-day celebration to mark when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in 1878 rallied the peninsula’s tribes into a unified people. The government hosts events across the emirate, picking up the tab for free mass transit to most holiday venues.

Image 8 of 18Qatar National Day falls on Dec. 18. It is a multi-day celebration to mark when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in 1878 rallied the peninsula’s tribes into a unified people. The government hosts events across the emirate, picking up the tab for free mass transit to most holiday venues.

9

Averroes was a Berber scholar who wrote on logic, philosophy, theology, law, psychology, politics, music, geography, math, medicine, astronomy, and physics. The name is the Latinized form of his birth name Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rusd. Born in 1126, this doodle marks the 888th birthday of the 'founding father of secular thought'.

Image 9 of 18Averroes was a Berber scholar who wrote on logic, philosophy, theology, law, psychology, politics, music, geography, math, medicine, astronomy, and physics. The name is the Latinized form of his birth name Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rusd. Born in 1126, this doodle marks the 888th birthday of the "founding father of secular thought".

10

Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956 under Habib Bourguiba who later became the country’s first president. Controlled by the secular Constitutional Democratic Rally , formerly Neo Destour, the new nation existed as one of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes until the Tunisian revolution in 2011  - the start of the Arab Spring.

Image 10 of 18Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956 under Habib Bourguiba who later became the country’s first president. Controlled by the secular Constitutional Democratic Rally , formerly Neo Destour, the new nation existed as one of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes until the Tunisian revolution in 2011 - the start of the Arab Spring.

11

Salah Jahin was a Cairo-born cartoonist and popular playwright for puppet theatre. He penned political poetry and nationalist songs marking the age of Gamal Abdel Nasser, earning him the the unofficial title of Poet of the Revolution. In 1965, he won the Egyptian Order of Science and Arts of the First Class. He died in 1986.

Image 11 of 18Salah Jahin was a Cairo-born cartoonist and popular playwright for puppet theatre. He penned political poetry and nationalist songs marking the age of Gamal Abdel Nasser, earning him the the unofficial title of Poet of the Revolution. In 1965, he won the Egyptian Order of Science and Arts of the First Class. He died in 1986.

12

The Republic Day of Turkey is a bit of a misnomer! The “day” that commemorates when Turkey was officially recognized as a republic is a celebration that actually lasts 35 hours! Each year, the event centers on October 29 when it becomes nation-wide party time in Turkey and in Turk-ruled Northern Cyprus.

Image 12 of 18The Republic Day of Turkey is a bit of a misnomer! The “day” that commemorates when Turkey was officially recognized as a republic is a celebration that actually lasts 35 hours! Each year, the event centers on October 29 when it becomes nation-wide party time in Turkey and in Turk-ruled Northern Cyprus.

13

Every November 22, Lebanon celebrates liberation from the French Mandate, a national Independence Day marking the end of 23 years of French rule. Muslims and Christians united to make independence a reality, and the first Lebanese flag was raised on November 11, 1943. Viva la libération!

Image 13 of 18Every November 22, Lebanon celebrates liberation from the French Mandate, a national Independence Day marking the end of 23 years of French rule. Muslims and Christians united to make independence a reality, and the first Lebanese flag was raised on November 11, 1943. Viva la libération!

14

Google marked the 812th birthday of Persian polymath and writer who lived in the age of Genghis Khan - Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Born in 1201 in northern Iran, he was also an architect, astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, philosopher, physician, physicist, scientist, and theologian. But how was he with a football?

Image 14 of 18Google marked the 812th birthday of Persian polymath and writer who lived in the age of Genghis Khan - Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Born in 1201 in northern Iran, he was also an architect, astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, philosopher, physician, physicist, scientist, and theologian. But how was he with a football?

15

Palestine-born May Ziadeh was a pioneer who ran the Arab world’s most famous literary salon in Cairo during the ‘20s and ‘30s. She tackled ignorance and antiquated traditions, and corresponded for 20 years with Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. Never married and childless, she is considered the mother of modern Middle Eastern women.

Image 15 of 18Palestine-born May Ziadeh was a pioneer who ran the Arab world’s most famous literary salon in Cairo during the ‘20s and ‘30s. She tackled ignorance and antiquated traditions, and corresponded for 20 years with Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. Never married and childless, she is considered the mother of modern Middle Eastern women.

16

No sweat! Kuwait independence from British rule happened on June 19, 1962 - a happy commemoration but extreme summer temperatures make it too hot to celebrate. So the National Day holiday was moved to February 25th, a much cooler time to celebrate its historic struggle for independence.

Image 16 of 18No sweat! Kuwait independence from British rule happened on June 19, 1962 - a happy commemoration but extreme summer temperatures make it too hot to celebrate. So the National Day holiday was moved to February 25th, a much cooler time to celebrate its historic struggle for independence.

17

Most Arab nations celebrate Mother’s Day on 21 March. The holiday was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943 in one of his book, but the idea was ridiculed by then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He eventually came around, and Egypt’s first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1956. The practice has since been copied across Arabia.

Image 17 of 18Most Arab nations celebrate Mother’s Day on 21 March. The holiday was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1943 in one of his book, but the idea was ridiculed by then-president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He eventually came around, and Egypt’s first Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1956. The practice has since been copied across Arabia.

18

A government mistake underpinned Youssef Chahine’s evolution into a major film director. The young Egyptian went to Hollywood to pursue his filmmaking dream, but his parents ran out of money. Mysterious checks began to arrive allowing him to stay on. Years later he learned it was an error, by then he was directing epic Egyptian films!

Image 18 of 18A government mistake underpinned Youssef Chahine’s evolution into a major film director. The young Egyptian went to Hollywood to pursue his filmmaking dream, but his parents ran out of money. Mysterious checks began to arrive allowing him to stay on. Years later he learned it was an error, by then he was directing epic Egyptian films!

Reduce

Long-standard brand management dictates that a corporation must build identity through a staunchly consistent logo. Google Doodles toss that out the window. It’s a brilliant strategy for a company built on user interaction to encourage further interaction, inviting us to click into brief history lessons on topics we might otherwise ignore.

The doodles are regional and ever-changing, and interesting graphics pull us in. They are like digitized Chinese fortune cookies, why not crack one open to see what it’s about? You will emerge with some new insights into the people, places and actions that make this region tick.

 

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