One of the highlights of working for the last several years to resurrect the geography of Makkah and create an accurate map of the ancient city as it existed during the lifetime of Prophet Muḥammad (ﷺ) has been the level of interest and enthusiasm people have shown when learning about this project, which has grown much bigger than I could have ever imagined at the start of my journey. What began as a personal research project to supplement my research into the sīrah (biography) of the Prophet (ﷺ) has blossomed into countless opportunities to share the fruits of this research with people around the world.
In addition to producing Mecca at the Dawn of Islam (the 2018 viral video that started it all), I have now written a companion book, Makkah at the Time of Prophet Muḥammad (PBUH), and partnered with Bilal Khan of Renderlounge Studio to create the SirahMaps website, where 3D interactive technology makes it possible for you to explore the city of the Prophet’s birth from the comfort of home. Allāh willing, the exciting educational tools we are providing will soon be available in schools, museums, and other places of learning.
Did you know that people generally only retain about 10% of what they read? This figure may be disheartening, but educators have long known that it is possible to achieve a much higher level of retention (up to 50% or more) with the use of audio-visual materials. This figure can be even further boosted when the materials are interactive, making learning even more fun and memorable.
This was the focus of my 2019 talk at TEDxKuwaitCity, where I spoke about the development of the Makkah map. Have a look above! As you will see, I mention some important studies demonstrating the crucial role of audio-visual materials in education. Regrettably, the audio on this recording is less than stellar due to technical issues experienced at the event, but we have added subtitles to make it easier to understand.
The Makkah Map on display at TEDxKuwaitCity, where I delivered a talk about the map’s development titled “Resurrecting Pre-Caliphate Makkah” on December 21, 2019.