Ancient text: An 800-year-old Koran in Alor Besar, East Nusa Tenggara. The hand-written Koran, crafted from tree bark, is an historic part of the Islamic culture of Indonesia. (JP/Yemris Fointuna)Alor Besar is a small village in Alor, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
It is nestled on the slopes of a hill facing the ocean. Most of its residents earn their livelihoods as farmers or fishermen.
The town is about 25 kilometers from the regency capital, Kalabahi. The local residents are predominately Muslim. A grand mosque stands in the middle of town. About a kilometer away lies another village, whose residents are predominately Christians.
However, not many people know about the presence of an 800-year-old Koran in Alor Besar, which residents claim was brought by five brothers who spread Islam to eastern Indonesia.
“The Koran was hand-written by the Prophet’s frien...