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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An auction to raise money for books for refugee children has raised more than $11 million in Dubai, including the sale of a more than 100-year-old covering from the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward in Mecca.
The piece, woven with gold and silver, sold Tuesday evening for $572,000 and came from the private collection of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
An early 19th Century Indian-Mogul manuscript of the Quran and a 17th Century handwritten copy each sold for $68,000. Five unique Dubai car plate numbers sold for a total of $7 million.
The Reading Nation Ramadan campaign, organized by Dubai as a charity initiative during the Muslim holy month, aims to donate 7.3 million books and establish 2,000 school libraries in Arab countries and refugee camps.