
 Whenever you count, you are paying homage to Arabic
mathematicians. As English speakers, we took our numbering system from
the Arabs. The reason we did this is that the Arabs figured out how
to use a zero as a place marker. If you have ever tried to write big
numbers in Roman numerals, you have some idea of how much easier it
is to use Arabic numbers with zeroes. However, they use a dot instead
of a circle for their zero. Their five looks like our zero, except it
is shaped more like an onion than an egg. Their six looks like our seven,
while their seven looks like a Roman numeral five. The reason for so
many similarities is that numbers have to be made from shapes that are
easy for people to write, even when they are in a hurry. Here are the
basic numbers in Arabic. Notice how similar to English are the 1 and
the 9. Also notice how the 2 and the 3 would look like our numbers if
they were tipped to the left.
 See if you can use these numbers to connect the dots
to finish drawing the Blue Mosque, which was one of the prettiest buildings
in Kabul. Click here to see
the image and print it.

