Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1st Mosque Designed by a Woman

şakirin camii: 
my favorite mosque. 
Sitting atop the hill of the Karacaahmet Cemetary in Üsküdar,
on the Asian side of Istanbul. The exterior was almost galactic in appearance...

 Full of splendid rays of light
Bursting bright beams of sunshine in through the expansive windows
The only mosque in all of Turkey whose designer is a woman;  Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu
It is instantly obvious that the interior designer was a woman, for a woman's gentle touch is clearly evident in this place. Gentle curves, bright colors of teal and sparkling cold and glass relfeclting the light of the windows in a million tiny shaped glass drips dancing around the chandellier of the mosque.

The chandelier is decorated by beautiful gold Arabic calligraphy and dangling tear drops.

It was a splendid sight to behold. I felt a prayer that day, as if walking into a large field opening your hands upward and just feeling a prayer. 

The most beautiful part of the mosque was how the designer chose to incorporate the separation of genders. In this mosque, the woman pray on the second story, a beautiful white fence with detailing allowing a view to the bottom floor, where the men pray. The space is open, wide, expansive and every bit as beautiful as the area where the men pray. 

There were millions of tiny tear drops decorating the mosque that allowed the light to dance around the mosque, as if cheerfully tinkling prayers illuminated the beauty of the space 

If you find yourself on the Asian side of Istanbul, or looking for something outside of the tourist parts of the city, I highly recommend a stroll through both the cemetery and a visit to the mosque. To read more about the mosque, check out the article here. The experience was highly moving. Challenge yourself with a little reflection. 

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