Sunday, April 3, 2011

Let's give the mosques some love

I remember when we first started "Pae and Guy", that I was new in country (Thailand) and one of the things I liked to share were the many different Buddhist temples (wat) that we would encounter. There are wats everywhere.

Similarly, while here in Jordan, a mostly Muslim country, I see a mosque pretty much every several blocks. I take the occasional picture, even if from afar. I thought I'd give the mosques some love today!There are mosques everywhere and I can usually tell that they are mosques from the high "tower" where the call to prayer is played several times daily, even before dawn, we're talking just after 4 AM!! I'm sure there is more meaning or symbolism to the spires, but this is merely a visual sharing today, not a religious or religious symbolism sharing! I'll give Wikipedia a break and next time I'm outside and feeling brave, I'll ask someone to explain to me a little more about the mosque. Lately, with the idiot in Florida burning the holy Quran, my American accent coupled with my curiosity about the mosques might ruffle some feathers. Better safe than sorry.I only say this because last time I was here I got talking to a guy that frequents the corner down the hill. Our relaxed conversation about the the difference between Middle Eastern male outfits and head dress (white Saudi looking clothes with black braided head ring vs. the one with the picnic table cloth looking head dress), suddenly escalated to politics (West vs. Middle East) and religion (Christianity vs. Islam) and even 9/11 conspiracy talk.Haha, not bad in itself, it's nice to hear other people's views, but a month later Pae told me that this dude had been taken in by the police and released later for firing a gun in the air right in front of Pae's apartment. He lives across the street. So, better not to bother this guy...he's young and even posted a photo of himself participating in the Jordan Protests this past week on his Facebook page.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures of mosques that I've passed in my wanderings. They are much like church houses, whatever domination you choose, with little classrooms where men and women are taught separately, and children to "Sunday school", but obviously they don't do it on Sunday! I walked by one the other day and there were kids playing inside, there were several women taking care of a nursery class, and there were people rushing inside as to get a good spot for the sermon or teaching of the day.As I type this, the call to prayer is playing outside. It's loud and echoes through the community. The mosque in our area is less than 100 meters from Pae's apartment. The picture below is of the mosque that people in this neighborhood go to. The call to prayer is beautiful although it occasionally will wake you up during a nap or during your dawn hour deep sleep! All I understand of the words to the "chanting" or "singing" that is the call to prayer, is "God is good". Beautiful to hear it reverberating through the streets several times a day. It gives this place a cultural feeling...maybe just because I didn't grow up with it.It's kinda like I love standing at attention on military bases during the evening playing of taps, or at a sporting event for the playing or singing of the National Anthem. Or in Thailand, at 7 PM on campuses and many public places the Thai National Anthem will play and everyone will stop what they are doing and stand reverently until it is finished. I always have a good feeling, proud feeling when I witness or take part in these things. I feel similarly when I hear "God is Good" pierce the din of passing cars and market goers outside.

There are many more beautiful mosques and even Christian church buildings here in Amman, these are just some of the ones that I captured while passing with my iPhone camera. Enjoy!

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