Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pictures from Casablanca, Morocco

I really don't have much to say and haven't for a while. Do you ever get that way? So, instead of boring you with blabber about nothing, I'm going to post pictures instead. The following pictures are from my husband's trip back in November to where he grew up in Casablanca, Morocco. You can click on each individual picture to see a close-up if you would like.

The following picture is of my husband (on the left) and the principal of the fine art school he attended. He met him at his house and they had a mint tea together (Morocco is famous for their hot mint tea. It is very much a part of their culture.) Mint tea tastes very good and reminds me of melted mint bubblegum.

The principal put the cowboy hat on my husband as a joke since he now lives in America.

The following picture was taken in one of the gardens of the fine art school my husband attended:

The following is a picture of downtown Casablanca:

The following is a picture taken of a synagogue in downtown Casablanca:

The rest of the pictures are taken at the Hassan II Mosque.

Taken from Wikipedia: "It is the second largest mosque in the world. It stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. A further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque's courtyard. Its minaret is the world's tallest at 210 metres (689 ft).

Built on reclaimed land, almost half of the surface of the mosque lies over the Atlantic water. This was inspired by the verse of the Qur'an that states "the throne of God was built on the water". Part of the floor of this facility is glass so worshipers can kneel directly over the sea; above, spotlights shine at night from the top of the minaret toward Mecca.

These features were specifically requested by King Hassan II, who declared, "I want to build this mosque on the water, because God's throne is on the water. Therefore, the faithful who go there to pray, to praise the creator on firm soil, can contemplate God's sky and ocean."

It also includes a number of modern touches: it was built to withstand earthquakes and has a heated floor, electric doors, and a sliding roof (my husband told me that the sliding roof is automated and takes five minutes to open the entire roof...imagine how big the roof must be).

The mosque displays strong Moorish influence and the architecture of the building is similar to that of the Alhambra and the Mezquita in Spain. This and the old Tin Mal Mosque are the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims. Non-Muslims may view the interior on hour-long guided tours that depart several times daily.

Six thousand traditional Moroccan artisans worked for five years to turn these raw materials into abundant and incredibly beautiful mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, sculpted plaster moldings, and carved and painted wood ceilings."

The following is a picture of the minaret:

Are these big doors or what?

That's my husband standing there!

Now let's go inside:

The following picture is taken of a hand-carved wood ceiling with 24 karat gold painted onto it in various places:

I love this chandelier:

And this one:

This is my favorite one:

And this is a beauty as well:

I can't wait to visit Morocco and take pictures myself to post on this blog!

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