Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Faisal Mosque

Faisal Mosque, designed by a Turkish architect, was built in 1986. It is a fantastic modern interpretation of the mosque. 

Once upon a time, it was the biggest mosque in the world!

I labelled my Faisal Mosque Facebook album as "The splendour of Faisal Mosque, Islamabad's most famous landmark." One of my friends quipped and said that Faisal Mosque is the symbol of Saudi dominance in Pakistan. I couldn't help but agree. 

General Zia ul Haq, our most beloved leader, is buried here.  

These are some of my favourite photos of the Monday visit to Faisal Mosque.

The beautiful avenue leading up to the Mosque 
The close up view of the Mosque at around 3:30 PM on a warm April day. 
Yep, that's Kavita and I. I covered my head since we were just about to enter the mosque.
I had to leave the stroller at the entrance where visitors left their shoes for 5 rupees. There were too many steps in the mosque and, I do not even know whether it would have been the right etiquette for roaming around the mosque with a stroller, especially since one cannot walk with shoes in a mosque.

There is a funny story to these stairs. As you all know, I have serious, almost crippling vertigo. It can strike any time. So, I was climbing these very flight of stairs and, when I got almost to the top, I got hit by vertigo. I froze. I could not move. I had no clue how I was going to go up. And, Kavita was on my hip.

By the way, Ami had dropped us off here since she had to go and, get the car serviced. 

Luckily, this fellow who was coming down the stairs saw my frozen statue and, offered to carry Kavita up. I explained to him I was terrified of heights. I crawled up the rest of the stairs. Yes! The fellow kept telling me I wouldn't fall down. Embarrassed, I took Kavita from his arms, smiled and thanked him. 

Kavita is about to do the jiggy. I had to stop her!  
Magnificent view of Islamabad from the top.

Kavita found a little friend.
I'm so happppppyyyyyyyyyyy!
I love this photo. I loved watching these kids play. See how they are dragging each other across the marble floors. 

And, there is something so tender about seeing little girls play. Little girls whose heads are covered. Little girls whose lives we wonder about - now and when they grow up. I wish I could know. I wish they did not grow up with yards and yards of clothiding their bodies. I wish they did not grow up with their identities so strongly intertwined by what they must do and not do, dictated by patriarchal societies and enforced by their very own mother and grandmothers. Little girls with covered heads remind me of caged birds. 

Selfie time
I also love this photo - brightly coloured shalwar kameezes and two boys playing with balloons.

The  back of the mosque had a beautiful wide open green space. 

Ami comes to pick us up and, also wants to pose in front of the mosque. This is about 5:30 PM.

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