I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, February 11, 2017

And then you go inside

Nobody who sees any of the thousands of magnificent photos of the universe sent our way by the Hubble can have any delusions that God is a minimalist. But this was way too maximalist for me, and  I wished it looked more like the exteriors.

The scale, again, was astonishing. This is the main prayer hall, which can hold 7000 people, and it's covered by a single carpet, the largest in the world. The carpet is more than 60,000 square feet and weighs 35 tons. It was hand-knotted in Iran.

The flower motifs represent Sheikh Zayed's love of the natural world, and the carpet is green because that was his favorite color. I love the geometric patterns and calligraphy in mosques, and I like the more abstract window designs here more than the flower and vine motifs on the columns. (The flowers and leaves are all mother of pearl and it is quite beautiful close up.)

The craftsmanship is so meticulous, and the decoration is so detailed -- and there's so much of it -- that it's hard to believe this mosque only took twelve years to complete.

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