Monday, March 1, 2010

Istanbul's Blue Mosque

Istanbul is were east meets west.  It straddles the Bosporus Strait linking Europe to Asia.   There Christians live side by side with Muslims.   It is a place of hope, not one of mass media fear and hate.   It has gone under several names in the past - it once was Constantinople, after the emperor Constantine and before that Byzantium when it was Greek.   In the 1960's it was the start of the Hippie trail at the Pudding Shop which took travelers across the globe by land all the way to Asia.  Today it is known for its beautiful minarets, rolling hills, colorful bazars and waterside life.  On the tip of one of its peninsula's lies Sultanahmet and The Blue Mosque - probably the most famous mosque in all Istanbul.   Here Isalm is practiced in peace and not fear.  It is hear where I chatted openly with Turks, Iranis and Syrians without fear only openness and understanding.

Here is the Blue Mosque of Istanbul: 

Seen from the neighboring Hagia Sofia, a former cathedral, mosque and now museum, rises the Blue Mosque.

Deep within its massive recesses one can always find someone praying as this lone man filled the gargantuan hall.

Islamic Mosques never have human figures, for it is a sin to show them, therefor they spend their effort in creating perfect geometric patterns as evidenced in the central minaret.

Enjoy the Middle East at its best.

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