Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Accompanied by two fellow teachers, I visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, where Muslims and non-Muslims alike are welcome to learn about and explore Muslim art and history. Immediately upon arrival, Ashley (pictured below) was admonished by a guard for wearing a “transparent” blouse; my capris were not up to code, either. The guard directed us to a rental area, where Ashley was lent a short abaya (since she had jeans that covered her ankles) while my capris earned me a floor-length one. I felt like I had just been chosen for Slytherin; our hooded abayas looked nothing like the elegant, traditional gowns worn by local Muslim women. It took us a good five minutes to regain our composure, which we immediately lost again when we returned to the main entrance and met up with our buddy Chris. He was inappropriately dressed in shorts but somehow passed dress code inspection while we were now covered head-to-toe. After taking a few photos, we toured the mosque. This massive structure consists of open, columned halls flanked by shallow pools in addition to rooms adorned with Swarovski crystal chandeliers, mosaics, and marble. We didn’t enter any of the prayer rooms but were allowed inside the main prayer hall after removing our shoes. The mosaic marble floors that lead the way to the hall are incredibly beautiful, but only the white sections are cool to the touch. After we initially burned the bottoms of our feet, Chris decided to hop from one white section to another to avoid further pain. Aside from that, and a run-in with another guard because Ashley stepped in a forbidden zone to have her picture taken, all went smoothly. Sort of. With the 100+ temp and the double-layer of clothing, I was drenched by the time we made our way back to Platform 9 3/4. My hair was plastered to my head and my regular clothes were soaked through. Next time we’ll know better and will visit later in the day (a running theme here), appropriately dressed. All in all, a good day of learning, laughing, and living it up before school starts next week!

At the Grand Mosque

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tom Mech
    Aug 19, 2014 @ 16:08:32

    Suzy! Just catching up with your blog … Overall, sounds like a pretty good start! Buffets, pools and Heinekens? If it wasn’t for the capris story, I’d guess you were in Florida. Capris did sound risky, and the people watching from the last post had to be fun. Looking forward to following your journey. Be safe!

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