Friday, February 20, 2015

Grand

Taking into consideration that I only had 2.5 days in Abu Dhabi, I made sure that at least I can visit its number one tourist attraction – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This could make my first visit in the Middle East memorable.

mosque


Here are some information about the mosque.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a dream in the heart of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan "May God rest his Soul", where he established its general vision, set its foundation stone, and crowned thereby a journey full of fulfilled dreams and great achievements. The Mosque is an expression of a visionary leader who believed that nothing is impossible and conceived that the most gracious achievements start from the heart. more here 
Someone also documented the construction phase of the mosque. One can't help but be amazed by its progress and development from a skeletal foundation to an architectural masterpiece in the desert.
Abu Dhabi's most iconic landmark is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which features eighty-two white domes. Built between 1996 and 2007, it was designed to be an architectural wonder that incorporated both modern and classic Islamic artistic styles. Greek and Italian white marble covers the exterior, while Islamic calligraphy decorates the inside. more here
mosque

Songs in the Desert

songs in the desert
coming from a marbled heart
Arabian gem

golden chandelier
songs in the desert play
filtered through sandstorms

performers come, go
stage remains white, still plays six
songs in the desert

/totomai
for Poetry Pantry 240

I was definitely in awe as soon as I enter the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. I thought I have spoken "WOW" more than hundred times. The architecture is truly one of a kind, it was spectacular. But before you can enter the mosque, you are required to take off your footwear. The details on every corner are remarkable, from the domes, marble floors, walls, ceiling, to the carpets and chandeliers. Since this is a place for worship, some of the parts of the mosque are restricted and this is understandable. I need to show the photos in large to give this landmark justice.

detailsgrandeurmosquemosquepillars

Photography is allowed but be considerate. I believe tripods are prohibited. Also, there are certain rules to be strictly followed too. And no one is exempted. Again, let me emphasize that this is a place for worship. Visiting is free of charge and there are guides who are more than willing to explain and share the history and story behind it. Since the location is very accessible, maybe 20-30 mins by taxi or car from the city proper, it is highly recommended to visit it again at night. It’s like being in a different place. The lights are gorgeous and the water reflection is such a visual delight. Photographers take note. Another plus point in going there at night time is that there are lesser crowd. 

mosquearchesad35

My stay in Abu Dhabi may be very short but I felt that I have stayed long enough. Hopefully next time, I can explore Abu Dhabi as a tourist with lots of free time in my hands. To all who are planning to visit UAE, Dubai may be the popular choice but if you have the chance to go to Abu Dhabi, please don't forget to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

duty

Shukran Abu Dhabi! 

/totomai
2015/02/20

Photos taken with Nikon D7000  (except the last photo, taken with iphone5s)
lenses used :  
     Nikkor 50 mm 1.4f
     Tamron 11-16mm 2.8f
     Nikkor fish-eye 10.5 2.8f
     

52 comments:

  1. wow. the detail work, the climbing vines in the column and art in the marble...its a pretty amazing place...def that jewel of the desert..have not been to the middle east but you have captured a bit of its beauty in your lens...and words....

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    1. thanks Brian. it's my first time to be in the Middle East and it completely changes my perception. Perhaps I can go back there again.

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  2. "Arabian gem' indeed...a treasure to be cherished forever...you've truly honored it....

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    1. it is. i think it will continue to draw tourists.

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  3. oh what a gorgeous, visit i had here his morning; thanks for sharing

    much love...

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  4. A definite WOW! Illuminating words and images as ever Totomai...you really take us around the world with you

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    1. feel free to join Jae even if it's a virtual tour

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  5. What a wonderful place to be... All those nightly reflection are simply spectacular.. Your words are such a great compliment to the marble walls.

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    1. the mosque location is very accessible from the hotel i'm staying in. and it closes at 10 pm so i was able to go there after work.

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  6. Your photos are poetry themselves.

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  7. i am continually in aweof what man's hand can create when first envisioned to the end result. we can do much if we direct our energies toward a particular or specific focus. not to dimish the grandness and aesthetics of this accomplish but i wish we could some day use these resources this creativity toward balancing the sustanance needed by many in this world of 'ours'.

    gracias for sharing this 'song in the desert'

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    1. you are right. i think before they can reach out to others they have to establish their own identity first. and i think it's not a selfish thing. :)

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  8. Awesome indeed! Lovely to be able to capture it in both words and pictures.

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  9. looks amazing :) a nice take on a culture.

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    1. indeed. it was a great first time experience for me

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  10. WOW!!!! The design, the lights and colors are truly stunning ~ Thanks for giving us a virtual tour ~ You are right, the night gives it specially the pillars are different dimension ~

    Hope you are well ~

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    1. i am doing fine kabayan, just realized though that consecutive business trip is tough lol

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  11. songs in the desert... i haven't spent much time in them, but you make it sound like a wonderful place... photo are out-standing

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    1. thanks. i was runnong out of words as my eyes scan through the details and architecture

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  12. Oh my goodness, Totomai, what absolutely stunning photos you have shared today. I would have said 'wow' over and over as well if I were there. In fact I said the words several times as I went through your progression of photos! That piece of architechture indeed is a beautiful song in the desert. And what a BEAUTIFUL stage!

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    1. the song will keep on playing in the center of the desert. thanks Mary, i remember you asked me to bring back som photos of Abu Dhabi :)

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  13. Great photos, as always. These beautiful buildings are indeed like songs in the desert. I particularly like the way trees seem to sprout from the ground onto the sky on the walls and pillars.

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    1. and how the vine moves up from the marbled floor. really amazing place

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  14. Your images are spectacular and complement your words, like the pillars in your pics, constructing your poem.

    Poppy

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    1. thanks poppy. the photos are my inspiration to my poem

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  15. Amazing pictures to complement your poetry.

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  16. Oh my goodness, the photos - and the place - are SPECTACULAR. LUMINOUS. I love "songs in the desert coming from a marbled heart." Perfection.

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    1. thanks Sherry, you managed to put a smile on my face :)

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  17. The marble designs are amazing ~ yet sometimes I wonder why so much resource is spent on places of worship like this while some go starving ~ seems ostentatious yet beautiful.

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    1. i am not sure if i can answer that. i guess it's their way of honoring a very important person..

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  18. I think I also said wow about 20 times.....it reminds me of the palaces and grand cathedrals of old but on even a more grander scale....so much beauty, so much reverence here and at night maybe even more beautiful. You have brought to me sights I never would have seen and I thank you!

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    1. i think all religions in some way or another want to make their place of worship grand to inspire their followerd

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  19. wow.........
    lovely photos and imagery of poetry.

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  20. Thank you for this incredible feast of images and words.

    Elizabeth

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  21. wow, simply breathtaking! thanks for sharing. :)

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  22. They are really a white kingdom.....beautiful art, song of marble heart....your words 'filtered through sandstorms' really mean much more...art always is powerful...~ Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You are right and it's amazing to think what humans can do

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any thoughts to distill?

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