Syria_Phase 1 (Review)

Our reference, the mosque of Damascus, belongs to a country and a culture whose main religion is Islam. It is also one of the oldest and largest in the world; for this, it is considered the fourth holiest site in Islam. In mosques we observe a behavior different from other similar buildings, not only for the numerous restrictions that religion poses against the fact of pray but by the number of situations that causes the mosque, in the main prayer hall and the patio, which articulates the operation of the mosque.

When we talk about the restrictions and / or guides that this religion causes, we talk about the differentiation between sexes, with women differently from men. The halls can’t be shared and rituals that precede the prayer as ablution or remove their shoes must also be in separate locations.The patio space communicator exerts all parts of the mosque but to get to the main prayer hall there is a process and a journey that has many meanings.

The urban impact of the mosque on organic and messy plot of Damascus is huge, accessed through a small door on the side, through a long staircase, which extols the monumentality of the building and gives access to a sacred place. We crossed a small indoor stay, but open directly onto the patio and once in the courtyard we find that in turn acts as a square. People not only use it as coming into the prayer hall but also as a meeting place, entertainment or rest. All these situations lead us closer to a typical behavior of the Mediterranean area, where there is a coexistence in public spaces. Back in the courtyard, if you intend to go to pray, sexes are divided, and ablution facilities too.

The interior offers a rich culture of architectural elements that characterize the disposition of the mosque. A room divided into three naves separated by pillars and arches which in turn support pillars and arches smaller ships. Only 2/3 of the room used for prayer while the third part is transit. The light in the room came from the window openings located high to not disturb the user’s view while they are praying.

– Architectural elements that influence and cause numerous relationships in this space are made are among others:

  • Columns
  • Arc
  • Beams
  • Trusses
  • Qibla: Wall oriented to Mecca
  • Mirhab: Sacred space located on the qibla where they watch while they pray.
  • Minbar: where the Imam gives sermons
  • Source ablutions
  • Maxura: Podium for the caliph
  • Furniture for shoes
  • Carpet
  • Windows
  • Lamps
  • Stairs entry

– Perspectives and Aspects of Culture

  1. Identity and Engagement
    1. Diversity and Difference
    2. Belonging and Community
    3. Ethnicity and Language
    4. Religion and Faith
    5. Friendship and Affinity
    6. Home and Place
    7. Monitoring and Reflection
  2. Creativity and Recreation
    1. Aesthetics and Design
    2. Performance and Representation
    3. Innovation and Adaptation
    4. Celebrations and Festivals
    5. Sport and Play
    6. Leisure and Relaxation
    7. Monitoring and Reflection
  3. Memory and Projection
    1. Tradition and Authenticity
    2. Heritage and Inheritance
    3. History and Records
    4. Indigeneity and Custom
    5. Imagination and Hope
    6. Inspiration and Vision
    7. Monitoring and Reflection
  4. Beliefs and Ideas
    1. Knowledge and Interpretation
    2. Ideologies and Imaginaries
    3. Reason and Rationalization
    4. Religiosity and Spirituality
    5. Rituals and Symbols
    6. Emotions and Passions
    7. Monitoring and Reflection
  5. Gender and Generations
    1. Equality and Respect
    2. Sexuality and Desire
    3. Family and Kinship
    4. Birth and Babyhood
    5. Childhood and Youth
    6. Mortality and Care
    7. Monitoring and Reflection
  6. Enquiry and Learning
    1. Curiosity and Discovery
    2. Deliberation and Debate
    3. Research and Application
    4. Teaching and Training
    5. Writing and Codification
    6. Meditation and Reflexivity
    7. Monitoring and Reflection
  7. Wellbeing and Health
    1. Integrity and Autonomy
    2. Bodies and Corporeal Knowledge
    3. Mental Health and Pleasure
    4. Care and Comfort
    5. Inclusion and Participation
    6. Cuisine and Emotional Nourishment
    7. Monitoring and Reflection

The document refers all these situations we try to describe and promote. It is part of a documentary about Islamic culture on French television TV5 MONDE.

– Extra Information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRENVvX1-JE : Another report from TV5 Monde

http://moleskinearquitectonico.blogspot.com.es/2010/03/la-gran-mezquita-de-damasco.html :Blog Carlos Ceballos

http://seordelbiombo.blogspot.com.es/2012/01/la-gran-mezquita-de-damasco.html : Blog Vicente Camarasa

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