After exploring around the neighborhood near where my airbnb apartment was, I saw this beautiful building from a far. I started walking towards it and I found out it was an Iranian hospital. Little did I knew, I stumbled around a Persian neighborhood.
For those who don’t know, Persian and Iranian are similar. Iran was once a part of the Persian empire. That is something, I did not know at the time of me stumbling across this beautiful piece of art. Found out later while doing research. Walked towards this interestingly patterned building. From outside looking in, I figured out it was a mosque. I could tell by the shoe cubby and chants of the Qur’an.
Saw someone come out of the mosque. Asked if it was okay for me to enter. I got the clearance to explore. Once inside the gates to the entrance, I was in awe towards the attention to detail. The colors made the building look so majestic. The patterns and the designs are so beautiful. Couldn’t wait to see how the inside looks like. Put my shoes in the cubby and I was off.
The inside of the mosque was truly foreign and new to me. The colors matched the outside with a touch more of green. To make sure it was okay, I asked one of the mosque’s operators if I could take photos. He gave me permission of course.
I got to see some of the followers pray. Similar to how it was during my time in Cairo, the mosque was sectioned by gender. I was not allowed to go on the women’s side. Still, I enjoyed the part I was given access to.
Sometimes, it’s hard to picture how close United Arab Emirates is to Iran. It’s literally less than a two hour flight from Dubai. Makes sense why there’s a strong Persian community here. Glad I got to see in person.
As I was looking at the Muslims praying, I started to think a little to myself. The differences between this mosque and the mosque in Cairo. They both practice different types of Islam. Egypt is Sunni majority and Iran is Shia majority. They are similar and very different at the same time. Similar to Catholics and Protestants, the houses of worship look very different. It’s almost the same here. Expect, Sunni is the majority branch of Islam at about 87% to 90% of the Muslim population. While, Shia Islam is about 13% to 10%. Here is the link for those who want to more read about this.
Also, I remember something funny at this time. I was wearing the cross my family gave to me for my travels. This whole time I was exploring this mosque, you can clearly tell I was a christian or came from a Christian family. Yet, not one person gave me a second look nor hostility. To think how, I was once so scared about going to a Muslim majority country. I can only laugh at myself now. I grew so much as a person throughout my travels. With every new country, I was becoming a person. Someone with more understanding to others who are different than me. Truly believe, we can stop more wars from happening, if we just understood each other better. We all have similarities despite our differences. Hopefully, we get to see that in our lifetime.
After about an hour of looking around, I saw pretty much all of the mosque. That was my sign to walk back into the heat. Thought about staying until the sun went down. However, I didn’t want to take advantage of the friendly welcome I was given.
Safe travels everyone and much love!