Wednesday 12 September 2012

Syria: Masjid Omayyad in Old Damascus

In my previous blog entry, I briefly mentioned about the bustling courtyard of Masjid Omayyad (Omawi Mosque) in Old Damascus, Syria; and about how easy it is to forget that it is actually a courtyard in a masjid compound. I thought I would share a video that I took when I was in Damascus back in 2010 to show how it’s really like. But before you watch the video, I do have one request. Please do not watch it like you’re watching a video on your laptop or mobile phone. Watch it and imagine that it’s you sitting there on the floor in one corner of the courtyard, looking around, taking in all the sights and sound, and absorbing the entire goings on around you...

Ready?  Here it is...

Done? Now tell me, what did you feel?

Me? I felt that, despite the hustle and bustle that I saw around me, there’s serenity. And a strange feeling of calmness. And contentment.

I felt like I could sit and stay here forever. I didn’t have to go anywhere else.

I felt like, I was home.

Footnote:  The choir-like “song” that is heard in the video is actually an azan or a Muslim’s call to prayer. While an azan itself is the same all over the world, the way it is performed at this masjid is pretty unique in that it is possibly the only masjid in the whole world to perform it choir-like, i.e. by a group of muezzins rather than by just a single muezzin. I’m however yet to ascertain the reason behind this practice.


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. Masa tgk video clip ni tak baca lagi notakaki kt bawah tu (maklumlah pakai netbook kecik), baru ingat nk tanya mcm ramai je laungkan azan tu..hmmm rupenye memang ramai pun.. sangat lain dr yg lain.

    Hari tu tgk org cina laungkan azan dr Xian (dr blog Fatt), lagi la lain bunyi dia, langsung tak leh tangkap apa yg dilaungkan, tapi apa2 pun,yang pasti dan nyata motif nye tetap sama!

    p/s: Masih tak dpt nk feel mungkin byk sgt gangguan (gangguan Aqilah) masa menonton video nih.. nanti cube lagi hehehe :)

    1. Kalau tak dpt feel dia, sila tgk lagi & lagi hingga dpt feel dia :-)
      I think sbb video tu a bit crappy. Maklumlah mmg tak pandai ambil vid lagi...

  2. Apa la nasib-nasib mereka-mereka dalam video ini agaknya... mudah mudahan selamat...

  3. wow! semoga sy dapat jejakkan kaki kat sini juga satu hari nanti..

    blog yang menarik, keep writing and inspiring yea! :D

    1. InsyaAllah nanti ada peluang.

      Thanks for the encouragement & for following :-)

  4. this one is new to me.. choir like azan.. hopefully all these people are safe now..

    1. Some ppl argue for it, some argue against it, saying that it's an invention (bida'ah). I'd still like to find out how it started though. This masjid is one of the oldest in the world.

  5. Saw this video late last night, it gave me a peaceful feeling, kinda transported me there. Their azan is beautiful.

    Simply love the architecture, reminded me of Alhambra somehow. My mom have been persuading me to visit Turkey & Syria, she felt in love with the country and was very sure I would love it too.

    I assume you were using tripod? ehhehe... that was a long while to hold your heavy camera

    ps : since you said 'tak aci', i stayed back till 7ish too reply this tau... ish!

    1. Yup, the architecture is different too. The masjid is actually one of the oldest in the world. I'm going to write about it in one blog entry soon, inshaAllah.

      I agree with your mom. I'm sure you'll love Turkey & Syria. I have only been to Istanbul and Damascus respectively and I love both cities. Seen photos and documentaries about other areas in those two countries and would certainly love to go to those places too.

      Yup, I used a tripod for the above video although back in 2010 I was using a compact camera only, i.e. Canon Powershot A630, and not my current DSLR.

  6. islam is great. though it has slightly different here and there in certain way of practice, i have no doubt that it's all back to the same God, that is Allah s.w.t. for someone to label, or judge on someone's way whether they are doing the right thing or not is quite questionable. who is actually doing islam-thingy, correctly, nowadays? only Allah knows better :) lets pray that WE are living the right path in our life :)

    after i watched this video, i really, really, really want to visit middle east and europe...hmmm...

    p/s: when u shot this video, while slowly turning the camera left and right, did locals look at u like "is he filming me? should i be in the frame?" or "no photo! no photo!"?

    1. Hear ye! Hear ye! :-)

      Yes, you should visit the Syria, Jordan, Lebanon & Turkey at least. And while in Jordan, cross over to Jerusalem, perhaps? :-)

      No, I didn't have any problem at all with the locals. They didn't mind at all. Some buildings/ structures are off limits but in places like this, it's not a problem. The locals here are probably one of the friendliest people I have ever met throughout my travels.

      In the Middle East, I have had that "No photo! No photo!" in Saudi, UAE, Qatar and Iran. But then again I suppose it depends on the individuals :-)

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