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Тhe voice of minaret

Тhe voice of minaret
Тhe voice of minaret


Minaret news,BG

Тhe voice of minaret

Тhe voice of minaret
Тhe voice of minaret

събота, май 23, 2009

Unlikely mosque designer wows with reverent stunner/Първата джамия проектирана от жена

Reuters Pictures

Turkish designer Zeynep Fadillioglu, who was responsible for the interior decoration and design of Sakirin mosque, poses at the mosque during its opening in Istanbul May 8, 2009. Sakirin mosque is Turkey's first mosque designed by a woman.

ISTANBUL - This month Turkey opens its first mosque designed by a woman. The designer, a non-headscarf wearing designer, says women’s quarters in mosques are cramped and uninspiring. ’In the Prophet's time, men and women prayed next to each other,’ says Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu, who designed a separate but equal terrace for women. In a first for Turkey, a woman, international award-winning designer Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu, led both design and construction of a mosque Ğ a project that for all the expected reaction has largely been welcomed by the faithful and the public as a glorious success. This Friday worshippers filled the radically modern-looking Şakirin Mosque for the third week since its opening in Üsküdar, one of Istanbul’s more conservative neighborhoods. Both the design and the designer of the Şakirin Mosque have broken new ground in Turkey where most mosques are still built in the mold of classical Ottoman designs and where women have commissioned mosques but never built them. The state-run directorate of religious affairs in secular Turkey has recently signaled that it wants to strengthen the role of women in the Muslim community by appointing them to top religious posts. Like Islamic-rooted political parties before it, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has challenged one of the cornerstones of the country’s secular foundation that prohibits women from wearing Islamic headscarves to study at universities. The country sat on the edge of its seat in July when the AKP barely escaped being shut down by the country’s top court which accused it of seeking to overthrow the secular state. In the same year, Fadıllıoğlu and her team including other female artists have succeeded in completing the most ambitious new mosque in the Turkey - nary a headscarf among them. Having already made her name designing hotels and homes for the super-rich in Turkey, Europe and even India, Fadıllıoğlu says she cried when she was first offered the project, one she calls a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her. "I think what is exciting is that I am a woman.. Especially at a time when so much is being discussed wrongly: of Islam not allowing women to have equal rights, that a woman can build a mosque," she says. Fadıllıoğlu says being a woman enabled her to bring a different perspective to the mosque's construction. She says she cares more for the aesthetic side, more for the public and tried to create a place where people could be with God and with themselves "rather than creating a symbol of what I am trying to achieve," says Fadıllıoğlu, a winner of the Andrew Martin International Designer of the Year. The Şakirin Mosque, commissioned by a Turkish Saudi family as a memorial to their parents and named for their mother, a founder of schools, is seen as one of the most radical mosque designs in generations. In contrast with the typical modern Turkish mosques which seem to be variations of designs by the 16th century master Ottoman architect, Sinan, the mosque could be described as both sleek and reverent to the Muslim faith. Central to the main courtyard is a polished stainless steel sphere. Above it a composite aluminum dome rises that is as eye-catching as it is understated. With her long blond hair, tall stature and chic dress, Fadıllıoğlu is part of the jet set from Turkey to Europe. An expert in art history and blending designs that are centuries apart, Fadıllıoğlu is putting a modern spin on religious art from the Ottoman era. A woman’s place

On one day, beneath the mosque's 130-foot diameter dome, female artist Nahide Büyükkaymakçı instructed a worker on how to hang dozens of blown-glass rain drops from an asymmetrical bronze and Plexiglas chandelier. While claiming that "she is not really a practicing Muslim," Büyükkaymakçı told NPR that the glass drops were inspired by a prayer that says Allah's light should fall on worshippers like rain. Fadıllıoğlu says in many Turkish mosques, the women's sections have suffered from neglect. "When designing this mosque I had the women in mind," she adds. Typically women make their way with their children to a small, closed-off area at the back of the mosque, while the men kneel on a vast carpet with an unobstructed view of the mosque's design. "I have been to some mosques of that sort, and that disturbed me," says the internationally renowned designer. "So, I prefer the women to use the mosque as much as the man if they want to, of course, and the same way, " she told Deutsch Welle. "In the Prophet's time, men and women prayed next to each other," she said. In Fadıllıoğlu’s design, women remain separate, but the upper-level designated for them is open, lighted and with a full view of her spare design. Upon entering the building, the viewer feels part of a lavish and spacious atmosphere in every corner. The preprayer area includes blond-wood and Plexiglas lockers. The centerpiece feature is the tulip-shaped and turquoise mihrab, which indicates the direction of prayer, "an opening to God," says Fadıllıoğlu. While Fadıllıoğlu has made her name designing hotels, homes and restaurants for the super-rich from Turkey to Europe, India to the Middle East, she says nothing compares to being the first woman in Turkey to lead building a mosque. She sees herself as a product of Turkey's secular Republic, which was established in 1923 and gave equal rights to men and women. "[The task] was both a privilege but it also scared me a lot," she told BBC in April. "I had a lot of sleepless nights." Fadıllıoğlu noted that coordination with people from different perspectives might have been more difficult "with a masculine figure." "We worked here with a lot of Islamic craftsmen, contemporary craftsmen, with very different views on life, and all of them worked very well togetherÉ With a feminine figure it is more easily handled, I think." Fadıllıoğlu hopes the mosque will come to represent a level of unity in society. "There are big discussions on whether Western values are to be integrated with Islamic values, or whether two different communities will remain divided. We wanted to go with the flow of Islam while at the same time creating something contemporary." Hurriyet

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