TRAVEL | MOROCCO PART TWO

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if you missed my first post, have a look at it here

HASSAN II MOSQUE

There was something about the grandeur of this mosque that reduced me to tears. It wasn’t just the architecture (although I must admit I was baffled that something so massive and intricate was created with bare hands and vision) but the feeling I got sitting there. We arrived relatively early, to take pictures before the crowd, not realizing that Salah is only at 1:45pm.

With no cell reception or WiFi, there was nothing to do but sit in solitude and pray, with absolutely no distractions. Moments like these come seldom.

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As mentioned in my first post, barely anyone spoke English. I did, however, manage a full conversation with the Mosques keeper of the ladies section with sign language (and the little French I remembered from Parktown Girls). She managed to ask me about where I’m from, my husband, make a prayer that I have kids soon and explain the fascinating details about the Mosque such as the fact that around each chandelier is an excerpt of Ayatul Kursi (verse from the Quran, pictured above) to make up it’s entirety. She must’ve been in her 70s or 80s, but excitedly took me by the hand to various corners of the Mosque to get the best pictures.

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The Hassan II Mosque is located in Casablanca, Morocco. It’s the largest Mosque in Morocco, with a capacity of holding 150 000 people in prayer, and has the tallest Minarat in the world (210m). It’s build partly on the Atlantic ocean, which is absolutely breathtaking to see in person. The interior is absolutely mesmerizing, with intricate scriptures on pillars and vast marble floors that look like water.

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My favourite part about the entire experience though, was meeting Zainab. She sat next to me and turned her Musallah (prayer rug) horizontally so we could share it, as the carpet in the Mosque is quite hard. I thanked her with Shukran and took my chances, for the 20th time that trip, with “do you speak English?” much to my surprise, she did. She told me everything she possibly could about Morocco, where to go and what to see. But I think what stuck out most for me was the fact that she said even though she walks a bit of a distance from her home to the Mosque, nothing can describe the peace she feels being there.

I couldn’t put it better myself.