Friday, February 13, 2009
It never fails to unnerve me, a little
It's almost 1pm here on Friday, and that means I am hearing the Friday prayer, or Jumu'ah, blasted over loudspeakers from about four different mosques near my hotel. It is, as a colleague said shortly after I arrived, quite "full on". I really wish I could tell what was being said, because the sermon tackles some interesting subjects. Things like marital discord, wasting ones time... it's all pretty compelling stuff.
Last Friday I was out walking around when the call to prayer came. It's hard to describe, but basically hundreds of men start streaming out onto the streets and into and around mosques. I should like to see it from the top floor of a hotel some time. And I couldn't believe all the men and their sons spilling out onto sidewalks and streets, around parked cars, their sandles off, kneeling on their prayer mats on the pavement in the hot sun.