I just had to post this photo. I love it. I've been looking at it forever. I think it's the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, but J hasn't been labeling her pictures, so I can't be sure. Here's a little clip from an e-mail from her that I don't think she'd mind me sharing. I found it interesting:
"The man who gave our tour of Islamic Cairo got his PhD in Islamic art and architecture from Harvard. He had so many interesting things to say about the architecture of the Ibn Tulun Mosque. He pointed out that the arches and the windows behind the arches never perfectly align. But humans always want to align things like that, so it causes the person to move around to subconsciously align the arches and the windows. Therefore, people move around a lot in the structure. He says architecture is really about movement and not aesthetics."
I love Islamic art and architecture. Not allowing the depiction of living things has forced such interesting and intricate detail in the patterns that are used. The Pergemon Museum in Berlin has a great collection of Islamic art, but I didn't really get it at the time. Next time I'm back I'll have to check it out again.
Tomorrow J's off to Alexandria for the day. Her e-mails make Egypt sound awesome. She keeps saying she'll blog. Hopefully she will.