presents his material on "parent night"
clay model of a mosque
by Michel Harris
7th Grade World History
Many of you
have heard of, seen, or maybe you have even visited a famous
Islamic building and know the beauty of the architecture that
such buildings feature. Some of the most famous buildings in
the world are of Islamic design. For example: the Taj Mahal in
India is an elaborate tomb that a heartbroken prince built for
his lovely wife who died giving birth to the last of her many
children. Additionally, the Taj Mahal is a mosque; the Alhambra
in Spain is a Muslim palace that was built when the Moors (whom
the Spanish called Muslims) controlled southern Spain. The palace
has a very plain exterior, but the interior earned it its recognition.
From beautiful tiles to the elaborate gardens, this castle has it all! The Hagia Sophia, located in Istanbul, is an enormous
mosque with a heavenly dome and four towering minarets, and the
Byzantines built it in the year 530 — over a temple that was Roman
Inside a fortified
Muslim town called a "ksour", many people live in single-family
dwellings called "kasbahs" but the term may also be used to indicate
a keep (main defensive structure of a town).
ancient Muslim buildings are still standing today, and they
continue to affect designs in other places in the world.
Oil wealth, along with social and political change, has threatened
Islamic culture and traditions. Therefore, many Muslim planners
and architects are reacting to this invasion of Western culture
by reasserting their Islamic heritage.
all Muslim buildings share a few specific things in common:
- a spacious
- an enclosed
courtyard with a water feature,
- rooms arranged
symmetrically around a courtyard,
- and often
a plain exterior (compared to the interior).
often consists of religious calligraphy because Islamic art
had no representations of God’s creations.
- Iron work
is commonly used for window grills and other openings.
Muslim architects popularized and improved on the dome and arch
(originally engineered by Romans).
model by another 7th grader of a hammam or public bath
is central to the Arabic community. Almost all mosques have a
dome, minaret (sahn) or courtyard. A Minrab is a
nitch in the wall facing Mecca. A fountain or water feature is
necessary to do the ritual washing, and Muslims believe that
if you are not clean when you pray, the praying is useless. A
minbar is to the right of the minrab and is a pulpit for
the Imam to read the Koran. Mederasa are schools for theology
and law and are often near the mosque.
Fat'hy Rifat, Chadirji, Basil Al-Bayyati, and Abdel
Wahed El Wakil are just a few examples of great Islamic
1. Martin, Gary. The Future of Islamic Architecture.
2. Hoag ,John. Islamic Architecture. September
3. Stewart, Desmond. Early Islam, Canada: TimeLife books,
4. Stannard, Dorothy. Insight Guides-Morocco Singapore:
5. Danby, Miles Moorish Style. London: Phaidon press,1995
6. Thubron,Colin Great Cities-Istanbul, Nederland:
Time Life Books,1978.
7. Thubron, Colin Great Cities-Jerusalem,
Nederland: Time Life Books,1976.
Malcolm PhD. Islam for Dummies. Indianapolis: Wiley
Publishing. Inc, 2003.
hoping that Michel's class mates will also share with us their
reports on Islamic holidays, The 5 pillars, and other topics within
their studies of Islam in the Middle Ages.
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
and Dylan await there turn as other team members present
their reports to the parents.
Traveling with the Touareg
by Linda Grondahl
was my 5th trip to Algeria since 2000 and I have been amazed at
the rapid economic development. The government is working very
hard to make Algeria a very popular tourist destination once again.
How I started a Bellydance
Club in High School by Shazzadi
expected hardly anyone to show up at the first meeting. I was
shocked when over 40 girls showed up and were very excited about
the whole idea. So I was able to prove interest.
Traveling to Tizi Ouzou
by Linda Grondahl
When I was in high school, I was fascinated by some of the names
I read about when studying world geography.
2-18-07 Its Not Your Grandmamma's Zar
By Roxxanne Shelaby
at some point we hear the distinct rhythm for a Zar and follow
the drumming right to the front door of an apartment house.
The Ethics of Fusion
If the culture that you’re borrowing your moves
from objects to your fusion, does it matter? Are you being respectful
or exploitative if you borrow steps from a culture that doesn’t
want their music and dance used that way?
Belly Dance Workshops: Realistic
Expectations by Eleyda Negrón
difference between a Christmas gift and a workshop though, is
that in the worse case scenario, you can always return your gift
and change it for something else, but… What do you do with
a workshop that didn’t suit you? It can become a waste of
time and money for both ends.
Nakish- An inteview with "The Lady with the Eyes"
worked hardest for the dancers in San Francisco to wipe out the
discrimination factor and to make sure that all cultures were
included in the performance of this dance.
My Dance Career’s Dark Side:
As seen through a fog of murky emotion by Najia Marlyz
recounting my dark stories help me to purge them? Should one forget
those special moments of insult and bad human behavior that all