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20 Mosques.

May 22, 2012

I heard the most breathtaking call to prayer — adhan —last night while sitting in a cafe on Rainbow Street (I have a like-hate-loathe relationship with this road, which is a slice of the West in Amman). I sat with three friends while the prayer rang out from at least twenty different mosques in the distance and across the hillsides surrounding downtown Amman.All of the mosques in Amman give the call to prayer at the same time, synced up with King Abdullah I mosque; the combined song was incredibly affecting.

The view from the restaurant.

Arabic echoed from Al-Husseini mosque below us in the valley, up to the hundreds of houses and apartment buildings on the sloped topography, muting downtown’s cacophony of car horns. The sky was beginning to bruise, changing from pale blue to purple. About 10 kites drifted in the sky to my left, while a flock of birds flew in and out of the spaces between them. The minarets of the mosques lit up, a bright green, as night slowly crept across the landscape in front of me.

Green lights in the distance.

I watched cars move through downtown and up to the inclined roads, winding the streets to their homes, or a cafe. There were people moving toward somewhere, everywhere.

One of the reasons I love being abroad are for moments like these that are such gifts — they force you to look around and listen and revel in the fact that you are no more than a tiny piece of the human collective. That big, beautiful prayer, and my small, little life.

Night falls.

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