A small concrete mosque resides in the center of a residential area. Light brown, cracking paint wraps its simple geometric walls. One minaret stands erect on the southern corner, silently heaving toward the sky. The megaphone at the top of the minaret, with jumbled loose wiring connecting it to the inside, is shaving away paint.
A man from a neighboring street jogs to the mosque. He stares down at the pavement while his feet penguin-stroll in. His long white, garmented dishdasha hangs loosely down, castrated at the top of his ankles. With a black coarse beard, he funnels his fingers down to the edge, every other second.
He enters the mosque compound before going to the rectangular bathroom to perform wudu—ablution, where he robotically drenches and systemically cleanses the face, beard, ears, fingers and palms, wrists and elbows, and toes and ankles. Sandals, initially left outside, are then reworn—and immediately taken off—to enter the main wide mosque doors. Carpet arabesques paint the floor and equal amounts of Arabic calligraphy surreally encapsulate the walls, spiritually caving in a tightly woven meditation.
He goes to the microphone, which is attached by loose wires to the megaphone at the top of the minaret, outside. He starts the adhan—summoning by call of prayer—in broken Arabic, and a monotone accent. Hypnotically summoning Muslims to come congregate and beseech in a physical and emotional orchestration of prayer.
One by one, the male believers zombie in. A rich Kuwaiti parks his car diagonally, paying little attention to painted lanes or government regulations. An East Indian bikes in and gently lays the bike against the outer mosque walls, without worrying about locking it. An Indonesian paces in and patiently hurls his sandals in front of the main doors, where a mountainous pile of leather foot apparel accrues, patriarchal.
When the Egyptian Imam takes up and center [like a title on paper], he starts to pray, and the disciples behind him follow in synched rows. All popularly witnessed during the day of al-jum’a gathering—Friday prayer. Believers stand up, hands gesture out, murmur in quiet verses, before descending in unison to the floor, portraying a mantra of movement and whispers.