Visiting the Grand Mosque was like a dream. I have never been to a more peaceful and beautiful place in my life. Being a Muslim myself, I have visited many mosques in the past few years, each unique and beautiful in their own way. However, the Grand Mosque took my breath away! The marble, the carpet, crystal chandeliers, the mosaic floor, all specially made and handcrafted by experts and artists all over the world. The mosque is located in Abu Dhabi and was built for Sheikh Zayed, former president and founder of the UAE. Throughout the mosque you'll find 82 domes and four minarets on each corner of the courtyard. The doors leading to the main prayer hall are gold plated and covered with intricate designs. You won't find anything in the mosque to be plain or simple. Everything about it was just as you'd imagine, grand. The Quran is recited 24 hours a day, seven days a week in honor of Sheikh Zayed and has been this way since the day he passed in 2004. The only time recitation is paused is during the five times of prayer Muslims are required to pray. One thing I really admire is the meaningfulness found in the religion of Islam. Although it may be portrayed otherwise in the media, true Islam really is the religion of love and peace. I enjoyed connecting with it and learning more about it during my time in Dubai. The whole experience was incredible and very meaningful to me.
Visiting the mosque really reminded me of my own little Bosnian community back home in Des Moines. The Islamic and Cultural Center Bosniak (IA) are in the middle of building the first ever traditional mosque from the ground up in the Des Moines area. My dad is the leader of this project, as he is the president of our organization. I see everyone's hard work put into this project in hopes to have a mosque of our own to go to. Being able to see the minarets and hear the call to prayer will bring everyone in our community a little piece of home. It'll also bring diversity to the community in Granger and hopefully a beautiful landmark where everyone is welcome from any background.