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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Some pics I took in Fiji recently:

Here's a bit of everything from a recent trip =) Malaysia Oh dear... Thailand Singapore Iran Sayeda Ma3sooma (as) Imam Al-Rida (as)

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Have you heard of Babylon before? 

 

Iraq used to be the center of magnificent. However, it has changed today.

 

Of course I have. Babylonian gardens were man-made and meticulously maintained, like the vast patches of green grass and trees found today in the sandy terrain of contemporary Emirati cities, which is to say it was not natural.

 

Except for rivers changing their course, the landscape has remained pretty much the same.

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^ The guy in the front on the right isn't Pathan is he..


Western traveller's impression of Qom, 1713:

 

Look at how organized. Everything is meticulously planned. I wish our cities looked so nice today.

 

Qom has come a long way from the broken and decrepit infrastructure it had when I started visiting the city in my childhood two decades ago. The last I was there the roads, the streets, the bridges and thoroughfares had a clean and organised look than in the past. Not to mention the Qom-Tehran highway which has metamorphosed from a two-lane pothold road into a smooth and wide ride with lots of hoardings advertising cars and mobile phones.

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Qom has come a long way from the broken and decrepit infrastructure it had when I started visiting the city in my childhood two decades ago. The last I was there the roads, the streets, the bridges and thoroughfares had a clean and organised look than in the past. Not to mention the Qom-Tehran highway which has metamorphosed from a two-lane pothold road into a smooth and wide ride with lots of hoardings advertising cars and mobile phones.

 

This is true, but it's still c.rappy-looking. Cheap "modern" third world architecture. No rhyme or rhythm. No central theme. Just a random assortment of buildings. Nothing at all like the picture from 1723.

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This is true, but it's still c.rappy-looking. Cheap "modern" third world architecture. No rhyme or rhythm. No central theme. Just a random assortment of buildings. Nothing at all like the picture from 1723.

 

Cheap cost-saving architecture is indeed a problem of the third world. But I observe this in many Western countries too. The elegance and the classiness, the grandeur and majesty of buildings that were the hallmark of past times has given way to cardboard cutout mimicry.

 

Even common man's residences that were built 200 years ago are standing but those that are build today will not last even 50 years.

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Cheap cost-saving architecture is indeed a problem of the third world. But I observe this in many Western countries too. The elegance and the classiness, the grandeur and majesty of buildings that were the hallmark of past times has given way to cardboard cutout mimicry.

 

Even common man's residences that were built 200 years ago are standing but those that are build today will not last even 50 years.

 

I am not even talking about important buildings like the Sayyeda Masooma shrine or anything like that. I'm just talking about the simple rammed-earth clay houses that used to be common in Iranian desert cities.

 

These clay houses don't necessarily last very long (in Yazd, the government has taken to reinforcing them with brick), and they certainly aren't grand. But they are iconic, they are special to the region, and they give a city a sense of identity. The Syrians are much better at this than we Iranians. For ten trillion years, every building in Halab has been made of the same local stone.

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It's funny, the ideological difference between the father and the son.

 

A pic of Omar bin Laden and his British wife. The guy resembles his father.

 

There's another Bin Laden, a niece of Osama's, who is a model in the US lol.

 

 

laden_zps08d17cf5.jpg

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2987603686_f54cca9ca2.jpg

 

Shrine of Imam Al-Dur (1085 AD), Samarra, Iraq


Have you heard of Babylon before? 

 

Iraq used to be the center of magnificent. However, it has changed today.

Forget Babylon, check out Yaqut's description of Baghdad from 10th century sources:

 

"The city of Baghdad formed two vast semi-circles on the right and left banks of the Tigris, twelve miles in diameter. The numerous suburbs, covered with parks, gardens, villas and beautiful promenades, and plentifully supplied with rich bazaars, and finely built mosques and baths, stretched for a considerable distance on both sides of the river. In the days of its prosperity the population of Baghdad and its suburbs amounted to over two millions! The palace of the Caliph stood in the midst of a vast park several hours in circumference which beside a menagerie and aviary comprised an inclosure for wild animals reserved for the chase. The palace grounds were laid out with gardens, and adorned with exquisite taste with plants, flowers, and trees, reservoirs and fountains, surrounded by sculptured figures. On this side of the river stood the palaces of the great nobles. Immense streets, none less than forty cubits wide, traversed the city from one end to the other, dividing it into blocks or quarters, each under the control of an overseer or supervisor, who looked after the cleanliness, sanitation and the comfort of the inhabitants.

 

The water exits both on the north and the south were like the city gates, guarded night and day by relays of soldiers stationed on the watch towers on both sides of the river. Every household was plentifully supplied with water at all seasons by the numerous aqueducts which intersected the town; and the streets, gardens and parks were regularly swept and watered, and no refuse was allowed to remain within the walls. An immense square in front of the imperial palace was used for reviews, military inspections, tournaments and races; at night the square and the streets were lighted by lamps.

 

There was also a vast open space where the troops whose barracks lay on the left bank of the river were paraded daily. The long wide estrades at the different gates of the city were used by the citizens for gossip and recreation or for watching the flow of travelers and country folk into the capital. The different nationalities in the capital had each a head officer to represent their interests with the government, and to whom the stranger could appeal for counsel or help.

 

Baghdad was a veritable City of Palaces, not made of stucco and mortar, but of marble. The buildings were usually of several stories. The palaces and mansions were lavishly gilded and decorated, and hung with beautiful tapestry and hangings of brocade or silk. The rooms were lightly and tastefully furnished with luxurious divans, costly tables, unique Chinese vases and gold and silver ornaments.

 

Both sides of the river were for miles fronted by the palaces, kiosks, gardens and parks of the grandees and nobles, marble steps led down to the water's edge, and the scene on the river was animated by thousands of gondolas, decked with little flags, dancing like sunbeams on the water, and carrying the pleasure-seeking Baghdad citizens from one part of the city to the other. Along the wide-stretching quays lay whole fleets at anchor, sea and river craft of all kinds, from the Chinese junk to the old Assyrian raft resting on inflated skins.

 

The mosques of the city were at once vast in size and remarkably beautiful. There were also in Baghdad numerous colleges of learning, hospitals, infirmaries for both sexes, and lunatic asylums."

Edited by Jahangiram
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