Archive | June, 2011

Exploring the Beauty of Al Azhar & Jerez de la Frontera

24 Jun

Given today is Friday, and everyone is leaving work early… I decided to escape work by browsing some beautiful images of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain & Al Azhar Mosque, Egypt….    Here are two hot spots that I definitely have to visit!


Embrace Being “Different”.. Explore Sui Generis!

24 Jun

*~ The Moral Behind Paulo Coehlo’s book, “Veronika Decides to Die”~*

Young Veronika has everything a woman could ask for, beauty, youth, loving family, career… Yet Veronika has lost the kindling spark of life.  For this reason, Veronika decides to die.  She  takes a handful of sleeping pills- and instead of landing in the grave, she lands herself into a mental hospital.

Paulo Coehlo, author of “The Alchemist” tells a convincing story, inspired by events in his own life. This book is a definite read because it questions the meaning of life, madness, character, liberation, and transformed opportunity.  Coehlo writes of an awakening journey; a journey which makes us realize, each day of life is a blessing… Each one of us are different from one another, just as, each day should be.  The “exploration” never ends.

Here are a few quotes from the book:

“People go against nature because they lack the courage to be different, and then the organism starts to produce Vitriol, or bitterness, as this poison is more commonly known.”

“We all live in our own world.  But if you look up at the starry sky, you’ll see that all the different worlds up there combine to form constellations, solar systems, galaxies.”

Arabic Calligraphy~ Artistic Expression Through Letter Form

13 Jun

Religions world-wide, use art to convey their core convictions.  Many will use images of their Saints &  God(s) as a way to motivate observers.   Islam on the other hand choses words over people.  To stare away from Idoltry, Islam has used calligraphy as it’s form of religious expression.

Yasin Hamid once said, “The primacy of the word in Islam is reflected in the virtually universal application of calligraphy.  Writing is given pride of place on all kinds of objects–objects of everyday use as well as entire wall surface, mosque furniture, the interiors and exteriors of mosques, tombs, al-Kaba…”

Here are examples from some of my favorite calligraphy artists,  Mohammed Ghanoum & Khalid Sheheen:

Mohammed Ghanoum & Khalid Sheheen

Urban & Rural Design Concept

13 Jun

Middle Eastern home decor and decorating can be classified into two concepts, urban & rural. Urban design concepts can be found within the  ceramics, metal, wood and leather decorations… Middle Eastern rural decor influence appears more in rugs, fabrics and embroideries. Rural or Berber art embodies a more primitive aspect. The combination of rural simplicity and urban style provides an environment that is conducive to relaxation and inspiration.

MF Husain- Respectfully Paradoxical

11 Jun

At the age of 95, controversial Indian artist, MF Husain, had passed away.  A unique figure, he was love and hated.  His controversial paintings and lifestyle had drawn hatred from both Hindus and Muslims.  Still, as attention-grabbing as his art might have been, his lifestyle was that of a very humble one.  Growing Up, Husain would sleep on the sidewalks, wear extremely simple clothes, and walk barefoot.  His art  was all about reflection on society, spirituality and living-being interaction.  Quietly living amongst people, he spoke loudly through his art.

What Goes Up Must Come Down- What Comes Down Must Come Up

10 Jun

I’ve been fortunate enough to interact and connect with some amazing people.  Each fascinating person carries a different experience.  With all the various and diverse set of experiences, all carry the following components-

Moments of… Happiness——>Tragedy——->Heart Break——> Struggle—->Exhaustion—–> Motivation—->Enlightenment.

Which brings me to say- brave, honest, open, and passionate people are the most exciting to be around- they provide a level of love and comfort in bondage and advice. These people continuously provide me inspiration (my direction in life is shifted based on such influence).   That being said, even in the moment of silence, there is no dull moment.

My sister’s husband told me something the other day, “You got to learn to embrace the challenges in life… Sort of like how you embrace the game of soccer.”  The point is, learn to love the challenges in life, those challenges are what make you a better person.  Personally speaking, I have experienced some excruciating moments in my life time, yet those moments are always followed by some form of reward…  God has carried me through countless career paths, locations, relationships… In the end, I have received the gift of realization… Realization that what goes up, must come down… What comes down, must come up… And along the journey of “Ups & Downs” there are signs of the ultimate unspoken truth…. The unspoken truth rests within the heart…

More Arabesque Inspiration!

8 Jun

Everything from color, to composition, to placement has got me obsessing about Arabesque interior design.  With its four major structural components-  design, color, composition and placement-  the decor theme is wondrous and mystical.