Today is Friday. Around 1130 am the environment around the mosque that is across the road begins to change. The sound of the occasional car and the twittering sparrows is taken over by more cars and people (mostly men) heading toward the mosque. About 12 noon the call to prayer comes and then immediately the message for the week is delivered to those gathered as well as all of the neighbourhood within earshot.
This can become irritating, if I let it. Sometimes I complain to myself that my peaceful day off is interrupted by a very loud message that I can not yet understand. But I can also appreciate that it is a community wide event. . The women's entrance is on the opposite side of the building, so I can not see the women coming. But I do see men and boys of all ages gathering for prayers.
A couple of weeks ago I stood on my roof with my camera. Most of the videos I took were not very good, but this short one gives you a taste of the wonderful voice of the man who calls the prayer.
After the last prayer is said the microphone clicks off and the people find their shoes and move quickly out of the mosque. But then something new happens. While the prayers have been going on merchants have gathered outside on the street. On the day I took photos there was a truck full of watermelons (shutti), and a vehicle with a pool on the back filled with live fish (masi). A green carpet provided the place for the scaling and filleting.
Right beside it was another salesman yelling, "chickens- ?? per kilo". The hens were loaded squawking onto a scale and then were carried home to provide Friday supper.
Today I had a Kurdish conversation with my friend, Nazanin, from the plumber's shop. I think that we understood each other- that I am Christian and she is Muslim but that does not matter. And I would like to go to Friday prayers with her someday.