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  • Writer's picturewassa123

The Grand Mosque of Plateaux - Explore Abidjan Challenge

This post is a part of a week-long Explore Abidjan challenge where my roommate and I aimed to go to all of the local places on our bucket list. Because we were fasting in observance of Ramadan, most of these visits were short and sweet, but all of the places have a lot to offer!

I love mosques. I’m absolutely biased, but I don’t care. I think they are breathtaking places of worship. This mosque is no different. The cerulean dome was the first thing that caught my eye. The entrance, which is framed by gold ceramic art, leads into several smaller doors that give you entry into the main prayer space. Inside was just as impressive as I thought it would be: tall, geometric columns, soft colorful prayer carpet, a gold minbar, and blue stained glass with Allah’s ninety-nine names lining the circumference of the ceiling. Soft blue light streamed from the high windows and onto the prayer floor. It was perfect.

During off times and when left alone, I can spend hours in a mosque, especially the Arabian-inspired ones full of geometric designs, vibrant colors, and artistic ways of incorporating Allah’s (SWA) name into the decor. However, this mosque was not on off-hours when we visited. K and I went back at 5 am on Friday (the holiest day in Islam) to catch a morning prayer, and the early hour allowed for a more peaceful consumption of the space. Just as the cathedral gave me time and space to reflect, sitting before and after the morning prayer gave me an opportunity to further explore my relationship with Islam, faith, and purpose. I supposed it was ineffable, but something about the space felt like a gentle, cool embrace. Again, I love visiting mosques.

One thing I will note is that while stunning, the mosque didn’t seem as much of a tourist site as other places I visited. Although too big to be a local community mosque, there isn’t much to do if you are not comfortable sitting in the back of a mosque and taking things in. Also if you are a woman or femme presenting, be wary of irritating men who may police your coverage. Please don’t see this as a reflection of the religion or texts, just the people themselves. As I said to K and later tweeted, God, the men you put on this Earth to avert their gaze are policing my hijab habits!!!!

Like St. Paul’s Cathedral, this is a short visit in Plateau. I recommend pairing it with another activity and lunch!

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