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Islamic Culture and Architecture

Context Paris ( Protected content ) will be hosting a special event, taking place on September 17th, Protected content . This walk will discuss the French colonial history and representation in the Maghreb, and will introduce Islamic culture, art & architecture in Paris by visiting the Great Mosque (La Grande Mosquée de Paris) as well as the Arab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe: IMA), both of which are located in the 5th arrondissement.

Paris' Mosque is an "extraordinarily accomplished pastiche, in which one really does feel transported to another land." Its layout was influenced by Mosques in Fez (Morocco), and its decor is an eclectic mix of Hispano-Moorish influences. The Mosque comprises a marble-floored courtyard (inspired by the Alhambra in Granada/Andalusia) that leads to the prayer hall, a garden (symbolizes paradise), and a 33-m-high minaret. In addition to the mosque proper, the complex includes the institut musulman, a hammam, a shop, and a tea room.

The Arab World Institute ( Protected content ) was founded by the French government and 19 Arab countries in order to further understanding of Arab culture & civilization in France. The building consists of a museum, a library, an auditorium, offices and meeting rooms assembled within two wings separated by a courtyard opening out toward the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. The Institute was designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, who had been struck by the use of light in Islamic architecture, and he made this a central element of the design.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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