Another side of the Middle East
The literature and history of an unfamiliar society can seem opaque without considerable study, but one side of civilization that anyone can appreciate is architecture. It's one of the things that attracted my interest to the Middle East in the first place. The majority of the structures shown here were built for religious purposes -- but so were the great cathedrals of Europe. It reflects a time when religion so dominated society that the greatest artistic talents were channeled into its domain.
Click on any picture for a larger version (small versions don't do them justice).
Maydan-e-Shâh (Royal Square), Isfahan, Iran
Shrine of Imam Hussein, Karbalâ, Iraq
Shâh Cherâgh mosque, Shîrâz, Iran
Nasir al-Mulk mosque, Shîrâz, Iran
The bazaar, Tabrîz, Iran -- a "mall" centuries old
Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Iran
Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel
Shrine of Imam Ali, Najaf, Iraq
Eventually the fanaticism and violence will pass, as they did in Europe. This will remain.