LA GRANDE MOSCHEA DI ROMA
In coming to Rome, I have constantly been thinking about the notion of hybridisation in such a city of pioneered antiquity and religious origination– the extent that the irony of “cultural” globalisation has indeed occurred in the last century of Rome. Among one of my first weekends here, and after discovering the Grand Mosque of the Western world (the largest outside the Islamic world) is indeed in Rome, I paid my visit on a Sunday morning to the periferia of Rome and rekindled with my roots. Feeling like I was in northern India from the sweeping (and almost infinite) terraces, I was also consumed by the perfectly geometric and meticulously-carved staircases, and hovered barandas (which of course, reminded me of the royal Aishwariya Rai whimsically running through the balconies of the first scenes ofDevdas) was perhaps the most fulfilling aesthetic of the Mosque, as it stands in the grandiose of hailing Persian architecture, and at the same time, revealing structural solidity that is very much Roman, thanks to the collaboration Sami Masawi and Paolo Portoghesi. Emotional enough, being able to see the Grand Mosque reminded me the closest I may ever be able to get to Iran for a while, and the closest to being able to experience the epithets of westernised Islamic architecture in Europe.