The Timeless Beauty Of Afghanistan's Blue Mosque

MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan -- What would Afghanistan look like without war?

It could look like the oasis of peace that is the Blue Mosque standing in its flower-filled park in the center of Mazar-e Sharif.

Afghanistan once attracted thousands of tourists before its decades of war began, and here it is easy to see why.

The block-sized park is surrounded by the noise of a modern city. It is girded on every side by streets with racing traffic, small shops, and sidewalk bazaars filled with crowds.

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Style in Islamic Art: Abbasid Style

"The vine and other fruit-bearing plants had long been used to suggest fertility and prosperity in the art of the Middle East. They continued to be popular in Abbasid art. The ivory container is carved with a network of vine scrolls, very similar to those used in Roman art. The fragment of stucco once decorated a wall in an Abbasid palace in Iraq. It also represents a vine leaf, but here the motif resembles those found in the art of ancient Iran."

Victoria and Albert Museum


Manuscript Of A Safavid Qur'an


This manuscript is similar to Qur’ans produced in workshops of Shiraz in the sixteenth century, although it was probably not done in that city. Such Qur’ans stand out for their rich illuminations, of which the best compositions are reserved for the first and last pages of the volume. Thus, this manuscript does not open directly with the Qur’anic text, but with two pages each decorated with an inscribed rosette.