I walked around the compound and took some pictures. The atmosphere was open and peaceful. I saw few people. When I approached the prayer hall, there was a sign that said, “non-Muslims are not allowed inside the prayer hall”. I stopped, and intended to just listen to the prayer. The prayer was apparently recited in Arabic and I could not understand a word. But the chanting had a soothing effect.
A friendly volunteer took me inside and sat me down at the back. The dome was huge. It was not colourful as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. But it was impressive nonetheless. There were some women in a group to the left. There were quite a few children wearing the white and green uniform of religious schools. There were some, but not many men.
The volunteer guide lamented the fact that so few people came to pray at such a cavernous mosque, which was said to hold more than 20,000 people.
Outside the mosque, kids, and some adults, showed that they love ice-cream just like kids elsewhere. I have not seen an ice-cream sandwich for some time. I was hungry and it was tempting. But I resisted the urge.