the sultan ahmet mosque

The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish), was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. The construction initiated in 1609 and was completed in 1616. The mosque is representative of the Sunni Islam religion, and is one of three mosques in all of Turkey to consist of six minarets. 

The Blue Dome - the interior of the main dome and portions of several secondary domes of the Sultan Ahmed (”Blue”) Mosque (Istanbul, Turkey) (April 2015)

Allah, Cukup!

Dost istersen, Allah yeter. “Kalau kau mau teman baik, Allah cukup.”

Begitu kurang lebih maksud dari tulisan yang ada di atas Blue Mosque atau Sultanahmet Cami. Selepas tarawih, pemerintah juga mengadakan semacam light display menggunakan proyektor besar yang menyorot ke arah masjid. Ada narasi dan video yang menceritakan secara singkat peradaban Islam. Indonesia pun disebut. Se-sekuler-sekuler-nya Turki, dalam urusan peribadatan, mereka sangat ketat dan totalitas. Ini sebenarnya fenomena pasca partai Erdoğan berkuasa selama lebih dari satu dekade. Dulu, jangan dibayangkan Turki seperti Indonesia yang bahkan dalam keagamaan termasuk sangat bebas. Dulu, Turki benar-benar sekuler. Alhamdulillah sekarang sudah jauh lebih baik.

Anyway, pesan tersebut singkat, tapi padat. Semua mudah memahaminya. Bahwa Allah SWT itu dekat. Namun, seringkali kita masih mencari-cari manusia untuk menjadi kawan dekat. Padahal, Allah saja sudah cukup. Semoga menginspirasi kita semua.

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Hampir dua minggu ga ngetumblr, kangen juga rasanya. Sebagai gantinya, saya posting hasil saya menghilang dari tumblr selama dua minggu itu.

Jadi ceritanya saya mampir sebentar ke Turki untuk melanjutkan perjalanan ke Afrika (untuk ini nanti ada kisah lain yang menarik). Nah, di Turki tentu saya akan mampir ke sini. Ya, Masjid Sultan Ahmet atau lebih dikenal dengan Blue Mosque adalah masjid termegah dan puncak peradaban Islam sepanjang sejarah. Didirikan sebagai bentuk kedigdayaan imperium Islam melawan Konstantinopel, Haghia Shofia—bagi saya tidak ada apa-apanya. Kalian pokoknya harus KE SINI! Titik. Ga ada alasan. Catet, ga ada alasan!

Memang Haghia Shofia lebih kaya sejarah, sebab lebih dahulu dibangun. Tapi dengan kehadiran Blue Mosque tepat di depannya, Haghia Shofia jadi museum tua yang memudar. Banyak yang bisa saya ceritakan, tapi jadi ga seru, hehe. Lebih baik datang langsung dan rasakan aura kebanggaan jadi seorang muslim.

Kau tahu, sobat? Bahwa dalam Islam peradaban tertinggi adalah peradaban yang dibangun untuk memuja-Nya dan meninggikan kalimat-Nya. Yang dibangun adalah kejayaan Allah, kedigdayaan Allah. Itu fondasi inti peradaban Islam. Semoga selalu terpatri dalam hati kita.

Ditulis dari Douala, Kamerun.

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                               Trip to Barcelona II - Part 16

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After about 6 hours of flight, you arrived in Istanbul. You spent the night at the Cyragan Palace, a very luxurious hotel that looked actually like a castle ! The bedrooms were lovely and really comfortable with a spectacular view on the bosphorus.

When you woke up, you still felt a heavy tiredness. Thank you Ibiza nights.
You and Neymar quickly joined the others for breakfast. There was a big dining room with a buffet full of good stuff. You wanted to try the turkish breakfast, but your digestive disorders didn’t let you. A croissant and an orange juice will be enough.

“Good morning everyone” you greeted as you sat at the table

“Bom dia ! You feel better sweety ?” Thayse asked

You shrugged, showing a discouraged face.

“Fresh air will make you feel better” Jotace reassured you

“So, what’s today’s program ?” Gil questioned impatiently

“Personally, I have my press conference at 4pm” Neymar informed

“Yeah… That” you muttered

He took your hand, caressing it to calm you down. He knew that it annoyed you, you wanted to spend more time with him.

“What about visiting the city before Ney leaves us ? Then we could do some shopping and come back here for dinner ?”

They all agreed, it was a good idea. In fact, you couldn’t visit the whole city in one day. It was too big. The city is divided in two: the European side and the Asian side. For your part, you really wanted to see the heart of the city where was the Sultan Ahmet park, the Topkapi palace, etc.

“Ohh ! Neymar !” a man called, coming to your table

“Oh ! Arda !” Neymar stood up for an embrace

“How are you my friend ? It’s an honor to have you back in our hotel” the man said

He was wearing a classy suit, it may be the director of this ’castle’.

“Where is Bruna ? She didn’t come with you ?” he added

Oops. Neymar stayed silent. You turned your head towards the others, acting like nothing happened but it was worse. They were looking at you, totally embarrassed.

“Uh… No, it-..It’s over with her” Neymar answered in a low voice

“What ? Nooo, come on” the man giggled, not believing a word

You felt an arm grabbing you, making you stand up. You felt lost, were you supposed to continue staring at the ground or look at the Bru-mar lover ?

“Arda.. I present you Y/N. My girlfriend”

Well, now you had to face this guy. You looked up with weak smile on your lips.

“Nice to meet you..” you stretched your hand, hesitant

He was completely shocked, but was it in a good or in a bad way ?

“It-It’s a pleasure to meet you too” he shook your hand

You sat back as Neymar took him apart, to talk a little. Well, this was unexpected.

* * *

When you were about to prepare yourself, you noticed that the weather was a bit cold outside. All you had in your bag were summer clothes:

“Baby ! What’s Rafa’s room number please ?” you yelled to Neymar that was taking a shower

“I think it’s 4153 !” he yelled back

“Thank you ! I’ll be right back !”

You ran in the corridor, looking for the bedroom. 4151….4152…4153 ! You knocked. Thayse was the one who opened the door.

“Is Rafa here ?”

“Yes, come in”

She made you enter. Rafaella was the only one who could help you. Thankfully, you both wore the same size, maybe she had something to give you.

“Hey, what’s wrong ?” Rafaella asked

“Oh my god ! Rafa please save me ! I have nothing to wear, all I have are summer clothes”

She burst of laughter: “I have the perfect top for you”

You frowned and followed her. She had taken two bags with her (she loves fashion, she’s the type of girl that can wear three different outfits in the same day).

“That should do the trick” she precised

She gave you a black long sleeve top and a blue jean. You immediately put them on (at least, the top, since the jean was strangely too small) and went straight to the mirror. You gaze at her, deadly:

“You’re not funny”

The top was really cool, it fitted you perfectly, especially in this situation. You could read on it: I have nothing to wear. You thanked her, and ran back to your room.

*Few hours later*

You were walking by the sea, hand-in-hand with Neymar, while the others were talking in front of you. You had visited the Sultan Ahmet park where you could see the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia museum facing each other. There was at the same place, a beautiful fountain that reminded you of Barcelona’s one. You and Neymar had taken a picture in front of it, one of the best picture you have ever taken.

You all stopped to stare at the view. It was wonderful: these colors reflecting in the water, this magnificent bridge, this Turkish flag proudly put at the top of the hills.

“What’s this small tower in the middle of the water ?” you interrogated pointing at it

“This is Maiden’s tower” a voice revealed behind you

You all jumped of surprise. It was an old man that was fishing next to you. You didn’t even notice him when you stopped.

“Do you want me to tell you its story ?” he offered

Still trying to catch your breath after this fear, you got closer to him. You were like a bunch of children, ready to hear a fairy tale. He cleared his throat, placed his fishing rode aside and started:

“The legend says that a sultan had a much cherished daughter. One day, a prophecy tells him that a poisonous snake would kill her on her 18th birthday. The sultan, in a struggle to prevent his daughter’s death, placed her away from land to preserve her away from any snakes, so he built a tower in the middle of the Bosphorus. The princess was placed in the tower, where only her father would regularly visit her. On her birthday, the sultan brought her a basket of fruits as a birthday present, overjoyed that he was capable of averting the prediction. While reaching into the basket, a snake that had been hiding between the fruits bit the young princess and she died in her father’s arms, just as the vision had predicted…”

All stunned, you were staring at him. The story was so interesting and meaningful ! As you understand it, we can’t escape our destiny.

“There’s another story, but I don’t think you’re ready to hear it…”

“WE ARE !” you all screamed together

It made him laugh. You were totally absorbed by the first story, you couldn’t wait to hear the second one. Your boyfriend’s hands grabbed your waists, his perfume filling the space (over time, this perfume became unbearable). You tried to ignore it and continued listening:

“The other legend is a sad love story: Hero, one of the priestess of Aphrodite was living in this tower. One day, she left the tower to attend a ceremony in the temple where she met Leandros, and they fell in love with each other…” the old man stopped to gaze at you and Neymar

You both smiled before he continues: “Leandros swam to the tower every night to visit his love, meanwhile she was holding a torch towards her in the tower to guide him in the dark waters. But on a stormy night, Leandros couldn’t see the light because it was put out by the winds. He swam all night loosing his way until he was drowned… Hero, seeing that her lover died, also jumped into the water and suicided. Some people narrate this love story as it was happened on the Bosphorus, but in fact it’s a legend from the Dardanelles, when Leandros was swimming to Hero between Abydos and Sestus.”

A sad love story, indeed. Love is stronger than anything, if we die, we die together. Everyone was quiet, Alvaro and Jota were amazed, Rafaella was thinking, Thayse was crying on Gil’s shoulder. Neymar was holding you tighter before letting go of you to thank the old man for his time and his stories. In turns, you thanked him too. He didn’t accept the money you wanted to give him, he just wished you the best and hoped to see you again in Istanbul.

“Sorry guys.. I have to go” Neymar declared

“Already ?!” you exclaimed

“Yeah.. But we see each other at the hotel for dinner, right ?”

You nodded, sadly, not wanting to let him go.

*A moment later*

After almost one hour in traffic, you arrived at the shopping center Istinye Park. Rafaella heard great things about it. The place was huge and really luxurious. All the shops around the mall were luxury brands: Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana (…). Your eyes were shinning. What were you doing here, honestly ? All the money you had couldn’t even buy you a bracelet from these shops. As you entered the mall, your heart stopped. Was this city made of diamonds or something ? The architecture of this place was unreal !

“This was also my reaction when I came the first time” Rafaella joked before taking your hand to make you walk, otherwise you’d stay at the entry forever.

Thankfully, there were some shops that you could afford like: Mango, Zara, Bershka (…) Or new ones like: Kotton.

Suddenly, Thayse and Rafaella decided to enter in the Dolce & Gabbana shop.

“Uh.. I’m gonna wait right there. I’m a bit nauseous” you informed, pointing at some couches in the middle of the shopping center

“You’re sure ? You don’t want to come with us ?” Thayse repeated

“It’s ok, don’t worry”

Rafaella frowned at you before finally entering the shop. From your part, you walked to the couches and crawled into one of them, exhausted. You really felt a nausea in addition to your tiredness. You went on your phone to pass time since there was free WiFi.

“Excuse me ?”

You raised your head. It was a security agent. You peered around you to see if you were allowed to stay here. It seemed like you were actually. What did you do ?

“Yes ?” you replied

“You are Neymar’s girlfriend right ?” he asked

You felt so relieved. It made you chuckle.

“Yes, I am”

“Can I please have a pic with you ?” he kindly queried

“Of course” you said standing up “You really scared me you know ? I thought I had done something wrong”

He laughed and took the pic, thanking you before leaving. Even at the other side of the world, people recognized you.

“We’re done” Rafaella’s voice announced

“Alright, let’s call the guys then”

When you found them, you all jumped in the cars that drove you back to the hotel.

* * *

Neymar was already here, he was singing badly in the shower. You were sitting in front of the mirror to adjust your hair when you noticed a box posed on the bed. You curiously made your way to it. There was a post-it stuck on the top:

Open it, I know you’re dying to -N

He knows you very well, you had to admit it. What did he prepare ? You opened it and found a wonderful gold dress with matching heels. It was splendid ! Was he serious ? It was too much ! No, no. You refused it. You closed the box back and waited for him to come out.

“Amor ?” his voice sounded

You were sat on the bed, glancing at him with a neutral face. He was wearing a white shirt with black pants. So classy, he was perfect.

“What’s that ?” you pointed at the box with your head

“You don’t like it ?” he frowned, walking to you

“That’s not the point Ney..”

“I don’t understand” he sat

“You didn’t have to… I don’t need it”

He smiled: “I know you don’t, but I want to make you happy”

“But honey, I’m already happy, I don’t need expensive things”

“What if I want to buy you expensive things ?” he responded

“I don’t care !!” you instantly stood up

He rose his eyebrows in shock of this sudden mood swing.

“I’m sorry… I-I’m sorry…” you mentioned

He looked down, nodding:

“I’ll wait for you downstairs” and he got out of the bedroom

You’ve messed up. You felt really guilty now, that’s not the way you wanted to react.

*Few minutes later*

You walked to the restaurant of the hotel when you perceived the others:

“Sorry for the late” you apologized

“Wow, Y/N ! You’re beautiful” Gil complimented

“A real princess” Alvaro added

“Thank you..” you said timidly

The others complimented you too. Neymar, that had his back to you, turned.

“You look wonderful..” he declared in husky voice, a smirk slipping his lips

You smiled and sat next to him. Yes, you had put on the dress to please him, and honestly.. This dress wanted to be worn.

After dinner, you and Neymar went outside, in the hotel’s terrace. The view was breathtaking. The bridge was illuminated, the Asian side showing its lights, the boats navigating (…).

You didn’t talk much together tonight after what happened. You had to fix it, and make him understand what you meant.

“Ney…”

“Mmh ?” he turned his head to you

“I’m really sorry for earlier. I didn’t want to yell. I just wanted you to understand that… I-…I don’t want people to think that I’m a gold digger”

You glanced at him. He was about to say something, but you made him sign not to talk.

“Almost all the celebrities, football players or others, have famous girlfriends. And sometimes… I just don’t get why you are with me. I’m sure people think the same. Did you see this guy’s reaction today when he saw that you replaced Bruna with me ?! After having seen pictures of you with all these models, these singers or Paris Hilton ! I realized that you deserve better. For your image.. For your career. Plus, you know that it’s not easy to see each other… Even when we have some free time, like today”

He was hardly keeping himself from laughing and at the end, it came out.

“Why are you laughing ? I’m serious !”

“I know, that’s why I’m laughing” he replied

He stopped and grabbed your face, looking at you deeply in the eyes:

“I don’t give a single fuck of what the other people think. I want to be with you, no one else. That’s right, Bruna was a model and an actress, I indeed take pictures with bimbos like Paris Hilton or with models, but it means nothing. I do it because I have to. But you’re the one I love, the only one in my eyes and my heart” he spoke, weirdly honest

“I want you to be sure of that Neymar… Because I will not be able to endure a separation with the only man I’ve ever loved”

“I am sure. And I’m going to prove it” he declared

To prove it ? He started to go down, putting a knee on the floor. What’s going on ?

“Oh my god.. Ney, what are you doing ?” you spoke nervously

He smiled: “It’s weird to be in this position. I never thought it’d happen to me”

You laughed, he was so cute. Tears were coming to your eyes. He was holding your left hand while the other one was covering your mouth.

“I love you… You’re everything I’ve ever wanted, everything I’ve ever needed to fill me. You’re not a model, or a celebrity, that’s right. You’re MY celebrity, MY model, my all. Whether we are miles away or next to each other, you’re the only one in my mind. You’ve been so patient after everything you’ve undergone because of me. You’re way too good for me ! I don’t deserve a girl like you. You’re an angel, my guardian angel. You always support me, no matter what: in good and bad times….”

You couldn’t handle it anymore, tears were falling down your cheeks like a river.

“You’re the princess, I’m the snake and this is our destiny. Our love is stronger than anything. I know that no one can make me happier than you do and I want to be the one that makes you happiest girl in the world, that takes care of you for the rest of your life. I imagine my life with you Y/N ! From our wedding’s first dance, to our last one… Sorry, I’m not good for speeches, this is the first time I do that”

This wasn’t the moment to be funny, you were hardly breathing. He put his hand on his pocket, picking a little box from it.

“So Y/F/N….” he opened the box showing a sparkling diamond ring: “Will you marry me ?”

You were sobbing, not believing what was actually happening !! Oh my god, it looked like a movie scene.

“Y-Yes ! Yes !” you accepted, whining