The Great Mosque of Damascus, also called Umayyad Mosque, is the earliest surviving stone mosque in the world, built between 705 and 715 CE. In addition to being one of the oldest mosques, it is also one of the biggest and is the heart of Damascus old town and a hub of activity.
When women enter the mosque they must remove their footwear and cover up completely. I was given a robe which covered my head and body. Behind my robe I was able to people watch and sketch; people praying, people thinking, people sitting in the sun, people avoiding the sun, friends sitting together, family days out.
This was a scene which I remember seeing. Three young women, perhaps friends or family, quietly praying together.
The mosque was built by the Umayyad Caliph al-Walid I, who announced to his citizens after completing the mosque: “People of Damascua, four things give you a marked superiority over the rest of the world: your climate, your water, your fruits, and your baths. To these I add a fifth: this mosque.”