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Lakemba Mosque Children

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 21 October 2011 | Views [506]

I went to the 2011 Lakemba Mosque open day to cover the event for a university assignment. It was also out of personal curiosity, for while I've known Muslims all my life, I'd never visited a mosque before. What I found was a friendly, well stage-managed media event to improve community relations between the Muslim community and the rest of Sydney. But what sparked my interest was the different ways children were involved.

The first image is of a brother and sister during midday prayers inside the mosque. The sister was very solemn and serious, while the brother was barely paying attention. I thought the contrast between the display of faith and the childish innocence of the image told a story of religion in children and how faith begins in youth.

The second image is of a little Muslim girl next to her father during prayers. She's looking straight into the camera while the lines of men around her are intent on their ritual. The image says a lot to me about how she will be brought up into this religious atmosphere.

The third image is of a coffin of an infant who had passed away just before the open day. Special prayers were said for the child and the family. There was great sadness in the passing of this young person, and the tiny coffin speaks of the fragility of life.

The fourth image of kids on a jumping castle outside the mosque is to illustrate the playfulness of the children at the event. While the older people there were putting in a great effort to present a controlled image to the assorted media present, the children played without a care. This image is just colourful and fun.

Tags: australia, children, coffin, jumping castle, lakemba, mosque, muslim, nsw, prayer

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