Cover image for Mecca, the blessed, Medina, the radiant : the holiest cities of Islam
Mecca, the blessed, Medina, the radiant : the holiest cities of Islam
Nomachi, Kazuyoshi, 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Aperture, 1997.
Physical Description:
192 pages : color illustrations ; 28 x 29 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS248.M4 N66 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
DS248.M4 N66 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
DS248.M4 N66 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Nearly impossible for an outsider to gain access to, these two holy places have never before been as fully documented. Nomachi enters this world and returns with beautiful photographs, as thoughtful as they are revealing. "The photographs of these two cities are spectacular. What makes the book and the photographs even more compelling is that these cities are closed to non-Muslims and thus the book provides a rare glimpse at a culture and its artifacts, such as its architecture, that is little known. A fascinating look at one of the world's largest and least known living traditions."
--Kirk Robertson, "Neon"

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Most non-Muslims are familiar only with traditional Islamic art, but painting and architecture have evolved as much in the Islamic world as elsewhere this century, and these three visually exciting and textually informative volumes attest to the beauty and vitality of contemporary Islamic culture. Ali, an artist herself as well as an art historian, begins Modern Islamic Art with a discussion of the West's powerful influence on the Islamic world. Initially, many in the East rejected their own traditional art forms and adopted Western styles, but this cultural collision eventually inspired a constellation of modern Islamic art movements. Ali chronicles the work of contemporary Islamic artists in 13 countries, including Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Morocco, summarizing each culture's art history and offering brief biographies of prominent artists. The reproductions present both figurative and abstract works, the latter most effectively realized by members of what Ali identifies as a new calligraphic school of painting. Mosques are the physical and spiritual centers of Islamic communities all around the world, whether the community takes the form of an entire country, such as Iran, or a small Islamic enclave in New Mexico. The great surge in the Muslim population over the past four decades has given rise to a virtual renaissance in mosque building and design, a flowering Holod and Khan analyze thoroughly in their discussions and photographs of more than 70 contemporary mosques. Many new mosques are as colorful and ornate with geometric and calligraphic patterns as the mosques of old, but more are models of simplicity, using light and shadow to stunning effect. As Holod and Khan consider the technology and aesthetics of contemporary mosques in such places as Egypt, Pakistan, Algeria, Indonesia, and Croatia, they also profile salient architects, and analyze the interplay between tradition and innovation, spirituality and practicality. The holy cities of Mecca, where Muhammad was born, and Medina, where he died, are closed to non-Muslims, so few westerners have seen photographs of Islam's most sacred sites, or the wonder of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, until now. Japanese photographer Nomachi, a convert to Islam, reveals the magnificence of the two holy cities in photographs remarkable for their vast field of vision, and their capturing of the tremendous energy and spirit of Muslim rituals and prayers. Nomachi's photographs of individuals document the great ethnic and racial diversity of the people of Islam, while his aerial views of a virtual ocean of worshipers record Islam's unifying force. Some pilgrims remain as still as stone, others move in a great whirl, a contrast that reflects the stillness of prayer versus the unceasing motion of life. This sense of duality and vitality is present, too, in Nomachi's awe-inspiring photographs of sacred sites, where the ancient coexists with the modern. --Donna Seaman

Choice Review

Mecca and Medina stand at the very heart of Islam and the Islamic world. This large book, essentially an impressive collection of very beautiful photographs, is very special because permission to photograph in Mecca and Medina is rarely granted, owing to the reverence and holiness accorded to these cities. The color photos are of the highest quality and capture the spirit and the "power" of Islam in the lives of Muslims from around the world. Huge crowds of pilgrims are shown performing the rituals of the hajj (pilgrimage); many acts of the hajj are documented in vivid and beautiful detail. Other aspects of Islamic life and practice are also shown in the magnificent photography of this collection. An introductory essay by a Muslim scholar helps readers understand the history, faith, and practice of Islam. Highly recommended for all who seek to understand and feel the experience of this great world religion. General readers, undergraduates, and professionals and practitioners. T. M. Pucelik Bradley University

Table of Contents

The Blessed and Radiant
Cities of Islam--Mecca and Medinap. 11
Meccap. 36
Medinap. 102
Arabiap. 160
Glossaryp. 192