Artist Mous Lamrabat's Ramadan prayer mat project unifies 2020's observers
Beat feelings of isolation during #StayHome
In what was an unprecedented Ramadan as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent #StayHome measures to halt the virus's march, many observers spent 2020's holiest time of year uncommonly isolated. For most the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a communal experience. However this time round, places of worship were closed and sundown meals with anyone outside your home, or anyone at all if a sole occupant, were virtually impossible.
For Belgian-Moroccan photographer, Mous Lamrabat, this would not do. Posting an invitation on his 97,300 follower-strong Instagram page in mid-May for fellow fasters to send in self-portraits holding raised prayer mats prompted hundreds of responses. Creating a feeling of togetherness, Lamrabat uploaded the best entries to his social media.
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Bravo you guys! Ramadan is a moment of connection, connection with God and also with your brothers and sisters. Because of y'all... We found a way to do it this year :) This is your project not mine. If you were painters I just provided the paint. ???? thank you for sending all the amazing shots. Can't wait till the serie is finished and see how crazy it will look :) ???? . You can still send yours at email@example.com Yallah! 1. Brahim Ait Khouya 2. Mohammed Imgharne 3. Francesco Mbele 4. Ismael Slaoui 5. Mahmoud Choukri 6. Soufiane Merabet 7. Ebrahim Bahaa-Eldin 8. Jasmine Belem 9. Shade`n Alas 10. Mihami Shash
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"It is so beautiful to see all these Muslim brothers and sisters from all over the world that have that one touching point with each other," Lamrabat wrote next to a selection. "And that is what I wanted to show. We might think different, we might dress different, our houses may look different... but at the end of the day...that rug points to the same place."
Last year Lamrabat exhibited one of his more usual photography tropes - melding traditional Middle Eastern dress with Western brands - at the Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.