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“Very interesting”

Centro Cultural Islamico
Ranked #210 of 725 things to do in Buenos Aires
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
875 reviews
668 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 835 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

Actually went twice! The first time was to an open day featuring a special exhibition by Alberto Morales. Once inside, the main hall was divided into many sections dealing with the history of the centre and all things Islam. There were many experts on hand who were able and willing to give us an explanation of their area. We even got to get a print out of our names in Arabic - odd to read it right to left. We then had an opportunity to taste many varieties of dates - a specialty from Saudi Arabia. The second visit was to take the official tour. We were very impressed by how open the centre is. Nothing seemed to be off limits and we were taken to many areas including the main prayer room. Be amazed at the architecture. No statues or pictures to see as these are not part of the religion. Our guide worked hard (and succeeded) at presenting a different view of Islam and Muslims. Regardless of your religious views it was interesting to hear a different perspective. if you are a lady visitor - please wear appropriate clothing. In respect for their beliefs, there is the need to cover up.

Visited November 2012
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San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina
Level Contributor
833 reviews
447 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 395 helpful votes
“Good to have an idea of Eastern art!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

The Centro Cultural Islámico Rey Fahd was inaugurated in 2000. It is the biggest Islamic temple in Latin America. Located at 55 Bullrich Avenue, Palermo, Buenos Aires.

Designed by the architect Zuhair Faiz, it has a capacity for 1200 men and 400 women. Built during Menem’s administration, its construction was controversial. However, these days the Centro Islámico Rey Fahad is a cultural reference in Buenos Aires, including a private school (both primary and secondary and open to the community (no matter whether you are an Islam follower or not), a public library, a theatre, an auditorium, a kindergarten, etc. In fact, it is not only a mosque but a cultural center where expositions, workshops and classes take place.

Its objective is to spread & disseminate the Arabian- Islamic culture as well as strengthen the bonds between Argentina and the Arab countries, since Argentina has a considerable amount of people of Arabian origin among its population.

The mosque has the characteristic Eastern aesthetic though it is not as luxurious as the ones you can see in the Middle East or Turkey.

To get into the temple you have to be bare foot and wear a scarf on your head (in the case of women, which is provided for free at the entrance of the mosque), following the customs of this cult. The carpet was made in Arabia Saudi and the chandelier, which has 230 bulbs, in Austria.

Decoration of the complex – both inside and outside – is simple. The fountains are very nice. Gates, doors and windows have intricate arabesque motifs. The two minarets (50 mts high) are used to call the prayers 5 times a day as the Islam requires its followers.

Guided free tours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00 (midday).

About guided tours: the guided tour is good. However, it is rather long. Visiting the complex takes about 45 minutes and after that you are shown a video where the concepts of Islam are explained. The video is short but some questions arise (coming from people who are not Islamic) and debates take a long time! The man in charge of the tour is rather narrow-minded; he doesn’t answer the questions he is asked directly but goes on with the explanations so the questions remain unanswered.
Many issues, such as divorce, men’s possibility of having 4 wives, stoning to death of women, role of women in the Islamic society, etc. are quite different for Christians and Islamic followers, so imagine!

All in all, good to have an idea of Eastern art!

Pictures are allowed so don´t forget your camera!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Betilu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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