During the past month the public have been able to get into sites and buildings every weekend for free. From Corstorphine Police Station to Lothian Buses PLC, these are just two examples of the types of sites opened up for public viewing in Edinburgh. Plenty of churches, schools and University of Edinburgh buildings also granted public access.
Steinunn and I visited the Anatomy Lecture Theatre and Anatomy Resource Centre in the University’s medical building but unfortunately most of the exhibition was closed due to unforeseen circumstances. We did see 2 African elephants’ skeletons and five or so female pelvises. Each pelvis had been taken from women who had died during or shortly after giving birth.
Before this, we took of our shoes and entered Edinburgh’s Central Mosque. A man with a beard gave a very informative talk about the ritual movements during prayers. About 60 or so visitors all stood or sat at the back of the mosque whilst the imam begun prayers and all the Muslim men stood shoulder to shoulder and began their third prayer session of the day. Afterwards, the man with the beard talked some more by explaining four key words that underpin the foundations of Islam. The words were Allah, Islam, Muhammad (pboh) and the Qur’an. Once the talk had finished he invited questions from his audience, to which he gave precise, logical and understandable answers. A few questions were about the differences between men and women, beards, how the mosque is run, how imams are chosen, the difference between Sunni and Shi’a, prayers and disabled people, … All in all it was education for me and I think Steinunn (her Muslim side) learnt something too. I asked a question downstairs in the exhibition about the funeral process. Generally, when a person dies, a relative of the same sex will clean their body and wrap it in white cloth. The body will be buried in the ground, and if possible, the head will be turned to face in the direction of Mecca, which is south east from Edinburgh.