MECCA, THE BLESSED; MEDINA, THE RADIANT
THE HOLIEST CITIES OF ISLAM
Mecca the blessed, Medina the Radiant is a remarkable achievement by Japanese photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Nomachi, who is a convert to Islam. These never-before-seen images provide an opening to the mystical places and scenes of Islam from breathtaking aerial photographs of the Arabian terrain, to vistas of teeming crowds of worshippers surrounding the Ka'bah, to intense portraits of faithful Muslims in prayer, to the magnificent architecture reflecting the faith of the believers. Despite Islam's position as a powerful religion, many aspects of Muslim thought and belief remain an enigma to non-Muslims. One reason may be that Mecca and Medina are restricted to Muslims, and photographing the sites requires special permission, rarely given, from the Saudi Arabian authorities. With their support, photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Nomachi has been able to accomplish this unique mission.