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Except for presenting classic postcards I do like to surprise people from time to time by showing a completely unknown or unexpected view. The best complement is always when local people are not able to recognize their own town or country. Here comes another surprise.

There are so many discussions nowadays about the role and influence of immigrants in Europe. In Switzerland for example there was this discussion about if the mosques may be allowed to be built. It is a serious and very difficult issue. I believe Europeans want the newcomers to feel like at home yet traditional view of a tiny typical Swiss village with a charming church would be completely transformed by adding a mosque next to it. Some countries may face more serious issues, I have read that Slovak people may soon become minority in their own country. Well I cannot really judge as I am an immigrant myself...
I can only say that I had a chance to live in Los Angeles for a couple of years and I have truly admired how various nationalities and cultures have lived together side by side without any tensions. I have lived for a year in a Persian part of town and I have really enojed it.
The integration is a serious problem.
On one hand obviously the immigrants should respect certain values like democracy, equal rights for women, private property, etc. On the other hand being immigrant by myself I do not want to integrate in 100% as some traditions, like regular excessive drinking in the pub, are not interesting for me at all.
But without it one may appear as unsocial.
Where are the borders?
Before judging immigrants for the lack of willingness for integration just ask yourself a question: have you ever invited one of them to your home? May be some immigrants would like to integrate but they have no chance. Remember the first move should always come from the host.

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) is an Islamic complex, including a mosque, in Clonskeagh, Dublin. It is funded by the al-Maktoum Foundation of Dubai and has a Sunni orientation.
In 1992 Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Governor of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry in the United Arab Emirates, agreed to finance a piece of land including a building to house a school and later on agreed to sponsor the construction of an Islamic Centre on the same site. At the time, 4000 Muslims lived in Ireland. Construction of the ICCI began in 1994 and it was officially opened on November 16th 1996 by President Mary Robinson and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. The mosque and cultural centre include a main prayer hall, a restaurant, a library, meeting rooms, laundry facilities, ten apartments, administrative offices and recently a shop. A primary school is also located on the premises.
The ICCI was designed by the Irish architect firm, Michael Collins & Associates. The layout is based on a square divided into nine smaller squares, with the mosque placed in the centre. The building is a steel frame structure with brick infill and is detailed with stainless steel.


Number of Muslims living in the Republic of Ireland:
(1991) 3,873
(2002) 19,147
(2006) 32,539
For comparison:
Roman Catholics (2006) 3,644,965
Church of Ireland, including Protestants (2006) 118,948
Data after Wikipedia/Irish census

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5784 W: 104 N: 15020] (59324)
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