Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Airport Chapels on Flickr

Last week, I received some feedback on my last Airport Chapels postings. Blogger Little Ethiopia(n) and Esquire were recently traveling through Washington, D.C. and they spotted the chapel in Dulles Airport. I thank them for sending me the image on the left. This is a fabulous logo with the dome representing holy space and the airplane making a subtle nod to the cross, but not claiming Christian domination. On the subject of crosses, I hope you are following the controversy over the cross at the Mojave National Preserve, see NPR coverage here.

I also want to thank Julia for informing me of a new Airport Chapels Flickr site with 13 contributors and some 186 images. I especially like the group's write up, which I'll quote below:

"Anyone who's spent enough time in enough different airports has discovered that many have small spaces set aside to pray, worship, meditate, reflect, or just find some peace and quiet in. They are often hidden away in lonely corners of the airport, and are often the only place one can escape the incessant noise of a large, busy airport. They may be called chapels, capillas, masjids, mashallah, synagogues, temples, prayer rooms, or meditation rooms. Some are specific to a particular religion or sect, many are not.

All are welcome and encouraged to join this group, the devout, the skeptical, the questing, believers of all kinds, and atheists. But please respect each others' beliefs, whether you share them or not.

Please post your photos of airport prayer rooms and of people praying at airports here! If you can be specific in the captions or comments of your photo about the location of the prayer room, that will help others find one the next time they're traveling. Another source of information is the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains www.airportchapel.de/international/ which has a searchable database of airport prayer rooms. Unfortunately, s far it doesn't have nearly as much information on airport prayer rooms in Muslim-majority countries as in Christian ones. Perhaps we can help them expand their horizons!"

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States