The Vepoch team has just completed shooting episode one of an original series being developed for vepoch.com entitled “This is our prayer”. Each episode will highlight a prayer from a different part of the world and from a different religion.
We hope that through this series we will be able to portray the true essence of religion, uncover the power and significance of prayer and help the viewer see the oneness of the world’s religions.
Episode one looks at the Muslim obligatory prayer. We were fortunate enough to be welcomed into the Al Jazzar Mosque in Akka, Israel to shoot this episode.
Akka is a 5000 year old city with an incredibly rich history. During the time of the Ottoman Empire it was used as a prison city where criminals from every region were sent to live out the remainder of their days. Although tourism has become a big part of the city’s industry you can still see glimpses of the old way of life, from the fishermen casting their nets off of the fortress wall to the old mosques where Muslims offer their daily prayers.
Al Jazzar Mosque
We decided to get up early one morning, catch a sheruit (taxi bus) to the old city and just see if we could find the story we were looking for. Within five minutes of passing through the land gate, which leads into the narrow winding cobblestone pathways, we were approached by a man wondering what we were up to with our cameras. We told him what we were trying to do and he said simply “come with me”. So we followed. He led us to a house where a couple of middle aged Arab men were sitting drinking Turkish coffee. The smell of strong black espresso beans and cardamom filled the air in the dimly lit room with low stone ceilings. We ended up drinking coffee with them for over an hour and just chatting about life in Akka and the history of their city. Eventually we got around to why we were there and the owner of the house set us up with contacts at the largest Mosque in Akka, the Al Jazzar Mosque. Around noon we went to meet our contact. They welcomed us in, gave us someone who spoke English and basically gave us free reign to film around and inside the mosque during the call to prayer and while the noon prayer was taking place.
Attached are a few frame grabs to give you a visual of what I have just described.
We are working to edit Episode One while busy on another project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Akka City Streets
Car Access to the Old City
Sea Wall Surrounding the Old City