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Photographs and Audio Recordings from Mecca in 1885



Dutch adventurer Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje traveled to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in 1885, photographing what he saw and recording sounds using an invention of Thomas Edison:

Snouck's extraordinary collection of sepia-tinted images of Mecca in a bygone age have gone on display in Dubai ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage that originally drew him to the heart of Islam.

Accompanied by crackling, eerie soundscapes captured by Snouck using Thomas Edison's newly-invented wax cylinders, the exhibition paints a very different picture from the ornate and built-up Mecca familiar to modern visitors.[...]

The images are all the more astounding, says Elie Domit -- creative director of Dubai's Empty Quarter gallery, which is hosting the exhibition -- when one considers the lengths he went to to get them.

"People tend to forget the situation because cameras today are so versatile and light," he told CNN. "In Snouck's day they probably weighed about 40 kilos, and he needed to take all the chemicals for developing, which he would have done on site."


Link via The Agitator | Photo: Empty Quarter Gallery

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Wel he did full exams before he went and he was acknowledged as being a muslim. He was acknowledged as Hadji, but he always kept it unclear if he had converted or if he had just pretended with full colours. When he married to a Muslim wife, he said to his European peers that he had put on a show. And when his days in the Colony were numbered, he just as easily cut off all ties with his Muslim families and remarried fully Christian, even naming his son "Christien". So I think he was a Fake. A fake with lots of knowledge, but a Fake nonetheless.
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I wonder if he was a Muslim. If not, he could have been arrested and prosecuted as non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca as mandated by Saudi law.
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