Male', the capital of the Maldives, is the commercial center, seat of government and the location of many important historical and religious landmarks. With an area of just over 1.77 square Km, it is home to over seventy thousand people, and the busiest and the most populous island in the archipelago. In the past, it has been known as the Sultan's island.
The Grand Friday Mosque, Masjid-al Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu-al-A'z'am is the biggest mosque in the Maldives. It also includes the Islamic center. This grand mosque with its dominant golden dome decorates the facade of Male'. It can accommodate over five thousand worshippers at a time. Nearly all visitors to Male' take time to visit this magnificent landmark.
The old Friday mosque with its unique minaret and the tombs of national heroes and members of royalty resting in the quietness of its compound, gives the visitor a glimpse of the past. The art in the mosque and royal blue grounds are unique and invaluable.
Other important sites in Male' include the tombs of legendary saints, Mulee-aage - the previous Presidential Palace, the Presidential Palace built recently, and the national museum in the Sultan Park which shows the glories of a different era. All these are within a ten minute stroll.
The fruit and vegetable market and the firewood market are busy and colorful places where islanders from outer atolls trade their goods. The fish market nearby, is always immaculately clean, until the fish is landed in the busy hours of late afternoon when fisher folk begin to arrive with the day's catch. The fishermen cutting and cleaning the fish have developed the process to an art. It is a clean and well-maintained area that generates much interest from visitors and provides a glimpse into the life of typical Maldivian fisher-folk.
Welcome to Earth! It's a planet having an iron core, with two-thirds of its surface covered by water. Earth orbits a local star called the Sun, the light of which generates the food supply for all the millions of species of life on earth. The dominant species on Earth is the human being, and you're one of the six billion of them! Humans have iron in their blood, and their bodies are composed of two-thirds water, just like the planet they live on. The physical composition of the Earth, its people and everything on it contains an electro-magnetic field which is not yet fully understood. Theories and legends about the origin of Earth, people and life itself abound, however they are not commonly discussed. The bulk of earth's people spend their time immersed in daily activities, leaving the big questions for later. "Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? How will we get there?" Many religions and philosophies have attempted to answer these questions over the years, but so far none has given an answer that everyone on the planet can accept. In contrast to all the disagreement, the similarities among people on earth are far, far greater than any differences. Welcome again to Earth! Enjoy your stay, and try to stay calm.