For Rashad K. Ali, the past eight months were filled with sleepless nights and a lot of hard work. But today, he is a happy man as he looks at the fruits of his labour — a miniature model of Abu Dhabi's Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque he handcrafted.
Working in a Dubai-based advertising company as a production staff, the Indian expatriate, said that he was drawn to the structure due to its stunningly beautiful and intricate architecture.
"A lot of research went into the making of the sculpture. On average, I spent about five hours working on it everyday," said Ali.
He used Forex (foamed PVC) sheets, Styrofoam and wood to create the sculpture, about three metres long, 2.4 metres wide and 1.2 metres tall.
He read up about the mosque over the internet, visited the mosque few times and filmed it to get the details right, he said.
"Initially the complexity of the structure made him doubtful and he even considered backing out of his self-assigned task.
"But, I was passionate about it, which kept me going, besides the support and encouragement of my wife," he said.
The raw materials cost him around Dh1,500.
The model replicates the mosque's 82 domes, 4 minarets and 900 pillars, and is complete with verses from the Quran seen on the walls of the mosque.
"LED lights have been used to illuminate the interior, which offers a glimpse of what the mosque looks like at night," he said.
Ali said that back home in India he had made the model of Taj Mahal, which won him a prize at a local competition.
Initially, Ali used 900 pencils to make the 900 pillars of the mosque but it turned out to be unsuccessful. He then replaced them with cut out acrylic pieces.