Home / Art

Syrian Refugee Builds Mini ‘Blue Mosque’ with 15,000 Popsicle Sticks to Celebrate His New Home

scale model with popsicle sticks

Artist Husam Muhajer recently completed a scale model of Istanbul’s iconic Blue Mosque. In an interesting twist, the finished model is composed of 15,000 wood popsicle sticks. Muhajer is a Syrian refugee who was forced to leave his country 2.5 years ago and is currently living in Istanbul.

When Muhajer was suddenly evacuated from Syria, his models were destroyed and he was left without any documentation of his past work. So what inspired him to begin again? “I love that those who have talent cannot let war and destruction stop the spirit of the artist,” Muhajer writes us via email. “I did not allow these situations to make me weak, but they gave me a force I did not expect.”

His Blue Mosque model measures 5 feet by 3.3 feet, with the minarets soaring up to 3 feet high, making it larger than the work he was executing in Syria. He was drawn to the architecture because of the building’s history, noting that his love for historical architecture stems from the fact that he was living in Aleppo, one of the world’s oldest cities.

What’s next? He plans to continue his work, citing the Taj Mahal as the next building he’ll tackle.

Husam Muhajer is a Syrian refugee now living in Istanbul. His scale model of the Blue Mosque took 15,000 wood popsicle sticks and 4 months to complete.

popsicle stick architectural modelsHusam Muhajer Popsicle Stick Artscale model with popsicle sticks

Muhajer's attention to detail is incredible. The wood architectural model measures 5 feet by 3.3 feet and is 3 feet tall.

scale model with popsicle stickspopsicle stick architectural modelspopsicle stick architectural modelsscale model with popsicle sticksHusam Muhajer Popsicle Stick ArtHusam Muhajer Popsicle Stick Artscale model with popsicle sticks

The artist's popsicle stick scale models were destroyed when he was forced to evacuate Aleppo. Here are some of the few images he has of his other work.

popsicle stick architectural modelspopsicle stick architectural modelspopsicle stick architectural modelsHusam Muhajer: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Husam Muhajer.

Related Articles:

Kinetic Sculpture Replicates a Bird Flapping Its Wings Using Popsicle Sticks

Against the Grain: Wood as an Incredible Artistic Medium

Interview: Takanori Aiba’s Incredible Dream-Like Models of Faraway Lands

20 Unusually Awesome Art Mediums

Artist Creates Miniature Worlds Mimicking the Grit and Grime of Urban Architecture

Miniature World Landmarks

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content