"Allahu akbar!" thundered the voices of 150 men, standing in rows under the dome of the Masjid Omar mosque across the street from the . The imam continued his high, wailing, soulful, minor-keyed incantation of the Friday prayer. Syrians, Libyans, Egyptians, African-Americans, Ethiopians, Nigerians, Turks, Saudis, Indonesians, Central Asians, and more nations and ethnic groups were represented. Behind where I and the USC students sat in the visitors' area was a line behind which about 50 women sat on the vast carpet inside the mosque, facing, like the men, toward . The men knelt and lowered their hands and heads to the carpet. They rose for another part of the prayer, then dropped to their knees and foreheads again.