Sunday, September 02, 2007

mosque on Asian side

(sorry no pictures!)
A few days ago, P. Jozsi, Jediah and myself visited the inside of a mosque. It was my first time going in a mosque. A sign on the outside wall indicated the regulations for visitors, namely that all shoes had to be left at the door, men must not wear shorts, women must wear a long skirt and have a scarf on their heads. (very short version) A little cabinet below the sign displayed a collection of scarves that could be borrowed for the occasion. The thought of how many people touched those scarves before me, did cross my mind, but my curiosity for the mosque exceeded that of the possibility of lice....
As soon as we stepped in I looked for the women's 'quarters' which was a tiny little room on the right. It was pretty awkward at first, but as soon as i sat down on the rug against the wall, i realized that only one young girl was fervently praying while the other women were just chit-chatting!! I sat there, mesmerized by the intensity of the bowing and standing and silent praying of that young girl (maybe 17) all covered with bright fabrics except for her face. I wondered what prayer she so desperately wanted heaven to hear and wished i could have asked her afterwards.
Then walked in, with no knocking or warning, 3 barefooted men, who proceeded to skip over the women in order to measure the room for apparently some renovations. Quite a scene I tell you.

The 'religious atmosphere' here is pretty light, (as you can tell:-) Considering that most of the population is Muslim and that we are a bunch of Christians actively involved with a church, we are rather 'free' to share our faith, of course we don't do the whole 'tract show', etc!! Yes there are a lot of active strong Muslim believers, but many Turks are nominal Muslims or even atheists, at least here in Istanbul. We trigger conversations with whoever we are sitting next to, either on the ferry, in a cafe, or in the metro. Every time we make a new friend, they or we ask to meet again to either learn English, teach us Turkish, visit our church, have coffee, play soccer, or go to the baths.


htanguay said...

aw i got to hear this story on skype, wel have to do that again. i guess it would have to be on the weekend for now. they have baths there too? have u gone?

jed&sarah said...

HI Hayley!
How is life in the fast lane going...? Are you adjusting to your new schedule?
Yeah, there are baths, Jediah has gone a few times. I haven't had a chance to check out the ladies' ones.
i think we'll be on skype on sunday (jediah's birthday) will your parents be back then?