Trip Start Apr 07, 2010
Trip End Sep 11, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Us, and them
And after all were only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it's knows what we would choose to do

Yesterday I was peeking from the street into the mosque during prayer.  An old Turkish man who had been watching me pointed to the speaker on the minaret and said something in Turkish. My friend and I smiled.  He pointed again and said `Mohammed` and we smiled and nodded to show we understood the meaning of the prayer.  He motioned for us to follow him into the mosque.  Women don't go into the mosques with men, so my friend and I were shocked and overjoyed all at once.  We put our jacket hoods on and slowly walked behind him towards the entryway, still making sure we understood correctly.  We waited as he took off his shoes before entering the building at all.  He turned around and looked for us, then pointed at his swollen sock feet and then at the shoe shelf and motioned for us to follow.  We took off our shoes and humbly walked into the small mosque as the men lined up on their knees up front.  We sat in the back against the wall on our knees and I placed my forehead to the ground in reverence that God / Allah would be so merciful to place me in this room.  A man led the 20 minute prayer session in Arabic as the others kneeled, leaned, bowed, and kissed the floor with their heads.  On the way out of the mosque I wondered if all the other men were confused to see me in there, but then an older Dutch man sat by me to put his shoes on and asked `First time for you too?` And I smiled and felt the magic of the oneness of the human family.  Outside the mosque a sweet, humble and plump Turkish man asked all 3 of us in English to have tea with him at the teahouse.  We sat around and discussed Islam and Tavla / backgammon and how he was giving it up to study the Kuran and learn Arabic.  My friend and I went back to his house to have tea with him and his wife, who live in a house carved from a cave.  We sat in the humble, hodgepodge decorated 2 room house and listened to him sing in Arabic and Turkish and shared Turkish delight and wondered how we were so lucky to meet this family, these new Muslim friends who opened their hearts so wide to us.  His wife wanted to show me how to wrap my hair in the traditional village style with a scarf she had beaded herself.  I bought one from her and they thanked me and said they would use the money to pay for medicine for her leg problem. 

I left knowing that we are all one. Inshallah (Lord willing) we will know this in time. We are all one.

Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside.

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