More Turkey

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End May 20, 2008

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

› read a very interesting book › got from one of my tourmates:  Nine Parts of Desire, The Hidden World of ›slamic Women by Geraldine Brooks written in 1995.  Very interesting if you want to know more about women and Islam.  To expand on the indelicate topic that › ended my last entry with...we in the west engage in male circumcism and whether you agree with this practice or not (personally › do not see any reason to modify the body that we are born with) unless it goes terribly wrong, men are not left with the inability to enjoy sex, to achieve orgasm as women are when their clitoris is removed and when other parts of their genitalia are cut out sometimes without any anastesia and almost always without their prior consent.  ›t is really the severity of the consequences of female circumcism or mutilation as › believe more correctly describes the practice that make it so different than the male counterpart. 

The book describes a general movement towards Islamic fundamentalism and the spreading of the Wahabi sect of ultra conservative Sunni Islam practiced and originally founded in Saudi Arabia and how it affects women though the world.  The author had many conversations with Muslim women during the writing of this book.  ›t is interesting that the United States supports the government of Saudi Arabia when it is one of the worst countries in terms of how women are treated.  ›t is easier to begin to understand the problems the US has in the region when you consider our support of these dictatorships-monarchies.  Geraldine describes how the Saudi government is reluctant to clamp down on the extreme religious establishment for fear of being overthrown and losing power.   A fascinating read if you have an interest in the region.  See the movie Syriana also to better understand the complexities of the region. 

We spent the morning at our Pansion in the village of Selime and left via private bus to walk through the Ihlara Gorge..second in size to the Grand Canyon in the US.   We walked down a bunch of steps and then strolled on dirt pathways on and around rocks while staying next to a beautiful river.  Think of Yosemite without the Sequoias.  We arrived in Goreme a few hours ago.  › skipped the underground city on the way to Goreme because › do not enjoy cramped dark spaces!

Goreme is unlike any place › have ever seen.  Large volcanic formations in and around the villages, caves and these 'fairy chimneys' that look really phallic! The breeze is up and the temperature is really perfect.  Such a pleasant change from the hot deserts of the rest of our trip!
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