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15 Mar 06
Orientalist observations, pt. 3
In Syria, we travelled with the fine people at Omayad Tours. They gave us extra gifts during the week. One day we got an almanac, which I will hand over to my grandmother, who seems to love almanacs. The last day, we got a patterned wooden box with FAKE mother-of-pearl inlays. If they had given it the first day, we might not have noticed. But now, the texture of the white plastic was already well-known to our fingertips, which were sensitised by a full week of careful scrutinising of the Damascene arts & crafts.

Anyway, if you are lucky, you'll get Yasser as a guide. He greeted us with a crude ethnical joke, which made us all feel welcome. He also made us aware of the fact that Homs is the Syrian city which one makes fun of. We don't really have such a city here, do we?

On our way northwards, we visited the small village of Maaloula*. It is, I think, one of three villages were a certain western variant of Aramaic is still spoken. That is roughly the language it is believed that Jesus spoke. You could hear Mel Gibson suffer in Aramaic in “Passion of the Christ“.

We visited a very old (from 300 AD) church there, and we got to hear the Lord's Prayer recited in Aramaic. I also saw it in written form and I have to say it read much like Elvish. There was also a monastery, a Saint Takla monastery, from which the picture is taken. When you entered the monastery, there was a sign that said “Your visit is our pleasure and your smoke is damaging us“. Fair enough.

More on Christian Syria later.

* Or Maalula. There are different variants of spellings with latin characters of nearly every arabic word, I think.
written by Mattias
mel gibson spelade inte jesus. han var bara regissör.
posted by   ek
posted by   Mattias
Hmm... är det inte Åbo man skämtar om i Finland? Rätta mig om jag har fel.
posted by   Ville
Jo, jag hörde att man åtminstone i Tammerfors och Helsingfors skämtar om Åbo.
posted by   Mattias
nog har vi också laihela. Det är mest kännd by i hela Finland för att folk har skämta om dom för flera hundra år. Alltså om det att för dom är det väldigt svårt att ge bort pengar. jag kommer inte ihåh vad är det adjektiv på svenska. På finska är det "nuuka"
posted by   antti walker
The sum of 8 and 9