October 15, 2010


the mail has been slow lately and a book i ordered like a month ago just arrived now. Price of Honor - Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World by Jan Goodwin. but i started reading it already. the writer traveled in 10 countries interviewing people for the book. Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Gaza, Egypt etc. its interesting so far... same old shit with women being treated like animals or worse but i keep wanting to hear more background and other aspects. but eventually i should really travel more in that area to understand.

the other book i just finished a while ago was In the Name of Honor: A Memoir by Mukhtar Mai. she is a woman from a rural Pakistani area and her story was really touching and gave a lot of insight in how things work round there. government doesnt lift its finger when the local powerful old tribes and families do whatever they wish. its a jungle there, so jungle's laws apply... i'd really want to go visit this area though, it was so vividly described i could almost see it in front of me.

i started "working" at Amazon's Mechanical Turk about a week ago. silly little money for small tasks... but that money can be converted to a gift certificate at amazon so yeah, i am wasting hours of my time just to get some pathetic book. that's me :)

the Nue York photo series by Erica Simone

my Nokia E71 has gotten crazy slow... i think the memory is full and maybe its just age, its over 2 yrs old. i think im getting a new phone this fall. hmm, theres only 2 months of this year left, i just realized! well, then maybe it will be a christmas present for myself. i am also getting i think 200 euros back from the tax office. so that is nice, makes a christmas for sure.

the next home appliance on my list is ...a TOASTER! there are some breads here, sliced and as if designed for toasting, however toaster is yet another machine that is not quite so popular here. but i want one! i will get it from my next salary. which i should be getting tomorrow...

and then, the craziness can only continue. i talked to doctor about getting a home insurance. just a small one, but id like one nevertheless. lets see what the options are in turkey, some things are weirdly expensive here...

when turkey is strongly labeled as a muslim country, i shake my head. surely all newborns i guess are marked as muslim in their ID's but my local ID says im a christian, so...thats whats its worth. and finns are supposedly like 85-90% good lutherans, but anyone living there knows thats complete shit, only a fraction actually believe in god and attend church services or whatever is considered religious i dunno. here the numbers are higher but there also plenty of atheists. 95% of my friends are atheist, makes sense to hang out with those alike, but point being its not hard to find that kind of people here. and the rest of the "muslims"? mostly moderate - really. the amount of bars alone goes to prove that. and then theres the conservatives and hard cores, the further east you go the more so.

10-20% of turks are Alevis, a branch of shia-islam. they worship in assemply houses, rather than mosques. women and men together. worship includes music and dance. rather than arabic, native language is used. influences have been taken from humanism, universalism and anatolian folk culture and mysticism.

Alevi characteristics include:
-Love and respect for all people (“The important thing is not religion, but being a human being”)
-Tolerance towards other religions and ethnic groups (“If you hurt another person, the ritual prayers you have done are counted as worthless”)
-Respect for working people ("The greatest act of worship is to work”)
-Equality of men and women, who pray side by side. Monogamy is practiced.

while killing (anyone at all) and stealing are huge sins, so is divorce, and thats a big minus. John Shindeldecker says "Alevis are proud to point out that they are monogamous, Alevi women worship together with men, Alevi women are free to dress in modern clothing, Alevi women are encouraged to get the best education they can, and Alevi women are free to go into any occupation they choose." however especially in eastern turkey, women are still subjected to traditional family values and probably expectations of cooking at home etc... still, the freedom in what you wear, study and where you work are major differences from conservative islam, and some (again, conservative)muslims actually dont look too well upon alevis for all these reasons...

i just learned the other night that doctors background is alevi too. but even his parents are atheist, so were really talking about BACKround here, grandparents or so.

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