Adonis Diaries

The Host, the Guest, the Fear, the Ghetto and the Mosque

Posted on: May 8, 2014

The Host, the Guest and the Mosque

The other cannot be my enemy, except when I refuse him to pass my door or I break his door.

The host is the one who welcomes you in and the one you welcome in your home. Host and guest are the same in hospitality communities.

We either enter or let the host come in.

The hosts transact. If you close your door, you are on the path of letting fear be walled in within you.

You close the doors and you have decided to live in a ghetto: And everyone outside your ghetto is a potential enemy, the evil people, your evil fear.

The other one is no longer someone just a tad different in the same species.

Lock your fear inside and the outside is the hostile environment.

The monk and his disciple were walking. The disciple felt thirsty and drank from a source. The monk reprimanded him: “Have you forgotten that we are fasting?”  The disciple said: “But we already had breakfast at our host house this morning”. The monk replied:

Honoring our host is part of the fasting ritual

In the Mosques of Syria, particularly the large mosques, you feel instantly at home. You are wandering bare feet, on lush carpets, a heating stove to warm, you sit on the ground, you sleep, you read, you pray, you converse…

Nobody disturbs your privacy or try to bother you.

Children circulate freely, couples walk holding their shoes, the young girls are free to wander, the workers take their well-deserved breaks, take naps.

A vast movement of people without the tumult and noises of the souks, shops, merchants and clients…

A good feeling of well-being and a welcomed guest, anytime of the day and night.

Stephane Chaumet wrote “Au Bonheur des voiles“, detailing his peregrination throughout Syria before the civil war.

Not a tourist, not a journalist: He is just opening his eyes, ears, and nostrils to what’s going on around him, the difference in customs within a town, among religious sects, various traditions in the families, the communities, the provinces.

Hitch hiking, being picked up, invited to spend overnight with families, and strangers facilitating his curious adventure.

And how different and varied are the veiled females, their customs, habits, longing, jobs….

Ibn Arabi wrote: “Any location that has not be transformed by women is not worth living in

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