Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘language of Jesus

Monastery of Deir Mar Moussa: Pilgrims (Christians and Moslems) eat and sleep free of charge

Deir Mar Moussa is located half an hour from the village of Maaloula and 2-hour walk in the desert of Nabak from the highway joining Damascus to Homs.

Maaloula is the village whose people still speak Aramaic (the language of Jesus). Last year the terrorist Al Nusra faction kidnapped a dozen of Orthodox Christian nuns and liberated them 6 months later for about $8 million (Paid by Qatar?)

The church of Mar Moussa (named after the monk Moise of Ethiopia al Habashi) is organized as a Mosque: Carpets, cushions, you leave shoes at the entrance, a traditional cylindrical stove with large pipes as at homes, Bibles of different languages, low tables covered by candles and flowers, walls embellished by medieval icons and fresco… You just feel at home and comfortable.

Surprisingly, there is a “mihrab” inside the church for the Moslem pilgrims to face and pray.

You find various kinds of musical instruments, guitar, oud, tambourine… and the underground library contains manuscripts  in Arabic, French, Italian, magazines…and new books, poetry and novels left by tourists and pilgrims.

There is this feeling of brute primitive environment surrounded with warmth and intimacy.

You could sleep in the church when the dormitories are filled.

No one is asked to fill pages of information or shows his identity card or passport.

No one is asked to pay anything for the lodging and food offered at noon and in the evening.

Everyone is invited to partake in the cooked dishes of rice, lentils, bourgol…served in big caldrons, sort of self service buffet.  Meat, vegetables and fruits are rare: everything on the table is grown by the monastery.

In the evening, you are served cheese, marmalade, Syrian bread. zaatar and olive oil. You dip a piece of bread in the oil and then re-dip it in the za3tar.

There are no shops of any kinds and everything served is free.

You may volunteer to help in the kitchen and the washing of the dishes.

This church is a far cry from the European Cathedrals. You have to pay a hefty fee just to enter. When you enter a Cathedral, you have to follow directional arrows, sit on hard benches, cold sips through your bones, you are denied to speak and converse, you are looked upon with suspicion if you are not faking to pray: the place is not a cool place for taking a short break.

And all kinds of shops surround the Cathedral, at exorbitant prices.

Deir Mar Moussa is a representation of Syria. That’s Syria before this ugly civil war and the hordes of Wahhabi-type religious sects terrorizing the Syrians.  Extremist religious factions funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Arab Gulf Emirates.

Note 1: It is a good read of Stephan Chaumet’s “Au bonheur des voiles“, (Cruising amid women’s veils in Syria)

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/the-host-the-guest-the-fear-the-ghetto-and-the-mosque/


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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