Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sanliurfa: Golbasi

We found the Golbasi sight, at the foot of Sanliurfa's citadel, parked there, and spent a few hours in the environs, the pools from which Abraham was saved from King Nimrod (Nemrut) and the cave of Abraham's birth. All this, needless to say, is holy ground for the Abrahamic religions, although some--Christians--appear to claim that the Ur (SanliURfa) where all this happened was the Sumerian Ur, some hundreds of miles south of here, at the bottom of Iraq. Quite a different story. We are going with the Muslim interpretation, attempting to navigate carefully between the Charybda of religion and the Scylla of tradition. Nevermind history.
Golbasi is a beautiful public park, below the citadel,
adjoining the bazaar, and containing a variety of holy sites;
the pool (um, reconstructed) in which, according to
tradition, Abraham was saved from the wrath of Nimrod

Clothing is really different in southern
Turkey, especially as one gets closer to
Arab culture; the women all wore these
sparkling sequined dresses--sparklettes,
we called them--and the men the "baggy"

Sparklettes posing in the Rose Garden; the one on the right
had just removed her head-gear...

At a shop in Golbasi: if your eyes are the only
thing that are going to show, make the most of it!

Entrance to the Cave of Abraham (where he was
born), the Abraham Mosque, with the Citadel and
its Roman columns in the background

Entrance to the Cave (men's: I had the camera and really
wish I could have taken a picture of Vicki in the garb she
wore to get in the women's side); we felt very privileged
to be allowed in this place--no one said a word, no one
raised an eyebrow, despite the fact we plainly are tourists,
and most of the others are there on pilgrimage; everyone
kissed the sign above the door; everyone collected a bit
of water from the spring; many prayed; Muslims, at least
here in Turkey, are very generous with their sites

Abraham's Cave

Holy water

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