A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the lazy tourist visits the old city

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 13, 2006

Yesterday I left the archives to their own devices, abandoning “my” locker to whatever new researcher might come its way:

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A friend took me around the old city – a place I never seem to go on my own. I am a great resident of foreign cities, but I am a terrible tourist.

It was a wonderful excursion, complete with all my favorite pastimes: great conversation, historical discovery, eating (hummus and pita), and nargileh smoking (including an excellent, cut-throat card game).

The highlight for me was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. My religious practice is deeply private, but I found the public displays by other visitors – kissing, touching, and praying over the church’s many venerable artifacts – deeply moving.

Yesterday proved to be an “off” day in terms of church visitors. I imagine the church has a different feel when filled by throngs of the pious and the curious, but for us it was a quiet, mysterious place of reflection and prayer.

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