A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

public piety i: Sunnis in Beirut

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 15, 2007

On Friday afternoon I made an end-of-week dairy run to the house of moo, as I am coming to think of my local ba2ala.


As I made my usual “what would I buy if I were a more inventive cook” perusal of its two aisles, I noticed something new in between the mayonnaise (for a small shop, it carries quite a mayonnaise selection) and the canned goods: a Qur’an.


It wasn’t stacked flat or set down as if someone had been interrupted while reading; it was placed vertically, with the front cover facing out. Leaving the mayonnaise and the canned artichokes to their own devices, I kept on walking. I have no objection to the shopkeepers’ decision to display their Qur’an on the shelves – after all, I have fond memories of the phrase I have seen on the backs of many Damascus cabs: “Don’t forget to mention God”. But its perch looks a bit precarious to me, and I definitely do not want to be known in my neighborhood as that insensitive foreign woman who knocked the Qur’an to the floor.


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