Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sat June 7, 2008 and Sun June 8, 2008 Memories from the past; new memories made

Saturday I didn’t do anything until the afternoon. I mean I did stuff, I read some parts of a book I have to read for the class I’m taking, but that was about it. Around 2 o’clock, I called and talked to my mom and dad over Skype (a wonderful invention) and my mom told me that there was going to be a gathering at the house of a friend of ours that none of us had seen in a long time, and she gave me their phone number to find out how to get there and all that good stuff. So I called and learned all the necessary bits of information needed, and then I spent some more time reading and writing and whatnot, then I got ready to leave. I left a little early; I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going so it was easier for me to find my way while it was still bright out.

I got there nice and early, not only with the intention of being early but also of helping out, but true to Turkish hospitality, they didn’t let me do a thing. However when all the guests had arrived and we were done with the spoken part of the gathering, they let me help with serving food. So at least I was useful some of the time.

The gathering itself was about the memories a woman had of another woman. About Samiha Ayverdi. Samiha Ayverdi was an interesting person and continues to be a bit enigmatic. One has trouble describing this woman who was truly a lady. She was a writer and published many books concerning Istanbul and love for the divine. Samiha Ayverdi loved Istanbul. Going off of Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbullu” concept, she was a true Istanbullu. Looking at the concept of “Istanbullu” from the perspective of an artist named Erol on Ortakoy, she was a true Istanbullu once again because there was no part of Istanbul that she didn’t know, nor was there a part of the city about which she didn’t have some type of historical background or significance of the place. Amazing is the one word that comes to mind, but it doesn’t convey the true greatness of this lady. I wish all the true amazement and education that reading about this lady through her works will bring.

We were told about the way Samiha Ayverdi behaved, how she was serious and yet always able to make a joke at any time. How she was tall but never looked down on anyone. How she had what Omid Safi refers to so plaintively in his introduction to Progressive Muslims—adab. “Ah, adab…” is what he says. Indeed, ah adab…it has been quite a while since anyone’s witnessed true adab that I think one would be hard-pressed to recognize it if it came and stood next to us. She embodied adab. Hopefully there will be more people like her, but it seems very hard.

Here's a picture of Afife Teyze...
So Afife Teyze talked to us about Samiha Ayverdi, and after her talk, we ate while watching the game. It was a fun night. Afterwards I got dropped off at home by some other friends.

Sunday was a pretty cool day too. I met up with David, Kelly, Amanda, and Edward and we went to Levent to the Kanyon Mall. We went to McDonalds, a book store where the others looked at kiddie books in Turkish...
After that we walked around the mall and went in a couple stores and just looked around. Here's the sign for my favorite store because it's owned by the coolest person on earth. Once again it's kind of blurry but just so you can see...
Since the mall is separated into two, there’s a part that’s actually under open air, there’s nothing covering the top. That part was pretty cool, especially since it started to kind of rain just as we were walking in. The design and architecture of the mall is cool enough however that we really didn’t get wet at all.

So overall I had a really nice weekend where I got to see some old friends and spent quality time with my new friends.

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