[-empyre-] Istanbul, Jerusalem, Damascus, resilients cities?

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 10 04:34:08 EST 2012

I knit an imaginary thread between Damascus, Jerusalem and Istanbul, three
cities dear to me. They share a complex past, they have been capitals of
mighty empires streaching itselves far from their territories. Istanbul was
Byzantium and Constatinople before and the populations became a hybrid,
merging foreigners born far from the cities and people settled down inside
the city limits.
In Istanbul I was overwhelmed by Sultanhamet, the oldest part of the city
where Hagia Sophia and the big mosques has seen the city change and evolve.
I read Özcan Pamuk's book about the city and it helps me to understand the
resilience of the city, it's capacity of change and implode weaving in the
stimulus and the influences from outside into it's own canvas.
When I stay in Jerusalem I stay barely twenty meters from the Al Aqsa
mosque, Islam's second most precious and most sacret place after Mecca. I
stay in the monastery Ecce Homo, ruled by the Canadian catholic order Notre
Dame de Sion. The monastery is one of the oldest parts of the city, the
Antonia fortress, and the spot where Pontius Pilate's washed his hands
giving away Jesus to the jewish priestership.
The city has been a canaanite city, a jewish city, a roman city, an arab
city, now a contested city. But the city's s´resilience has suceeded
melting in invaders and traders, merchants and scientists.
In Damascus most beautiful mosque, the Omaya's, where now the people
clashed by their liberty,
I saw a catafalque covered by a green drape, the colour of the profet. I
asked who he was and they told me it was John the Baptist. It made sense.
The mosque was before a byzantine cathedral and the remains where there,
John, Yasha, is also revered by the Moslems.
The byzantine cathedral was before a roman temple erected to honor Jupites
Damascenus and before that a temple to the syrian god Hadad.
It was about resilience this post, yes :)


mobil/cell +4670-3213370

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
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