13 March, 2006

Photos, FINALLY!

Detail of Roman sculpture, Bosra.
Ruins of a colonade in Old City at Bosra. Originally a Roman public fountain complex.
Original basilica structure, now the prayer hall of the Umayyad mosque, with the Dome of the Treasury (foreground).
Minaret of Jesus, Umayyad mosque.
Minaret above the tangle of rooftops, Old City.
Icon in small, outdoor shrine near Bab Touma, Old City.
Shiite singers from Pankistani Kashmir inside prayer hall at Umayyad mosque.

Inside the prayer hall. Tomb of Yehia (left).

The courtyard of the Umayyad mosque with the Dome of the Treasury (foreground) and the Minaret of the Bride (background).
The Dome of the Eagle inside the original basilica structure of the Umayyad mosque.
Photos left by pilgrims hoping for blessings from Yehia (John the Baptist).
Shiite pilgrims entering Umayyad Mosque at Bab Al-Amara.
Outside the Umayyad Mosque, early morning, with Minaret of Al-Gharbiyya.
Inside the prayer hall of the Umayyad Mosque, mid-day.
Mid-day prayers amidst the traffic through the mosque.

(So happy to finally get these posted, I could cry! Enjoy, folks.)

Don't forget Jill

Jill Carroll is still being held in Iraq and nobody should forget that. She seems to be a bit of a kindred spirit and I find myself thinking about her now and then when I've fallen behind in the news. Like everyone else, I hope to see her released, unharmed, immediately.

Here is a link to the public service announcement the Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com), who she was working for when abducted, released to the Arabic media. The video is in Arabic, but an English transcript is available.
Their site also has a blog for updates on Jill.

The Landlady Strikes Back

Well, the good times are over in Mezza. I have been asked to leave the apartment.
It seems that after nearly three weeks of not speaking to me my landlady, who lives with the three of us, is feeling "crowded" and wants me out.

I am not sure when it happened, when the change occurred. We started off well enough. My flatmate believes the woman got bored with us because we had neither the time nor desire to sit up all night watching "Star Academy" and "Superstar" ("Arabian Idol" for those of you in the US) with her. And, more importantly, we had no desire to be treated like toddlers, being told exactly what to do, when and how to do it. I believe she was compensating for not having children by taking in students. Only she hit a snag with us - three very independent women. She's soured on the three of us, but me the most. She has called the oldest of us a liar and a thief, locked the t.v. remotes away from the future doctor, and tried to lecture me about the perils and shortfalls of a woman who stays out all night. The Cold War is ongoing and the silence is actually quite a blessing.

So, the head of the agency called me in and tried to paint a happy face on things by saying, "Maybe it is for the best." I told him "the best" would have been for her to deal with me like an adult. So I have folks keeping an eye out for anyplace in and around Mezza. I won't be moving until I find someplace.

I do find it rather amusing that it took me nearly 32 years to get thrown out of somebody's house. Wasn't I supposed to do this 13 or 15 years ago? I guess I am a late-bloomer.

Work with FIRDOS is going well. We are very much pioneers here. After five years there isn't anything communications-related here, so we are starting from scratch. We don't even have printed materials! Soon we'll be starting work on the Web site and the short documentary film. For now I am combing through five years worth of CDs, slides, videos, photos, and disks looking for anything useful and cataloging everything. You learn a lot about good photography by looking at bad photography. I should rival Henri Cartier-Bresson, Margaret Bourke-White, and Tina Modoti when I am finished!

Next week is my final. My kids' complaints about their exam died down when I told them I have an exam the day after they have their mid-term. They get a kick out of hearing me speak Arabic before and after class. They keep trying to tell me I speak well, between all the giggling and wide-eyed staring.

Looking forward to the break next week and the chance to, maybe, get out of town for a weekend. I hope....