28 November, 2007

Who is Aicha Qandisha?

Because some people think it's my real name, I offer this:

"Aisha Qandisha or Aisha Qadisha or Ghediseh is one of the most popular and fearsome Jinniya (female one) in Moroccan folklore; beliefs and rituals for Aisha have been continued to the 21st century. She is both a hunter and a healer, sometimes appearing as a beautiful (irresistibly seductive) woman and sometimes as a Hag. When she possesses a man, she does not take over the new host but she opens the man to the storm of incoming Jnun and Jinns, demons, and sorcerous particles of all kind; making the man a traffic zone of cosmodromic data. This is why she is feared. And she never leaves, she always resides in the man to guarantee his total openness which is not always pleasant. According to Moroccans, the only way to feel comfortable with Aisha (the new partner / lover) is participating with her especially through passionate and wild music rites. Those who remember the end credits of Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch, may remember the acknowledgment to the master musicians of Jajouka who perform music rites for men possessed (opened) by Aisha (also see Aisha and the role of music in the Hamadsha)."

-From Vincent Crapanzano's research on possession in Moroccan culture. This is far more interesting than what I was told....

-Adapted from my first post on the blog, the way she was explained to me:

"Aicha Qandisha, a spirit (djinn) in the form of a woman, marries men in Morocco and causes them to go quite mad. Mad in the crazy-making way, not in the sexy female way. Her "husbands" number in the many thousands at this point. I've only married one Moroccan. In comparison, I am either slacking off or simply unable to multi-task as well as she. The men wander about endlessly, especially in dry riverbeds she supposedly prefers, searching for her and hoping she'll return in the flesh. When they catch site of her they, well, engage in conjugal relations on the spot regardless of where they are or who is there. My ex-husband called me Aicha Qandisha as a sort of "pet name". If you ask him, he will be quick to tell you that he certainly was never the same once he married me."

Also, Taromeet is the Amazigh/Ashelhei word for foreigner in the feminine form. The root supposedly comes from the word for Roman, the original tourists to N. Africa, if you will. I love that the concept of "out-of-towner" in the language goes back that far. Yes, I'm a huge word geek.

Salaam, y'all.

Art comes from your mother?

This article in the NY Times is interesting, but far too short. Now I'm really hungry to read Dissanayake's books....


26 November, 2007

Thank you for sharing

Drinking: my second mug of ginger lemon tea, to which I am thoroughly addicted.
Procrastinating about: an assignment due tomorrow
Listening to: the wind ripping down the sokak and up the space between our building and the one next door.
Concerned about: The Mysterious Muck on the Marmara

Who needs a stereo when you have upstairs neighbors. The folks above me have rather eclectic tastes and seem to be deaf, or at least they will be soon. The wife, who is often home alone, is quite fond of blaring her musical selections loud enough to rattle the glass in the doors and windows of our apartment. The top songs in the rotation come from...wait for it...Fiddler on the Roof. For some reason this seems to get a lot of play while I am making dinner - Sunrise, Sunset; If I Were a Rich Man...I am curious what the non-English-speaking neighbors think. I've only seen and spoken to the woman once and she didn't seem to speak much English herself.

Then there's Grease and that song from the movie Arthur about getting caught between the moon and New York City. One night was apparently Elton John Night, which wasn't bad. She had on Teardrop by Massive Attack the other day, now known as the theme to the t.v. show House, which I love. I never realized how much the bass line sounds like a human heart if you're listening to it loud enough to shake the walls from one floor down, which makes it a perfect song for a doctor show, really. Tonight was a bit of a chore as she was flipping through some sort of Bee Gees greatest hits album. In fact it's not so much the music as much as her inability to finish listening to one album, much less one song, that grates on my nerves the most. I end up getting snippets of acceptably pedestrian music. And now we're on to "lite jazz", which I believe are technically contradictory terms or at least should be.