Category Archives: Faith

The places in between: wanders through Fener and Balat.

I saw them from the above, a rare treat for a city like Istanbul, where landings seldom come from the north: huddled close together, squashed between the Golden Horn and the minarets of Ottoman mosques, were the houses and streets … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, Istanbul, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bethlehem, or how the other half lives.

Call me ignorant, but Bethlehem always evoked pastoral ideas, of secluded grottos – or shacks, depending on the version you liked the most – and of comets. What we found was (once we got on the Arab bus that no … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Faith, Middle East, Palestine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

(Not finding) my religion in the Holy Land: confession of a sceptical in Jerusalem.

For some people, the moment of detachment from a religious view they used to hold is a momentous one, the culmination of days – perhaps months – of introspection, self-assessment and doubt. In my case, instead, I cannot point out … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Faith, Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Marooned in Muscat

“How are you, brother? You look a little lost.” The young, tall Omani – immaculate in his neatly pressed green dishdasha – was absolutely right. I was tired, red-eyed, yearning for a shower and, above all, utterly lost. Faithful to … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Middle East, Oman, Overlooked locations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A quiet day at the Atelier

A few months ago I wrote about  Jozséf Perlaki and his son Vince who, in the Hungarian town of Veszprém, are busy reviving the ancient art of stained glass. Today I paid a visit to their atelier, finding them in-between jobs. A … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, Hungary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Irrelevant differences: visiting Mellah, the Jewish quarter of Marrakech

“Est-ce que ceci a été le quartier juif, donc?” Is this the old Jewish quarter, I ask, rather timorously, to my self-appointed guide. It’s Sunday, the day that will pass to history for the biggest gathering of people in a single … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Faith, Morocco, Overlooked locations, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“To a Mountain in Tibet’, by Colin Thubron, Vintage

Courtesy Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9571766-to-a-mountain-in-tibet There’s an expression that Stephen King seemingly likes to use when describing the rapture of writing or reading, the feeling of concentrating on the task at hand so much that we end up being oblivious to the passing … Continue reading

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Sacred and Profane – The art of the Neapolitan Nativity scene

When, in a remote Italian village, Saint Francis of Assisi put a baby in a crib well padded with hay, under the watchful eye of an ox and a donkey, he couldn’t have possibly foreseen what his idea to re-enact … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, Italy, Napoli, Overlooked locations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Naples: unearthing the treasure trove (Part II)

It’d be wrong to portray this city only as an idyllic cradle of craftmanship, fine food and mild weather: it is all that, but it’s still a place scarred by neglect, crippled by unemployment and still heavily affected by crime … Continue reading

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Faithful London – The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre

This is part 3 of my journey to discover if, and how, Londoners still practice religion. I started off by visiting Chiswick’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral and then visited the Thai Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon. This time my quest brings me … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Faith, London | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment