By freshouttatime
wake me up when september ends.

Oh and September has ended.
Eid was last week, the weather is less hospitable, and pile on the school work.

A note on Istanbul, I loved it, I stayed about 4 days and saw most of the tourist venues but that city just fills you up, makes you whole.
I met some cool people and got to know other students in our group a little better.
For my housing, I stayed with some Muslim brothers in their flat not too far from Sultan Ahmet, they were friends of a friend. Salah had a friend in Istanbul who actually went away for Bayram, but he recommended us to stay with a bunch of his buddies, whom none of us have ever met or known. When we met up with Zacharia he was the friendliest dude and I thought him and Salah knew each other for years. I discovered Saturday night that Salah just met them as I did and it really really surprised me. Zacharia, Mehmet, Aziz and Kenan were extremely hospitable from giving us a room to sleep in, to furnishing us with towels, shampoo whatever, inviting us for breakfast, and most importantly giving us their company. All 4 of them go to school/work and they were around our age so it wasn't really awkward.
Again that whole Turkish hospitality/Muslim solidarity moment really shined on me and I wonder if I could pay back these guys for being so genuine.

One thing you pick up in Istanbul is the sense that this city is so old, so storied, welcoming, but keeping a distinct Turkish identity. You'll hear the adhan for Mahgrib from every direction because there lies a mosque in almost every direction.

The more I think about it, I think I enjoyed Ortakoy the most, it was a little bazaar district underneath the Bosphorous Bridge and had this Baroque-esque Mosque constructed in the 1800's.
The sellers there were maad friendly, they preferred my company and my story rather than selling me their wares.
It was an inhospitable day, recovering from the rainfall from the previous night, it was a little windy and overcast, yet all people young and old were kicking it, probably because it was the last day of Eid.
I went into the Ortakoy Mosque for prayers and I was really held in awe; the place was all white and the lighting from the windows gave it a really pristine atmosphere. It was a small hall (in comparison to others) but nonetheless made a statement.

There was a khutba about the end of Eid, and we scored some free Turkish delights so that's always a plus.
Its funny non-Muslims are always floating in and out of Mosques both here and the Sultan Ahmet area. Its something I've never seen before, in America or in Bangladesh. In America because the architecture isn't something to be wowed with, and Bangladesh well unless your Bengali or a social worker or a free spirit I dont think you'll be coming there too often.

I got to thinking about how even if we can control the day to day events of our lives, the bigger picture is really out of our hands, you can make a supplication to God and if you are observant can see the results of that fulfilled or replaced with more insight or something even better.
9th grade was the first time i learned about Istanbul, and something about Ottoman impact on world history. I remember Mr. Edwards, our Global Studies teacher talking specifically about the Hagia Sophia, and stressing how magnificent and old it is. I think he may have gone their with his wife, i'm not sure, but the important thing is that his description of it and Istanbul made me really curious and at the time kind of depressed because it was something completely out of my league. I have this ego/pride factor where I feel like I know everything and up to that point, I was thinking its impossible for me to travel around freely let alone to Asia. It made me actually kind of angry/sad and that was leading up to my "keep it real" phase, where I tried my hardest to keep my life and all relevant events in perspective and work for nothing short of Paradise. Young Religious people are much stronger in their beliefs and subsequent actions.

Anyhow, I put that in the back of my head along with a list of everything else I wanted to do in the world, and my day to day development took away from my naivety, i think i absorbed some aspect of the statement "whatever happens, happens... who ever falls dies... we fresh outta time living blind so we all ride"
The mentality that you keep on moving forward, not to stop and get frustrated over little issues, because our time to achieve our goals is limited.
How does this tie into Turkey?
I was sitting one day at work, looking through the study abroad catalogue driven by an impulse to leave Boston for something new; specifically i wanted enlightenment, seeking that in a country where people are in conflict or coming to terms with their Faith, to learn something from people where their beliefs place you on one side of an issue or another. A few months later I'm in Turkey, and Istanbul re-enforced my own beliefs in God (simply put: my supplication from 7 years ago answered) and the notion of sincerity and even a little lesson on patience.

Recite unto them the story of Noah, when he told his people: O my people! If my sojourn (here) and my reminding you by Allah's revelations are an offense unto you, in Allah have I put my trust, so decide upon your course of action you and your partners. Let not your course of action be in doubt for you. Then have at me, give me no respite. But if you turn back, I did not ask for any reward from you; my reward is only with Allah, and I am commanded that I should be of those who submit. 10:71-72