We all start by laughing at the Don…Book Discussions-2014-Part II

As a preview to the year end meeting of our Reading Group in Tripoli we discuss the narrative devices of Don Quixote by Cervantes. In the context of -Management Challenges of 21st century, in post 2011 Arab spring countries, one can learn a lot from these narratives.

The Reading group has helped us shape perspective, enrich our lives through many discussions of local contexts. It has also helped me evolve a Reading journal, which helps to keep in touch with friends and family around the world… There was something comical, something tragic about him. In some way, each worker in a foreign land faces these issues in some ways, issues of renewal of contract-visa, of money transfers, or getting their gratuity.

Orders and declarations signed, but not followed up by concrete action.

Or to put it in perspective of Don Quixote- the great influential work of Cervantes as Professor Shippey concluded in his lecture.

“We all start by laughing at the Don, we end by recognizing ourselves in him.”

Continue Reading December 20, 2014 at 9:44 am Leave a comment

Uncle Tom’s Cabin ..Book discussions-2014-Part 1-

In our year end meeting (2014) of the Reading group in Tripoli, we will discuss some management challenges. Over the years, we have discussed different aspects of literature, The reading group has also helped me evolve a –Reading journal- which has helped me keep in touch with friends and family across the globe.

Continue Reading December 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

Thanksgiving service

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” Mark 8: 34-25 1 harvest festival anglican church 2

Indian Choir

Listening to the sermon of Father Vasihar on the occasion of Thanksgiving service and Harvest festival in the Anglican Church, Tripoli and his call to see our portion in God, one reflected on the life of Albert Schweitzer-the doctor who made Africa his life. Last week, (28-11-14) Thanksgiving service came alive with the choirs of Nigeria, Indian subcontinent and Egypt.

African choir-Anglican church

African choir-Anglican church

Arabic Choir

In the coming week, in our department, while organizing awareness programs -as part of “partnership with patients” on breast screening and dialysis we also went through the photographs and discussed the work of Albert Schweitzer which still lives on in Gabon. He understood and lived the significance of service, the lasting legacy of love, and the power of a promise given two thousand years ago.

Suggested reading-

Answering The Call

Answering The Call

Buy from Amazon

Other blogs of interest

Remembering St.Augustine of Hippo

http://prashantbhatt.com/2012/04/29/musings-around-easter-remembering-st-augustine-of-hippo/

Vigil Mass-Tripoli http://prashantbhatt.com/2012/12/09/candle-light-vigil-mass-tripoli/

Negro Journeys http://prashantbhatt.com/2013/01/22/negro-journeys/

Symbols and messages

Symbols and messages

December 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

Summary of walks-Turkey

Many interesting histories came alive in these walks.

HAGIA SOPHIA The domes have spectacular light and shade effects

HAGIA SOPHIA The domes have spectacular light and shade effects

From the medical perspective

As I walked around this area saw a building between Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene which is the only remaining building site of the 24 hospitals for the public mentioned in records. The Eye department of this hospital was said to be particularly well developed. Got to mention this to my Ophthalmology friends.

Other links of interest

Blue Mosque-Sultanahmet

Blue Mosque-Sultanahmet

http://prashantbhatt.com/2014/11/04/sultanahmet-walks/

 Mevlana Museum, the shrine of Jalaludin Rumi and other important figures of this spiritual movement. The relations between Asia Minor, Constantinople, Europe come alive through the many exhibits related to books, music. The rose garden around the museum is a particularly charming place to sit in the winter sun.


Mevlana Museum, the shrine of Jalaludin Rumi and other important figures of this spiritual movement. The relations between Asia Minor, Constantinople, Europe come alive through the many exhibits related to books, music. The rose garden around the museum is a particularly charming place to sit in the winter sun.

BOSPHORUS CRUISE

Bosphorus

https://plus.google.com/+PrashantBhattradmanager/stories/b5fa0f12-3032-3767-81e9-3309d0f01e4e14a11008437

http://prashantbhatt.com/2014/11/07/mevlana-walks-konya-a-lesson-on-mentorship/

RUMELI FORT.built by Mehmet 11. Nice sea breeze and views, carrying many currents of centuries

RUMELI FORT.built by Mehmet 11. Nice sea breeze and views, carrying many currents of centuries

http://prashantbhatt.com/2014/11/08/bosphorus-cruise/

Mosaic. The faces of St John and Virgin Mary are said to be serious as they are asking Jesus to forgive.

Mosaic. The faces of St John and Virgin Mary are said to be serious as they are asking Jesus to forgive.

http://prashantbhatt.com/2014/11/09/hagia-sophia/

From a mentor’s perspective

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS-brought back fond memories of friends, family from Balkans who played similar instruments

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS-brought back fond memories of friends, family from Balkans who played similar instruments

A carpet weaver asked me if I had visited the Tomb of Shams.

“No one knows where Shams is, how he disappeared. Even Rumi could not find him in his life time, and many of his spiritual poems speak of this loss and love. So how can there be a tomb of Shams,” I asked this local person of Konya.
He agreed that no one knows where is Shams.

But then, Shams is everywhere.

November 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

A case of courtsey..Afriqiyah Istanbul

The Afriqiyah airways manager at Istanbul follows his immigration related duties more zeolously than the authorized persons in Mitiga airport of Tripoli. Many foreigners with valid visas stamped by government agencies are stopped from boarding by this gentleman, who does not have the basic courtsey or civilization of not troubling international travelers in transit.

The basic courtsey of anyone in the travel industry should me to try and help people not hinder those who have valid tickets of his airlines (unfortunate victims)

In Indian civilization, guests are treated as a form of gods. Some variation of this is found in most civilizations. Most parents teach this in some form to their children.

So when one sees an airlines manager representing his company and country in this way, bent upon troubling travelers one wonders what his training, background and orientation is.

Hope Afriqiyah Istanbul airways manager finds some shame,sense of guilt before victimizing more travelers.

His logic. I am just following orders. However it is worth noting that passengers coming through other airlines ( Buraq,Libyan ) or from other airports like Amman or Alexandria with the same documents are not troubled in this manner.

And the best proof of this manager’s skewed interpretation is that the authorities in Tripoli accept the documents which he rejects.

Shame on Afriqiyah Istanbul manager for abusing his post and powers,and bringing disrepute to his company and the travel industry.

November 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm 2 comments

Archeology museum Istanbul-Every object has a story

Walking down towards Gulhane park from the garden between Topkapi palace and Hagia Irene, the archeology museum of Istanbul has some of the richest collections of artifacts in the world.

EVERY OBJECT HAS A STORY

LINKS AND MEMORIES Lions of Gates of Babylon. The symbols of the Royal Ontario Museum-ROM- seen at the Archeology Museum of Istanbul.

LINKS AND MEMORIES                                     Lions of Gates of Babylon. The symbols of the Royal Ontario Museum-ROM- seen at the Archeology Museum of Istanbul.

The Royal Ontario Museum centennial celebration has taken out a very interesting book, telling the behind the scenes stories of objects in their collection, or inviting prominent cultural and scientific persons to share their stories and associations. The lion symbol from Babylon is prominent for ROM as its logo. Walking through the Ancient Orient building section,of Archeology museum,Istanbul, saw five lions which guarded the gates in Babylon.

The Egyptian section reminded me of trips to Luxor,Karnak,Giza,Saqqara almost a decade ago. The Roman – Greek statues of mythological Gods and Roman emperors reminded of many walks around North African sites in Leptis Magna

( bithplace of Septimus Severus Roman emperor 194 to 211 ad.) , Sabratha, Cyrene (shahat), Apollonia (Susa),

Athena-arts wisdom warfare 500 bc

ATHENA-5th century BC- Goddess of Wisdom, Arts, warfare.          Statue from Leptis Magna-(present day Lebdah-Khoms of Libya) Spent a nice afternoon with hot chocolate and cake and a Libyan friend, reviewing these images and civilizational links through the ages.

Walking through the section Istanbul through the ages, read the account of how Septimus Severus laid siege on Constantinople for over 2 years for having supported a rival claimant to the Roman throne. The intertwined histories of these regions, even today there are weapon supply channels to the rival militias whim ckaim legitimate rule over Tripoli.

TROY

As one enters the 3rd floor of the Old building , the legend of Troy, the beginnings of European literature in the form of Homer’s Iliad and Ulysses come alive in the many artifacts . The stories of the archeologists who discovered the location of the mythological Troy make very interesting reading . ( though one is very tired by this time, as the museum housed in several large buildings is very large..)

The Calypso cave in Gozo, Malta, with beautiful views of Ramla bay is supposed to be the place where Ulysses was trapped for a long time on his return journey from tge Trojan war to Ithaca. Again, the intertwined histories of these regions made me remember walks in Malta. Remembered seeing the plaque in Hastings garden in support of Armenians who were displaced during period of first world war, an event interpreted differently by concerned parties to this day.

Anatolia and Mediterranean histories have been linked through millenia, right from the times of Ulysses to more recent times.
War has been a theme , from the Trojan war to the first world war. Some scholars say that the national boundaries drawn around a 100 years ago are changing again. A guide told how over 25 dynasties have ruled over Anatolia.

The Archeology museum has many objects who speak these histories to us.

GARDENS-TEA-ASSOCIATIONS

A

ASCLEPIUS-God of medicine and healing-2nd century BC.     Hellinistic tradition

The gardens surrounding the museums have a unique charms. Sipping tea here adds to one’s feel of the place. As the late afternoon sun warmed us,thought of some walks and stories and associations that came alive. Having lived in Tripoli ,which used to be part of Ottoman empire,and Malta with its rich history and asdociation right from the times of Homer, the Archeology museum of Istanbul refreshed many associations.

Will return.

November 11, 2014 at 8:14 pm 1 comment

Hagia Sophia

HAGIA SOPHIA The domes have spectacular light and shade effects

HAGIA SOPHIA The domes have spectacular light and shade effects

Mosaic. The faces of St John and Virgin Mary are said to be serious as they are asking Jesus to forgive.

Mosaic. The faces of St John and Virgin Mary are said to be serious as they are asking Jesus to forgive.

The gardens,columns, arches and mosaics speak across millenia. The spirit of places like Hagia Sophia is difficult to convey in words. The walk up the ramp which has stones of antiquity was a reminder of the shortness of human physicak life. The weeping column (number 30 on the audio guide ) has many interesting legends associated with it.

WEEPING COLUMN many interesting legends associated. No 30 of audio guide, on the right of the ramp leading to the upper galleries

WEEPING COLUMN many interesting legends associated. No 30 of audio guide, on the right of the ramp leading to the upper galleries

Maintining a separate journal diary of these visits is an interesting way to gain perspective. So I turned the pages to October 2006, when I had visited a Byzantine church in Eastern Libya which has mosaics , one of which depicts the ancient lighthouse of Alexandria.

What is it in us that seeks out these walks through time.

As I walked around this area saw a building between Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene which is the only remaining building site of the 24 hospitals for the public mentioned in records. The Eye department of this hospital was said to be particularly well developed. Got to mention this to my Ophthalmology friends.

November 9, 2014 at 5:45 am 1 comment

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