Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Ramla, Lydda, and...Honor Killing



The names Ramla and Lydda belong to two central  little towns, adjacent, and similar in structure, size, and population.
Ramla 's known for its White Tower, Lydda (Lod - modern name) is home to the israeli Ben-Gurion international airport.

(Pls. type the name Ramla in the search box, and you get to my posts on the White Tower and the  Ramla-Lod market).

The White Tower of Ramla

Both towns have a significant arab minority (centered mainly around the old part of the city), and that expresses itself in the history, religion, architecture, and culinary aspects of the place.

muslim women at Ramle open market 

Despite  their central position ,interesting history,  several touristic attractions, and a famous  market -  non-residents keep away from visiting the two towns, unless strictly neccessary. The reason - violence - as a result of drug transactions , and/or aimed against arab women, on the ground of protecting  'family honor' . Sometimes, an innocent passerby might get hurt or even killed during a murder deed or a fight.

Yesterday, I went to Lod by train, and from the train station took the bus to the old town. This part of town has a bus terminal, a small city market which gets bigger on Tuesdays with the addition of a flee market, religious institutions, archeological remains. 
It was at midday,  the heat was scorching and as I was dressed in black I totally attracted  the sun rays. Not a very pleasant feeling.


city market - apparently renovated


city market  

at the end of market street - an in indian jewish synagogue

across the synagogue - the ruins of an ancient soap factory

the 3-language explanatory tin sign near the soap factory

back to back ;  mosque in the background

Across the parking lot  seen in the above picture - there's an alley with a holy muslim place (entrance forbidden) and a greek church which is visited by tourists.


the alley - tourists in and out of  the greek church

 door of the greek church; above, stone plate with greek inscription 

Coexistence of religions gives much hope. A bit further, near the mosque there is a church and a synagogue. The last two even have a common wall!! Peace and coexistence are said to reign in this place. Nice, isn't it?

the trio: mosque between the church and synagogue.

In spite of technology and education, the issue of family 'honor killing' (domestic violence) is still valid.  Rumors can be enough to tarnish family reputation, and trigger an honor killing . 
In March this year, a bride- to- be was shot and killed  in Lod,one day before her wedding!  How very tragic!


young muslim woman in jeans and...head cover - in Lod

muslim girls chatting in Ramla's covered market.

There were several tiny things on my route that brightened up reality:a painted plant pot,  a mural with a camel at the bottom of a building, a painted phone cable box, an old building with some special windows,  a nice door gate.

plant pot outside the church's door

painted phone cable box

lively mural with camel and sands

beautiful black gate door

old structure with interesting window design

At the end of the tour, before heading home, I treated myself to a turkey meat schawarma (schawarma - meat roasted on a revolving spit, and then 'shaved' to be put  with salad, hummus, tachine, fries in a pita/baguette/lafa/or on a plate.). Life is good!


49 comments:

  1. I love to read it. You make my world bigger.The tiny things makes your post special. The painted pot is so "vrolijk". Love the colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, even without the plant, the pot attracts attention. Indeed, it is the tiny things that add up to a big experience.

      Delete
  2. Your posts widen my world view. I do enjoy your blog. Here in the U.S. two Muslim men stood as watch guards at a Baptist church. That is hopeful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda, for your kind words.
      Muslim guards at a church - yes, that is very hopeful indeed. Coexistence of reLigions may lead to general coexistence and vice versa.

      Delete
  3. Oh, we have one such small place at the very south of the country, at the border with Kosovo, which nobody (in their sane mind) enters, not even police, and funny - it is also a Muslim place.

    I don't know what is your opinion about it, I'd love to hear it, but seeing hijab on women (whether it is forced or not, or just a product of their forced sense of shame) deeply unsettles me. I often thought what I'd do if I was still a teacher and had a student wearing hijab, and I never came to a satisfying conclusion. I only know I couldn't stand watching someone so young oppressed and it pains me that our more modern culture is often, today, forced to just accept it in today's insanely and overly politically-tolerant world.

    Honour killing is something we've had down in Montenegro, I think they call it blood revenge or something like that, it is usually passed through many generations. It is crazy how we haven't moved much from mediaeval times, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honor Killing is usually done by a family member: father, brother, husband decide to kill daughter, sister, wife -"to save the family's honor".

      As for the head covering - I used to have no opinion until I noticed that many of the young muslim women wear heavy make-up on their face. So, I ask - where's the modesty here? I've never asked anyone about that, but I intend to ask the young employee at the supermarket this question why make up yes, and uncovered head no.

      Delete
    2. One of my friends across the globe, who wears a hijab over in Indonesia, told me her parents do not force her but she wears it because she feels safe but I'm thinking if you need to cover yourself up you ain't feeling safe at all, you are just afraid to face the world (she is a very modest and shy girl), and your parents obviously did not support you right because they've turned you into a weak person who is afraid to face reality. They don't understand that the feeling of shame has been forcefully put in them.

      Delete
    3. I have to admit that the reasons behind the 'hijab' are not entirely clear to me. In our orthodox jewish circles, women also wear head covers. I always thought it had to do with modesty, virtue, and not to attract men through the beauty of their capillar hair. Not sure anymore of anything. Religion has become highly commercialized.

      I'm under the impression, the veil and head covering of muslim women has lately become a sign for ethnic and religious identity - more than anything else. Safety, modesty, shame, weakness are only in our vocabulary, not in their heads. I might be wrong. I'll try to go to the bottom of things.

      Delete
  4. Coexistrnce of religions is so important, I love that there are churches, mosques and synagogues. Have a lovely day☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Religions can contribute a great deal to good relationships among groups,communities, and nations. They've got the right power and influence over their believers.

      Delete
  5. Honor killing is just horrible, but that's just my opinion. No muslims here in our area that I know of, but they're in Chicago area for sure, and I see your makeup comment above. I always wonder about that too, as they seem to go very heavy on the makeup.
    You said the weather was scorching on your outing. We've had rain and thunderstorms for ages here, and I'm wondering if we'll ever get some warm summer weather.
    The black door is very unique and pretty. Wondering what the symbols at the bottom are, and is it a gate and fence around a residence, are they wealthy? So many questions... 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Horrible' is a weak word for those atrocities. Sometimes one brother kills his sister alone, sometimes all the 3-4 brothers are in it. Unimaginable!

      As for the door, Pam, - yes, it's fence +gate around a residence, probably wealthy family. I don't know about the symbols, if any.

      Delete
  6. It's ghastly to even imagine that honor killings still take place. Thanks though for an interesting and important post. You live in such a different world.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, this is not the world I live in, but a nearby world. Nowadays, countries everywhere have their 'nearby worlds', but if the country is big enough, you are unlikely to come upon the other world. We are a tiny country with no place to escape to.

      Delete
  7. Horrible to hear about these honour killings. However your shawarma sounds good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes - schawarma is a delicacy! I don't have it often as I wish to keep my weight down, but whenever I do, it's a feast with many flavors. I guess you've got some schawarma version in Canada too as you get immigrants from the Middle East who bring the tradition with them.

      Delete
  8. This is fascinating. Wonderful photos of a spot I'll probably never see, so thank you for that. The honor killings are so very sad. I don't understand but I suppose it happens in many places, it just takes different forms and names (street violence -- but targeted). I do love the proximity of the different houses of worship. It does indeed bring hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would think education and technology change things, but no. It appears they are only the outer envelope, the inner self stays unchanged for centuries. I've often heard the saying" you can take a man out of the desert, but not the desert out of the man. True and sad.

      Delete
  9. You live in a completely different world to me.
    Thank you for sharing. If only all religions could live together in harmony.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As mentioned in a previous comment, it's not my world but a nearby world. Nowadays, all countries have their 'nearby world' - your New Zealand too. The tragedy in Christchurch is a direct result of what cultural diversity can lead to.

      Delete
  10. co existence of religion indeed gives a lot of hope.
    I know about honour killing. We have a large moslim community in the Netherlands where it still happens. It is horrible and unbelievable that it still happens on a big scale.
    I love the market and all the beautiful buildings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen the same proximity of mosque, church, synagogue in Sofia (Bulgaria) and I liked it very much. Religions are powerful and they could do a lot to make things work positively in the relationships among different ethnicities.

      Delete
  11. Thank you, Duta, for broadening my knowledge. The concept of honor killing is terrible and certainly it exists in so many countries or cultures under different names. While it’s nit the same, it has always puzzled me how even religious groups can kill in the name if their “god.” You are right that black is not a good color choice in hot weather. Glad you gave yourself a treat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, nothing helped: women's protests, police work, nothing. Crime within family is the worst case scenario. Whenever a new case is reported in the Media, I get goosebumps.

      Delete
  12. "...non-residents keep away from visiting the two towns, unless strictly neccessary. The reason - violence"

    Horrible horrible horrible. The tradition of honor killing is just unspeakable.

    But I am given hope by how the church and synagogue share a wall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What seems to be religious coexistence versus cases of zero coexistence within families. Honor killing - unspeakabe phenomenon, indeed.

      Delete
  13. it's really sad that honor killings happen at all. I wish everyone could get along better but I don't see that happening all too well anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Killing within the family - the most ghastly happening one could ever think of. All the technology around (TV, cellphone ,computer) - can't prevent the prehistoric disaster. Very sad indeed.

      Delete
  14. Woow Nice article I am like your post. "Perfect "
    Good job TanksFor sharing
    Please follow me back


    Buku Vs Youtube Apa Yang Ada Di Benak Anda Kebanyakan berasumsi No..

    ReplyDelete
  15. As I grew up in France the only honor killings I heard about was from the people in Corsica (an island off the coast of France) who killed for vengeance and for their families. By the way they are not Muslims, but usually Catholic. I hear it still happens sometimes. As for the hijab, when I went to Turkey with my mom when I was a child, hardly anyone was wearing it. The same when I visited my family in Cairo several times. I think it happened in the last few years as all countries, mostly Muslim, took a turn to the right and religious fervor erupted. We had an Algerian woman trainee here in GA and she never wore a head cover, but told me that when she returned to Algiers she did. She said may ultra religious guys would bother her about it and it was easier to just wear it outside, not that she wanted to. She said a lot of young women wear it for that reason. When I traveled to Tunis, Tunisia, again about 4 years ago I was surprised to see that very few young women wore the hijab there. I’ll add something funny. I took a plane from Rome to Addis Ababa and it had a stop in Saudi Arabia. At the start of the flight there were no women with any type of head covering but about ½ hour before we landed in Saudi Arabia many women suddenly were all in black with head coverings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to believe that, at least during the last years, and especially in the West, wearing the 'hijab' is more of an identity symbol rather than a religious one.
      Thanks for the detailed comment; you seem to know a lot about the subject as you've visited muslim countries, and head covering is part of the landscape, so to speak.

      Delete
  16. Everything I was thinking to write has already been stated very well. Modern times and tolerance on one hand, with unchanging ancient 'rules' on the other is almost unimaginable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things like that constantly bring me back to the saying of: 'you can take a person out of the desert, you can't take the desert out of that person'. Regardless of the environment, the desert is always present in mentality.

      Delete
  17. no matter the motive killing should not be tolerated this day and time. There are areas of Nashville I do not go because it has teenage criminals. They kill, steal and live on rudeness. I do not understand the Muslim culture but with all the bad press I feel very uncomfortable around any of them no matter their gender. I am thankful you got back safely to your home. Peace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So very glad to hear from you!
      I always say the message should be short and clear: 'Nobody, under any circumstances, has the right to take another person's life'.
      Sadly, this message gets drowned into all kinds of politically correct mumbles.

      Delete
  18. Very interesting post ! I think it is so bad and sad that for a religion whatever it is people become racists or kill each other. That has nothing to do with God, these are only human religions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honor Killing is more of a social phenomenon rather than a religious one.It is committed by a family member against a female family member thought to be guilty of bringing dishonor upon the family.

      Delete
  19. This is such an interesting post, DUTA. We hear of honor killings every now and then, here in the states. Such a very sad thing. The pictures are amazing, but none of us would know their story, without your excellent narrative. Thank you for letting us tag along. Next best thing to being there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bica, for your kind words.
      Any form of killing makes us sad. If only we could have prevented it!

      May be there are fewer 'honor killing' cases than in the past,yet even one case is too much , and each year there are several such cases.

      Delete
  20. It is both tragic and a beautiful post.
    Thanks for the idea about the vinegar. I shall try it. Or stay indoors!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is beauty in this place, but tragedy overshadows it. The same applies to the 'twin', nearby town of Ramla.
      (As for the vinegar, you're welcome; hope it helps).

      Delete
  21. Something to strive for: fewer "honor" killings in the coming years than in the previous.

    But are we progressing as people? So very much unhappiness in the world...

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are fewer, but we wish None.
      Our progress as people is controversial, I must say. So far, it has given us a lot of misery.

      Delete
  22. I always find your posts so interesting, DUTA...they're always an intriguing diverse potpourri. Thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee, for the compliment. To achieve a certain degree of interesting level, one has to look at the diversity of things.

      Delete
  23. Wouldn't you think that at the confluence of three religions they could all live out their creed of a belief in God and coexist in peace, with respect for each other, and certainly abandon this heinous practice of honour killings? Shawarma has become a very popular dish here with the influx of many people with origins in the middle east. We sometimes even make our own, although of course we are unable to shave the chicken authentically, but it still tastes good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the practice of 'honor killing' could and should be abandoned. "Where there's a will there's a way" as they say.
      My favorite is the turkey meat shawarma; others prefer the lamb/chicken one. Whatever the kind of meat, it's, no doubt, a popular, delicious fast food.

      Delete