Tag Archives: Izmir

Turkish Tuesday, walking as self-health care, and Glad I shared a Smile that day

Two people now have told me that this shared smile (during the 14 months I worked in Turkey) was indeed a contribution to society, even though no monetary exchange and no formal recognition was involved. Time to readjust my thinking on what makes a contribution to society, and my ability to contribute (more compassion for self and others allows greater contribution).

I walked alot, but the bus system is also pretty good in Izmir…

The 4 Freedoms for ALL via Language & Adult Education, Writing, and PublicDomainInfrastructure

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So…

View original post 407 more words

Almost Minbari Mondays, and, I am not my government

This post, still sadly relevant, I believe, is another reason that our Republic must become more fully inclusive for all of us.   Oh, and soon, Mindful or Moody Mondays will become Minbari Mondays, when I begin a Babylon 5 re-watch.

When I lived in Turkey, in 2005, the US was pushing for Turkey to acknowledge a certain historical event an a way that Turks saw as biased against them.  I had been living in Izmir long enough to speak passable Turkish, and was regularly invited to my neighbors apartments to eat breakfasts, dinners, have coffee, and pass time with many of them.  One day, one of these neighbors came running up to me as I walked home from work, visibly upset, and began shouting at me in Turkish:  about my government trying to force her government to admit to a crime that had not been a crime.  She went on, quite emotionally and a bit frighteningly to me, as another neighbor came to stand by me, insisting that Turkey was being blamed, set up, or otherwise abused, and apparently blaming me for all of this.   Yet, I had left my own country, as I tried to explain to her, for the very same reasons she was angry with my government:  there was injustice being committed by my government, and I was powerless, as an ordinary citizen, to change that.  More of my neighbors arrived, giving her similar explanations, and comforting both of us as we all walked into our building.  I was stunned that I could be the target of such misplaced anger, apparently simply because I was the only US citizen most of them knew who actually spoke Turkish and lived in a lower middle class Turkish neighborhood, rather than in an expensive expat enclave.

Later, a similar thing happened.    Different country, same idea.

When I lived in England, in either 2006 or 2007 I believe, one day at a gathering, someone walked up to me and introduced herself.  Before I could finish responding with “Hi, my name is,”  she shouted “You’re an American!” turned on her heel, and stormed away, leaving me stunned and saddened.  I had  left my country of origin because of allegations of being “unpatriotic,” “un-American,” and siding with socialists even on the subject of illegal torture always being, well, illegal.  Yet here I was being broadsided by a similar blind hatred based on my national origin, and based on the assumption that I must supposedly agree with the policies of the government of the country in which I was born.

Just recently, online, a person from Bulgaria commented, when I pointed out that she’d misread, or not read, the details and context of a comment I’d written which she was criticizing, ended the exchange by cursing me as a person from “that Trump country America,” etc, apparently conflating my critique of her (lack of) reading, with the fact that I live in the United States, and thus assuming that I must be entirely pro American governmental policies.   Yet, nothing could be further from the truth, at least regarding my association with Trump’s policies or presence in government.   Not only did I vote against him, but I spent a great deal of time working to persuade others to do likewise, and to mitigate the results of policies, particularly anti-immigrant policies, implemented by his administration.  (I am, after all, also a volunteer for an organisation that visits detained asylum-seekers…)

Yet, once again, I’ve been relegated to the status of an American who must therefore agree with my current government’s policies, however inaccurate this assumption may actually be.

As with the situation in England and in Turkey, no one  consulted me for my actual opinion on the matter,  but I was automatically the target of anger as a representative of my country of origin, based on a mistaken idea that I must agree with or represent that government.  The irony is that in fact I had left the country, or risked reaching out to someone in another country, precisely because I disagreed and disagree with and refused to fund, via my presence in the country and hence economic support via rent, food expenses, income tax, etc.  My reasons for living in a state that opposes the policies of this administration reflect the same reasons I left in 2004:  it is my duty as a citizen of a republic to uphold the ideals of the republic, even when difficult.  Now, perhaps more than at any other time in history, I feel it my duty to lend my little weight to efforts to change the course of this, my native country, toward the ideals voiced in the Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  But no one ever asked me about that.

 

So why do we human beings tend to assume that someone from a particular country must represent or even agree with the person or policies in power at the time?    Why are all people taken to represent the worst in where they come from?  Should we all not take the time to inquire of each person where he or she stands before casting the accusation of collaboration with injustice?

So, it turns out that both of the activist organizations I was a part of when I originally wrote this post tended to work for the Cause, but neglected to bother taking care of fellow members of the group.  Thus, when I burned out from one and after months of bullying from two members of the other, I left both groups, unfortunately.  How do we human beings manage to survive, turning on each other as we do?

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the Holocene Epoch and to the Holocene Calendar, and consider whether you think that an inclusive calendar might help us stop bullying each other, please,

2.) Share your thoughts with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a calendar based on the Holocene Epoch might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses an alternate calendar, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 20/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 21/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, Happiness vs. Meaning, and Health

The common good, or the general welfare, in the United States, tends to presume that “the pursuit of happiness” is the good and the goal of life.  Yet those of us descended from enslaved people know that our ancestors, and often ourselves, as well, have not been free to follow that pursuit, and thus have been forced to define happiness in a different way.   

When I lived in Izmir, a neighbor asked me one day:

Doydun yerin nerede?

 

Literally, this means, where is your full place? 

She was asking me where is the place that makes me happy.  What I could not explain to her then, back in 2005, which some blogging friends have recently reminded me to point out, is that contentment, far more than happiness, is a stable emotion, rather than a fleeting feeling based on dopamine or serotonin, but it requires context.  That context is built out of a life that renders service.  A life, for me, that builds tools and leaves a scaffolding upon which others may continue to build, to create the equitable world that would be safe, kind, and respectful of the dignity and potential of every human being born into this world.  

True it is, that happiness is a part of one’s overall health.  Access to affordable and comprehensive health care is also a major part of that: freedom from the stress of knowing that one illness can set back all of your life’s savings, or that one accident can deprive you of a livelihood.  Knowing just how precarious this health and access to health care is, especially for people who have no family or community to protect and/or take care of them, can be a major on brake a person’s moment to moment, not to mention overall, happiness.  That is in spite of, and separate from, the satisfaction or contentment that one may derive from seeing the works of her hands accomplish good things.  Even one who has stood in that small and fearful gap, in harms way for another, one who has brought hope to another at a moment when years had passed without greeting, even such a one may feel content with those works, yet aspire to rejoice at the happiness of others, when others are safe.  Is this happiness, for that one person? 

The happiness of one individual must be viewed, for me, in the wider context of each and every person’s ability to have every need met.  The reason is that if I go to some other part of the world, my own safety is compromised, based on a variety of factors that have nothing to do with my desire to help others, and everything to do with my appearance, origins, and connections.  That situation is neither equitable, nor safe, for anyone.  Ignoring these unpleasant truths will not make them go away, and focusing on one small part of the world that appears positive, while ignoring most of the pain, will never solve our collective problem.  Yet we have it within our power, collectively, to change the situation.  We have the technology, the resources, and the strategic ability to build a system that can allow every human being to reach full creative potential.  If we each choose to have a life of meaning, building for the entirety of humanity, over a lifetime of our pursuit of the fleeting happiness of a moment, we can leave a safer, kinder world where each individual is actually listened to, actually respected for the pebble of meaning that that person brings to help build the rising edifice, and leaves as part of the scaffolding.  We can each have, and also help others, to have a life of lasting meaning, if we want to.

The question is do we want to?

 

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to happiness versus meaning.

2.) Share the context of those sources, and what you think of them, with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how any ordinary person might help build a better world system, and thus be a Hero,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

  Görüşürüz!    

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 26/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 27/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, Arts/Media and Public Policy, and how Time Banks can help!

When I lived in Izmir, a Turkish TV spot shocked me: it showed an image of an elderly Black man, evidently homeless, sleeping in a stairwell directly beneath a sign that pointed up the stairs and read “White House” followed by the caption “Yorum Yok” or “No Comment.” This was about the same time that a major Turkish newspaper criticized the Erdoğan government over the death by hypothermia of an elderly homeless man up in Istanbul, sparking outrage among my Turkish coworkers. These two media pieces, taken together, led me to wonder about the links between the media and public policy.

When I was a kid, PBS School House Rock spots taught me things like the Preamble to the US Constitution, and how bills become law.  These and other PBS shows like Sesame Street demonstrated the concept of cooperation and taught a generation of kids ideas of fairness, social justice, and may have helped pave the way for later laws passed once we became adults on issues ranging from birth control and same-sex marriage to the Affordable Care Act.

In like manner, shows like El Ministerio del Tiempo, in Spain, provide social commentary and critique, while framing various often opposing views on social justice, cooperation, and the policy elements that can encourage those values. Similarly, the Turkish family show Sihirli Annem also showed a generation of kids in Turkey respect for women, social justice and cooperation. That generation is now part of the push-back against radicalism in Turkey today.

All of these shows are examples of how the Arts and Media can influence Public Policy, and vice-versa. Time Banks, when encouraged by local government and community-based organizations, can help in facilitating access to the arts through Open Access Cable, local arts organizations, and extending Time Bank credit to local artists through mural projects and other local culture projects, for the benefit of both local and extended communities.

Join or start one in your community now!

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

orig. posted: October 18th, 12017 HE

Turkish Tuesdays and Dominant culture vs. your health

Here is where cultural change, as well as comprehensive health care for all, would help in regards to the pressure we face to conform, partly shown in minute 9:31 of  episode 20 of my favorite family TV show, Sihirli Annem:

Her anne gibi…”

(“Like every mother…”)

When I taught English in Izmir, not a day went by without my Turkish co-workers (and perhaps even my British colleague) spending several minutes harranguing me about the need to wear make-up, in their professional opinions. I refused, but I paid a price, in lower esteem and in difficulty relating to others. A scene in which little Cilek wants to dye her hair is a telling one. Her older sister comments that their mother dyes her hair, as all mothers do. But how much of this cosmetic change that we make to ourselves is because we want to, vs. because society expects us to do so? And who benefits?

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
ShiraDest
September 2, 12016 HE

 Görüşürüz!    

Action Items in support of cultural change and empathy that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “empathy” into Turkish.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you imagine that learning a new language could help build empathy, and maybe even help us tolerate our differences better,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Turkish Tuesdays, smiles, and feet as mass transit!

Back when I lived in Izmir, I walked everywhere. Izmir does have a good bus system, btw, with a convenient Kent Cart system, like London’s Oyster card and DC’s SmarTrip card. Yet, some days, I just preferred to walk.

Yet, good Public Transit is crucial for those who cannot walk (and remember that increasingly large parts of even the American population are aging out of the ability to drive safely.  Note that I did not say the ability to drive, but the ability to do so safely…)

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE

19.2.12016 edit via old LJ post from 2008-11-28 00:19:00

“kalbin temizmis”

“Feeling very grateful recalling a friend telling me ‘my heart must be pure’ to have found her just when I needed her, to help another friend with a CV.

Feeling grateful for the lady in Izmir who expressed such appreciation for a simple greeting in the street, and the other lady in Izmir who told me that our half hour conversation on life (in Turkish) was worth more than any English lesson.
Grateful for those whom I have helped, and for those who help me, for my dostumlar, my truest and closest friends, who really are family for me.
May I always remember your love, and love you all in return."

(STILL grateful!!  :-)  Peace, ...)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
19 February, 12016 HE

  Görüşürüz  Sevgili Arkadaşlar!   

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the words “friend” and “close friend” into Turkish.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses that word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Turkish Tuesday and (mental) Health Care

I was very surprised, when I lived in Izmir (aka Smyrna), to see how supportive Turkish women are of one another, even in cases that I found very surprising.

A coworker of ours, a young woman, was apparently rather heavily in debt, as she came crying into the office I shared with two colleagues, one originally from Istanbul, the other originally from Bulgaria, but of Turkish origin.  Both of them turned to our younger colleague, jumped out of their chairs, and ran to hug and comfort the woman, as I tried to understand what was happening, and whether a doctor was needed.  They explained that they had both heard earlier about her troubles, and that it was just something that needed talking out, and led her into a nearby empty classroom to sit down.

Within minutes, a dozen of our colleagues, all women, all lecturers of English, had pulled the chairs into a horse-shoe shape, with this young woman at the head of the U, tissue boxes at the ready, listening and commiserating with her as she cried and explained her problem of having too many credit card bills.  I excused myself to go to the ladies room, astounded, at the time (2005).  Now, in 2020, I look back and realize that this was essentially a cultural stand-in for mental health services.   Untrained, and not trauma-related, of course.  But it is something, still, a support system, which many people lack, especially in the United States.  Especially those who struggle with childhood traumas or PTSD.

Ten years later, looking back on that, I found myself pondering social isolation and mental health from a different perspective.  I found an article related to overcoming PTSD via new neural pathway creation, and wrote:

Bloody hell -so that’s how it works!!

While she doesn’t do any brain mapping herself, Chard says this altered biology makes sense based on the fact that, as children, we are only just beginning to conceptualize the world by organizing experiences into categories. She gives this analogy, which she uses with her clients: “You see a two-year-old run up to a dog and say, ‘Doggy!’ And then she sees a cat, and she doesn’t have a schema for cat yet, so she says ‘Doggy!’ Mom says ‘Kitty,’ but everything four legs and furry is doggy until the child develops more categories.

“And then I look at my clients and say, ‘Where’s the category for child abuse?’ When you’re five, there isn’t one. The brain doesn’t have a place to store that kind of event, so it ends up bouncing around—not stored well at all in terms of a past, processed event. So what we do in therapy is bring it up, process it, make neurotransmitter connections, make sense of it with a new schema, and put it away.”

from: http://www.research.uky.edu/odyssey/spring03/puttingaway.html

Ok; now I see why it is important to re-call the experiences rather than either try to forget, or plan B.  Thank nature that the brain is sufficiently flexible (I was diagnosed in 1994 with PTSD and still criticised by a partner in 2013 for looking around all the time and jumping when a bus went by, but I thought I was being discreet -at least I no longer have major panic attacks…)

ShiraDest

March, 12015 HE

So, it turns out that social support can help, but with pre-verbal age traumas, talking can also help. So, yes, talking does help.  Interesting…

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different representatives you can write to about local health care services.

2.) Ask your reps how to increase mental health care services in your area.

3.) Share  with us in the comments, here, please.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Thoughtful Thursdays and finishing old thoughts about living in other countries and trying to be universal.

Please forgive me if this post is a bit of a ramble about living in Turkey, and the hope of universal justice.

I regret my comments about Sufism being dead, back in 2005, based on what I’d been told by neighbors, co-workers, and my boss, both up in Istanbul and down in Izmir. Whether or not that was true, for them, it prevented me from continuing the search for myself. I let the fears of others, and my own fear, being told that it’s not safe, even in 2005, for a young-looking woman (Turks were always shocked and then offended that a woman in her 40s, whom they’d taken for mid 20’s, dared to be living alone and working in a foreign country with no plans to go home, marry, make enough money to buy a house, car, health insurance, etc,) dictate my plans. But that was about the best I could do at the time.

Now, looking back at some conversations I had with other bloggers, I see how I let myself get caught up in other mindsets, trying to be part of any society or family group that would have me (sorry if this belongs on a Spanish Sunday, but my Spanish was so bad back then that it’s hardly worth moving this…):

(This clip is  part of an older post…-

 

And, finally, that conversation I had over LJ with someone who asked me in Spanish about my impressions of how the Kurds are seen in Turkey:
“2005-05-06 11:26:00
İsmet İnönü: una historia interesante… ilginç tarih… interesting history…
Yo estaba hablando con mi jefe en la escuela sobre la fiesta de anoche y hablabamos sobre la fieste de Nevrus y otras fiestas (como el de ayer -Hıdırellez). El me decia que los Kurdos no tienen ninguna problema aqui, aunque mi antigua companera de cuarta decia que a los Kurdos Turquia no les gusta y habia descriminacion y aun ahora quedo una guerra contra ellos. Todo los Turkos decian que eso no lo es, y que solamente (los Kurdos) quieren hacer problemas. Es algo interesante. Desde amos lados hay diferente puntas de vista. Pero no sabia que habia algunas presidentes de Turquia que habian Kurdos. Otra amiga me decia que su heroe es İsmet İnönü. Yo estaba un pocito sorprendida. He encontrado unos datos sobre el por alli:”

Basically, most Turks want the Kurds to assimilate, stop speaking Kurdish, and stop complaining.  Hmm, sounds familiar… –

So, it turns out that some of my coworkers may have been right about the once and future Prime Minister gaining more and more power and closing the noose further on the secularist dream of a Laic Turkish Republic.    As I watch nationalism and particularism close in on the world, I see each group looking to its own, rather than to the universal, and it worries me now even more than it did back then.    That is why I write.  Both here on my blog, and in my Work In Progress: justice must be for all of us, as human beings.  No more, and no less.

More on my continuing striving with thoughts next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources about universalism.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a the word “universal,” tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Moody Mondays, a book 15 years overdue, and my arrival in Izmir, with a small side of neo-colonialism

Just over five years ago, I finally published a book that should have been written ten years before that. So, I figure that my book on Black-Jewish cooperation (ok, in DC, not in Izmir, but they are both international cities, after all…) pretty well pre-figures the cooperation between myself, being Black, and Channon, being Jewish, as I hosted him as a guest in my newly rented apartment in my newly moved to city of Izmir, formerly known as Smyrna. What follows is a story of some of the travelling he actually forced me to do when he got there to visit, since I’d done nothing but work my whole time there! So, once again, thanks to cooperation, having a guest is a Mitzvah that both win from. I’d forgotten about that group of Brits buying up land in Turkey: keep reading to see that side of neo-col!

I came across an old blog post from the first visit that a friend (Channon, aka Craig, may his memory be for a blessing) made to Izmir, staying as my guest for a week before bicycling across Turkey, then down around the south, to come back up to Izmir and spend another week with me before leaving for Africa.

My original post:

 

A post I missed: visit from fellow Havnik abt April of 2005

Chanon in izmir

recent travels -Efes, Milet, Bergama (Ephesus, Miletos, Pergamum)

Ok, İ am really glad that Craig is here as a guest because that has given me the impetus to do some much-needed travelling.

We went to see Ephesus, the ancient city with the great library. İt is amazing. Inscrptions in Latin and Greek (mostly Greek) reminded me that İ do in fact want to learn several different varieties of Greek. the library is richly decorated, and very imposing, even in its current state.
The well-preserved ampitheater had absolutely amazing acoustics! İ litterally whispered and Chanon could hear me half-way up the stairs!

The temple of Apollo in the town of Didim retains its magnificence after more than 2000 years. No inscriptions to be seen, but the temple site is quite impressive enough as it stands.

Miletos has a weed-grown complex including an ampitheater and other buildings we did not see.

During our trips we did a good bit of walking, and were pleasantly surprised with many offers for rides. İn Ephesus (Efes in Turkish) we were given rides (unsolicited) by a man selling carpets, and then by a servis van driver on the way up to the site, then by car full of soldiers on our walk back down from the site. The following trip allowed us to meet a man who drove a truck carrying Aygaz (propane gas) on the way to Mılet, Ergul Hanım, a nice lady who offered us a ride in her car as we walked to the beach in the town of Didim after seeing the Apollyon (temple of apollo). At the beach we met 5 British ex-pats who are living near Didim, and listened in on their discussion of real-estate here. That confirmed what a Turkish person told me earlier about the Turkish government being worried about Brits buying up lots of land -they complained about new restrictions on their ability to buy property and resell to other Brits. They also seemed not to have made much effort to learn Turkish, so İ can understand Turkish hesitation at having a large British enclave. The area clearly caters to Brits, with many pubs and British spelling everywhere. they were quıte nice to us, pointing us in the direction of Miletos (Milet in Turkish) after buying us drinks. We talked of the differences in outlook between the ancient Hellenic world and Jewish general feelings regarding modesty, perfection, beauty, slavery and İ realized that my high regard for ancient greek ideals may be at odds with Jewish thinking (at least Chanon’s point of view on Jewish thinking). İnteresting conflict. I admire beauty, strength (both of character and female physical power), general well-rounded ness (the ability to do many things reasonably well, being well-read in many subjects, etc). He contrasts this with an idea of covering and doing one thing very well. We should talk more about that…

We were offered a ride by the gate-keeper at the ruins of Miletos, who actually called a friend of his to give us a ride to the mini-bus stop 4 km away. They were heading toward Sure, but it was nice to have a short talk with them along the way. they are archeologists working at the museum, which was closed at the time we were there. We also met some students doing geo-physical survey, to scan underground for ancient sites. I have got to study archeology!

p.s. -in case İ forgot to say, İ also went with my South Korean hotel neighbor a few weeks ago to see Pergamum, where the ancient church is built on top of a more ancient temple dedicated to the Egyptian god -uh, I forgot…

 

So, it turns out that …  More on my continuing striving with Lx next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to translate the word “Hello” into Lx.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a Lx word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Turkish Tuesdays, and Being an American when it hurts

The Turkish book I’m currently reading is mentioned below the short incident on Judging on the Side of Merit.

 

I was thinking of an episode of a show, Magnificent Century, from Turkey that has been quite popular in many Spanish-speaking countries, and how much I love an early episode showing the entry of the young Sultan Suleyman (The Lawgiver, to the Turks, but known in the west as:) The Magnificent.  His new subjects shout as he rides by: “Remember that you are not greater than God!”  and the young ruler takes his duty seriously, alleviating several glowering injustices on his first day as Sultan.  Yet, I had some experiences when I lived in Turkey that show how defensive any ordinary person can be, seeing another person who seems to represent some injustice. 

I wonder how I would react now, to this same situation:

 

I was just reading the comments of the founder of NVC on reactions in a refugee camp.  It struck me that those reactions were the same as the reactions to me in Izmir.  When I lived in Izmir (in 2005, from March to November), teaching English, one day one of my neighbors saw me walking up the stairs toward our building, and she took my arm (as women often do in Turkey) to walk with me and talk.  But her talk was more of a harangue.  She let loose on me about how my government was blaming them for a genocide which they insist did not happen, and that it was all very hypocritical, particularly when the US operates Guantanamo.  I was thunderstruck that she would hold me, a person who had left my country of origin to find a job elsewhere, and to whom she could direct this rant only because I was one of the rare expatriats to spend the time and effort to learn Turkish, responsible for the Apology request.  So, unfortunately, I responded defensively, pointing out that I personally had nothing to do with my government policies, did not agree with much of those policies, and had not voted for the administration then in power!  None of those defensive arguments changed her speech.  Now I see that, like the man in the camp, she needed to vent.  I wonder if, had I allowed her to vent, simply listening and validating what she needed to say to any random American, would that incident and relationship have ended more positively?
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
 from: 20 March, 12016 HE

So, it turns out that people all around the world can be both kind yet also defensive, sometimes at the same time. There is a Jewish concept called Dan LeChaf Zechut: Judge on the Side of Merit, or as we’d say, Give the Benefit of the Doubt.  I shall try harder to do that these days.

Oh, and I’ve just started a kids story called Küçük Kara Balık by Samad Behrangi in Turkish: page 1, and I’ve already got 5 words to look up!

September 29, 2020 –page 1

1.67% “So far, I get that an old fish tells his 12 kids & grandkids a story.
derinliklerinde
Irmakta (hmm: https://elon.io/learn-turkish/lexicon… … ırmak…)

kayadan, … kaya
vadinin… vadi
akmak: https://context.reverso.net/translati…

More on my continuing striving with Turkish next week.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to translate the word “Justice” into Turkish.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a Turkish word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans) !

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post was scheduled, and the next lesson plan…)