Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Chosque

The Omari is a downton Beirut mosque with a nave and an apse (the only 2 possible answers for the New York Times Crossword puzzle clue: Church section.) Now try to keep up with me, this site is a Roman temple burried under a Byzantine church turned Memluki mosque, turned cathedral turned mosque again, recently expanded or rather ruined with a modern expansion, oh and by the way it houses one arm belonging to John the Baptist and one hair belonging to Prophet Mohammad's scalp. The hair was stolen during the (un)civil war, but if you ask me wouldn't an extra arm be more useful in a fight than a hair?

Now here's my crazy suggestion. Wouldn't it be fucking awesome if they had Friday Prayers AND Sunday mass at the Omari Mosque/St. John's Church? That would fully capture the history of the place and show the National unity we so badly want. Heck I might even attend. Ok Ok, I'm getting carried away now.

To be even more accurate to the history of the place, we can throw Bacchusian orgies in the den. Now, that's the Lebanon we all brag about; right there smacked in the middle of Downtown Beirut under the layers of the Omari.

8 comments:

hind said...

walllllll. All that? no wonder we arabs are so confused and contradictory. Sometimes i think my american friends would have their heads reeling here with the crazy strange mixture of cultures and religions and the sheer absurdity of many of our norms and traditions and locations. Good history work Jamal, thanks for sharing, now ill never be able to see the mosque again without thinking of an orgy underneath it. Just what one needs stuck in traffic on the way to work, quran blaring, diesel choking me while the service driver pontificates on the latest news and views of jumblatt. Thanks!

ghassan said...

Jammal, that is a wonderful idea. As you have already noted, it will even double the efficiency of space utilization!!!

Seriously, wouldn't it be a splendid exampleof tolerance and respect for the other if a Church/Mosque can be convinced to share its space withits co religionists?

Sietske in Beiroet said...

I haven't been to church since my aunt's funeral, so i am not much of a church goer, but for your idea, I'll come to church.

Ramzi said...

Ahhh... raze it, build an IMAX.

Fouad said...

Being a christian myself, I think it would be in your best interest if you renamed it and called it a Murch, you know, or else... :)

siriqbal said...

It's been done already!Hundreds of years ago when muslim rulers 'converted' a church in a newly conquered land into a mosque, the Christians would still be allowed to have Sunday mass there. They probably did think of themselves as being incredibly tolerant. Of course, it would have been more tolerant to leave the churches alone in the first place, but that would be taking tolerance too far into the realm of reliqious equality! We don't want those Christians to get the wrong idea now, do we?

ghassan said...

Jamal,
This is a news item that is tangentially related to your "Chosque post".
There seems to be a serious campaign to gather a million signatures and present them to the European Parliament demanding that Turkish membership be contingent on the restoration of Hagia Sophia back to the church that it used to be. The Maronite Church of Lebanon, maybe it was the Maronite league, are co sponsors of the petition.

LebaneseFlagBurner said...

Why not turn it into a sexclub. Muslims and Christians can thus express their love freely.

Or a shooting range for the Martyr Square Smurfs (Hint: it is not them who will be doing the shooting).