Over the years, Istanbul has been given many names: the New Jerusalem, the City of Pilgrims, the Eye of the Universe, the Queen of Cities, the City of Cities. It has fascinated its conquerors, kings, travellers, historians and writers. No matter what the inaccurate and frequently mistaken accounts of European researchers say, Istanbul’s history has spacious chapters of cultural and religious tolerance and enlightened power. And, similarly, in spite of the words of many Turkish literati, the Asian character of the city is still one of its most recognisable traits. (...) This is an erudite guide to the attractions of the old Constantinople and the Ottoman Istanbul, a tribute to its glorious past and a journalist’s report about its difficult, multi-dimensional present. More on the publisher site...
( czyli taki remanent angielskojęzyczny :)
In North part of Bulgaria and south of Romania, along Danube river and delta, one can find old tombs (some dating to XVI century) of muslim wonderers (dervishes) belonging to Bektashi order. This missionaries are perceived by the local communities as saints. Their tombs since centuries are places of cult and worshipping. People are coming there to pray for health and money. Alcohol parties are being organized as form of remembering the saint. By putting clothes or shoes on graves believers are trying to get power from the saints. When asked: to which religion you and this people in graves belong? People are not sure about the answer. Some say that the saints are Christian, and they, pilgrims too. Others say that saints are muslim. Many people say it just doesn’t matter. Some say: we are Bektashis, or Alevis.
Mittu Sain’s gold Rolex attracts flies. Apart from a cheap fake watch, his work-out hands sparkle with rings adorned with red gemstones. Ruby-coloured is also an earring in his right ear. “It’s an agate that the Prophet wore, let God bless him and preserve in peace – explains Mittu. Using a mixture of Urdu, Punjabi and English he talks about Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh, who was born and lived thousands of kilometres away, at the Arabian Peninsula, in the seventh century AD. Sain refers to him with great respect.
Max Cegielski (b. 1975) is a travel writer, journalist, ex-radio DJ, co founder of Masala Soundystem. He is a former presenter on TV Canal+ and the author of the novels Masala (2002) Apocalypso (2004) and "Drunken on god" (2007). Currently he works for "TVP Kultura" where he is host of the shows about culture. His columns were published in literature periodicals (Elle, Fluid, Machina, Dziennik) and his travel reports in the daily press (Gazeta Wyborcza, Le Monde Diplomatique - poland).