The next Jerusalem Hug is happening on 21st June, 2009 when people of all faiths form a human circle of love around Jerusalem. For those who are not in Jerusalem for the event there will be virtual hugs in other cities around the world. You can go to Lovers of Jerusalem for more details.
Dear Friends, if you scroll down to the videos available in the sidebar you will see I have added a new video.
This is Karen Armstrongs speech when she received a TED award. It is very moving and pertinent to the global situation today. Religion can and should be a force for change today. Using the Golden Rule of every faith: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do to you. Karen Armstrong is working on creating a Charter of Compassion for the whole world.
It is August and many people are on holiday. Everything is quieter than usual; even the internet seems less busy. I feel the need for a holiday too. I miss Andalucia and it’s nearly a year since I was last there. I can’t go anywhere at present though because I am working hard to finish my MA by September. I have a dissertation to write which also involves field study. I am working on the role of memory in interfaith dialogue and looking specifically at Jews and Muslims ‘remembering’ the times they lived and worked together in Al-Andalus. So Andalucia (present day Al-Andalus) is never far from my thoughts. This topic will be expanded when I begin my doctoral research in September.
I was speaking to a Spanish friend on the phone last night and she said I wouldn’t want to go over there right now even if I had the time and money because it is so hot. Climate change is making itself noticeable in the Alpujarra Mountains as well. Summers have become shorter and hotter. In Al-Andalus of medieval times there was a tendency to build houses relatively high and to keep the streets quite narrow. This provided shade and a measure of relief from the heat in summer. They also used water in numerous water channels and fountains. The Court of Lions in the Alhambra in Granada is a wonderful example of this. On a hot day I find even the sound of trickling, bubbling, splashing water immensely refreshing. Well, to come back to where I am now, sitting at my laptop in Bristol, the sky grey, the air chilly, quite unusual for August, it certainly makes it easier to work on my dissertation. So, Alhamdulillah for all kinds of weather, rain and sun, wind and dust. What a beautiful planet this is in all its natural diversity!