*Underground – hidden worlds

When living on the land becomes dangerous, expensive, or crowded, we have a few options – upwards in high-rise buildings, or downwards, inside the earth.

From ancient caves to underground tunnel networks, to new ecologically beneficial cities, evidence of people living under the surface is plentifold.

It is interesting to note that ‘going underground’ features strongly in legend and mythology, as in the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades, who took her to the Underworld, and the misdventures of Orpheus in search of his wife-to-be Eurydice, who was also kidnapped. Seen as Hell by Christian tradition, and the home of many a monster, commonly, the underground world was dark and dangerous (More HERE)

Were these myths to deter the adventurous from going where no man should go or to deter him from finding a Paradise Lost, the world’s best-kept secret.




CATACOMBS OF ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT (rather wobbly guided tour by an excited American tourist)





MONTE SANT’ANGELO, ITALY. To get to this sacred cave, one has to drive up to the top of a mountain (round 30 hair-pin bends) and then enter a plain church. Inside one descends down 5 flights of stairs to arrive in a huge cave ornamented like a cathedral. This cave is dedicated to the Archangel Michael:

“St. Michael the Archangel first appeared at Monte Sant’Angelo in 490. According to tradition, it all started when a local nobleman named Elvio Emmanuele lost the best bull of his herd. After much searching, he found it kneeling in a cave. Unable to approach it, Elvio shot the bull with an arrow, but the arrow turned around and struck the man instead.

Bewildered (and presumably bleeding), Elvio went to see his bishop, who ordered three days of prayer and fasting. At the end of the three days, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to the bishop and said:

‘I am Michael the Archangel and am always in the presence of God. I chose the cave that is sacred to me. There will be no more shedding of bull’s blood. Where the rocks open widely, the sins of men may be pardoned. What is asked here in prayer will be granted.’ “

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

*Esprit Arabesque

The heart of the three religions that were birthed in the Middle East beats under a golden dome in Jerusalem

-The Dome of the Rock.

Beneath the metal mask of politics and military conflict lies the face of a people whose grass-roots culture and ancestry is rich in colour and warmth; it belies the differences across borders and conceals a uniting belief – that the land belongs to the people; the common life-force pulsing through their veins is rarely seen or understood by a western population who, in general, are too afraid to visit this land and learn the heart-beat of these people for themselves.

Dabka Dal’ouna

Dabke (Arabic: دبكة; also transliterated dabka, and dabkeh) is the most popular Arab folk dance in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. It is also danced in parts of Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. A line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions. In this dance, many different national folk dance styles can be seen – Spanish, Russian, Irish, to name a few. Commonly these days, people in the west have an image of Arabs as veiled repressed women and men who don’t appreciate them; men who are hard and serious. Yet in this dance we see women and men dressed in traditional costume, and smiling, and as in many folk dances, it is a dance of love.


جنة الله على الارض عندنا
The Jannah (Heaven) of Allah (God) on earth is in our land
مية وشجر والارض حنا
Water, trees and the land is Henna
عيسى وموسى وباقي الانبياء عندنا
Jesus, Moses and the rest of the prophets are in our land

واللي عرج على السماء
And the one who ascended to sky
صخرتوا يا با عندنا
His rock is in our land

وعلى دلعونة وعلى دلعونة
الهوى الشمالى غير اللون
Ala dal’ouna Ala da’louna
the northern wind changed the colors

يا طير الطاير سلم عليهم
طالت الغربة واشتاقنا ليهم
Oh flying bird, pass my salute to them
The desolation took long time, and we missed them
راحوا من ايدينا ورحنا من ايديهم
They went away from our hands (away from us),
and we went away from their hands (away from them)
يا با خايف على طول الجفى ينسونا
Oh, I’m afraid that they may forget us because of disaffection

يا اللي سافرتوا على بلاد بعيدة
قلبي معاكم مش طالع بايدي
Hey! you who travelled to distant countries
My heart is with you, I can’t help it
باطلب من الله العلي المعبود
I ask Allah (God) the High, the worshiped…
نتهنى بشوفتكم في فلسطين
that we get please to see you
In Palestine

وين؟ عا رام الله
Where are you going? To Ramallah
يا با وين؟ عا رام الله
Where are you going? To Ramallah
ولفي يا مسافر… وين؟
My darling (love) who’s travelling where are you…
عا رام الله
to Ramallah
ما تخاف من الله؟
طولت الغيبة
You don’t fear Allah?
You took long time away (from your home)
وين؟ عا رام الله
where are you going? To Ramallah
راجع عبلادي
I’ll be back to my land
راجع ع بلادي ون طالت الغيبة
Even if  I took long time away, I will eventually be back to my land
راجع عبلادي
I’ll be back to my land
انا وولاد ي واولاد اولادي
Me and my children
And the children of my children
راجع عبلادي
Are coming back to our home


%d bloggers like this: