Turkey and Armenia have just signed historic accords aimed to end a century of hostility and mistrust between them.
I wish them luck. Today's post for That's My World Tuesday (Klaus' meme is one year old today!) is dedicated to the people living in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.
If you remember an earlier post about the Armenian Orthodox St. James Cathedral, we said that many centuries ago the Ottoman Turks issued an edict forbidding the ringing of church bells in Jerusalem. As a legal loophole, a wooden board or an iron sheet called a simandron (or nakos, in Arabic) cleverly replaced bells to call the monks and the public to prayer.
Ottoman rule ended in 1917 and today Israel has freedom of religious expression. Many church bells ring in the Old City. But in memory of those centuries of Moslem prohibition of the bells, an Armenian monk emerges from the church every weekday and hammers on the simandron just before 3:00 pm vespers.
Try not to be distracted by the two women who cross the church courtyard on their way to buy candles to light during the service. Let's just say that it shows how well "hidden" I was beside a pillar while filming (which is forbidden).
What do you prefer? Did you enjoy the spirited hammering on the simandron, right next to you, or would you rather hear bells up in a tower?
(For more about Armenians in Jerusalem please click on my "Armenians" label below or in the margin.)
(Linking to inSPIREd Sunday.)