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Historic Islamic Art Museum “Completely Destroyed”

Egypt’s treasures destroyed

Egyptian Streets

Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities has announced that Cairo’s Islamic Art Museum has been “completely destroyed,” in a moment of anger and frustration.

The Minister’s statements came after a car bomb exploded outside the Museum and the Security Directorate, killing five and injuring more than 80. The explosion was one of three in Cairo today, with one killed at a Metro Station in Dokki.

While the extent of the damage is not yet clear, the Minister was earlier quoted as saying the damage is in the “tens of millions of dollars,” but vowed to restore the Museum and any antiquities that remain.

The Islamic Art Museum in Cairo houses one of the most extensive and important collections of Islamic art in the world. The Museum displays priceless Islamic art work from all periods of Islamic history, including one of the rarest copies of the Quran.

Until 2010, the Museum had been closed for…

View original post 30 more words

Why Mako Fujimura Left New York City for the Coun…

How appropriate! We are moving to the State of Virginia tomorrow! My husband, Jon, will be pursuing his passion as an artist! Hmmmm!


Why Mako Fujimura Left New York City for the Coun… | This Is Our City | Christianity Today.

Culture’s Place In Life and Death

I Have Nothing

Image via Wikipedia

Gov. Chris Christie‘s decision to lower flags in New Jersey to half-staff in honor of Whitney Houston has caused much debate.

Who is “half-staff worthy” in our society? Military and Government figures certainly, but consider the importance of cultural icons in shaping who we are as a people.

To honor in a public way one who creates beauty, excels in sports, or other  works seems appropriate.

But, where do we draw the line? Who decides which figure will be honored at death? I suppose the Governor is the best one to make that call.

What do you think?

NJ gov strongly defends lowering flags for Houston – Yahoo! News.

Palestine in Threads

English: Embroidered pillowcase produced by Pa...

Palestinian Embroidery

Men and women in every culture create beautiful crafts that are valuable commodities. Regardless of politics, beauty is something we can all appreciate.

As Jon and I prepare for our move, we are sorting through our treasure trove of Batik and other cloth from Asia. It’s a cinch to find people to share them with around Cornell with its Indonesia and South East Asian connections.  We anticipate it may be more difficult to find many South East Asian experts in Colorado…but, who knows?

During our first visit to Palestine, I admired the intricate Palestinian embroidery work on tablecloths, pillow cases and especially, women’s “Thobes”.


These are the long dresses worn by many of the young women on special occasions, while most of the older women wear them on the street going to market and doing their daily tasks.


I learned from a friend that each town has it own distinctive design and color scheme. Many of the colors originated from plants indigenous to the area: “reds” from pomegranate, “dark blues” from the indigo plant: “yellow” from saffron flowers etc.


I had hoped to find one for myself from her hometown,  but they are costly, and time for proper bargaining ran out.

Eventually, I bought one for myself, in a tourist market in Nazareth.  It was highly inappropriate; immodestly short-sleeved, over sized even for me, with bright multi-colored threads on black.  It resembles a rainbow and wear it as often as possible. I guess you could say it represents is the “Tourist visit of Mary Perry”.

On my next visit, I want to buy the authentic “Thobe” representing Bethlehem, the city of Christ‘s birth. Bethlehem’s pattern reminds me of a traditional red Ukrainian stitch, against a black background.  All the women in the Choir at Bethlehem Bible College wear this costume so I hope I can find somebody who will help me shop and bargain for it.

As I searched on the internet for the exact pattern I was looking for, I found the following short film advertising a book about historic Palestinian embroidery motifs written by Margarita Skinner in association with Widad Kawar.

My interest piqued further as I discovered this ancient film clip from the ’20s of a Palestinian woman wrapping herself in a double thobe/dress.

This was before the modern world came to Palestine. I was fascinated when I thought about Mary, the mother of Jesus  and possibly even Abraham’s wife, Sarah, wrapping their own dresses in a similar fashion. It seemed entirely possible since time stood still for so many centuries before the arrival of our modern technological age.

A little more information on Palestinian stitchery follows:


The Future of Solitude



After our year Sabbatical, it’s been surprisingly difficult for us to become involved again with people.  I mentioned to Jon, we don’t seem quite ready to re-enter public life.

We returned to our church, but for months sat up in the balcony at a distance from most of the people we know and love. We’ve enjoyed weekly conversations with just a few as we slip out the door.

This week we managed to return to our regular seat, and visited with many old friends. We did okay, but felt exhausted afterwards.

The only fall or winter holiday event we attended was one on Renewable Energy where we suspected we wouldn’t know many people. We didn’t! :()

Why this difficulty re-entering public life?

Last year was largely a year of solitude.  After years of being with people for hours on end every day of the week for our entire marriage, we left our life behind to be alone with each other, with God, and with our own thoughts.

On our return, we were hesitant, and probably a bit fearful, certainly cautious about returning to lifelong habits of over commitment. We had learned valuable lessons about the long-term effects of neglecting boundaries.

But, we had also learned the value of a peaceful, uncluttered mind. I think both of us wonder how we will live in the “real” world without once again having our thoughts so pre-occupied with good thoughts that we have little time for wonderful ones.

Read this article below for thoughts on the future of Solitude: