Lessons from Abroad: Study Abroad Returnee Conference

Sultan Ahmet

September 30, 2015

Yesterday I joined the hordes of foreigners and went to a little tourism section in Istanbul with several beautiful mosques and museums called Sultan Ahmet. If I’m being honest, these photos don’t really do the area justice. The color and the craft of these places is too intricate and beautiful to try and explain. Everything is so ancient! In America everything seems so young.  It was especially interesting to see a visual representation of how Turkey has been influenced by so many cultures and empires. There were fragments of the Roman empire, pagan gods, Christian relics, Muslim relics, Asian and especially Arabic character. Most of the Muslim relics were also significant to Christian theology. I wasn’t expecting to recognize the spiritual items on display but it emphasized how interwoven most ancient monotheism religions are which is something I often forget.

Unexpected bits:

Many of the men and women in the mosques would pray and then promptly take a selfie.

Apparently hummus and falafel aren’t Turkish foods. I was suspicious of this before I left America but, in case any one is wondering, they are Persian.

I guess I expected this to some degree but Turkish flags are everywhere! I thought the US had an obsession with our flag but these are huge.

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