Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Istanbul not Constantinople"

A sense of empathy, the key to emotional intelligence, is linked to a person's ability to step outside of their comfort zones. 

And the average person, rarely does that. 
So much so, that in a lot of cases, everywhere else becomes a danger zone. 
Which they will never even seek, much less take, the highway to. 

Relying on secondary, or worse, produced propaganda instead of real world, first hand experience, leads to the jingoistic rhetoric we are all suffering through. 

I'll keep trying to see and learn more for real than internet feeds of clickbate $care tactic$.

For instance, here is a picture of me, with several Islamic 😳 Turks of the Muslim persuasion. 
Not very terroristy looking are they?



And this was in Ankara, Turkey! Which is only about 300 miles from Syria! 
Seriously. Siri said so!
Wait a second… wasn't Steve Jobs biological father from Syria?!

But I digress, my point is, that while Turkey did "blow my mind" because of the incredible history, beautiful architecture and wonderful people, 
I did not "lose my head" as an "infidel" amongst "jihadists".

I was honored to travel to Istanbul and Ankara in April of 2002, with a friend I met in DC who is from Turkey. 
We were there for two weeks. 
I only heard English spoken when someone was speaking to me. 
Not once, did I even sense hostility towards me upon discovering that I was an American. 
And that information often came as quite a surprise to people as we traveled, since we were not doing any normal tourist style visits, but far more intimate, local settings. 

I felt no fear asking highly detailed and very pointed questions about Islam with my hosts and others while I was there. 

Although, I will tell you this. 
Do NOT jokingly ask about a getting a greasy turkey sandwich. Trigger warning. 

Watch "Midnight Run" after you return to get a clear example of one brush style absurdity. 

And DO introduce, if not already familiar, the song, "Istanbul not Constantinople" by, They Might Be Giants to any Turks you befriend. 
They tend to like it, and the sing alongs are hilarious fun.  

So, I'm not buying into this fear mongering. 
I $ee where it'$ coming from.

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