Reflections from Istanbul

Posted in SpringTurkeyFilms

I was very excited about visiting Istanbul. I had spent 8 years of my life stying Middle East politics and Islamic teachings. Frankly, Turkey didn’t make many appearances in those learnings, but my professors weren’t quite sure where to place Turkey at the time. You see, Turkey at the time was re-conceptualizing their identity to be perceived as more European and thus wanted to enter the EU. Historically, the region sat at the vortex of the East and West.

Istanbul, rich in ports, historically saw so many influences. From the Muslims and the Romans. It was fascinating to read about the two completely different cultures come together with their viziers and do diplomacy and politics. They didn’t have the internet or other modern forces to help understand one another. The region that is Istanbul today embraces all of that. The architecture to the way the people look and act to the food all showcase that marriage of Eastern and Western customs—and it’s bloody magical.

What I Wore

dress c/o BODEN flats c/o BODEN jewelry c/o J.LAUREN shop THE BOUTIQUE

Reflections from Istanbul
Reflections from Istanbul

Random coffee thoughts…

One evening after a leisurely stroll from Taksim through Istiklal Avenue we ended up at our favorite dessert shop {which I shared here}. I was speaking about modern day Turkey and the passive political upheavals and micro movements. During this trip I couldn’t help but be confused if I should pair Turkey with the Arab or Islamic world. It got me thinking of my time in the Middle East and really… the rest of the world.

Reflections from Istanbul
Reflections from Istanbul
Reflections from Istanbul
Reflections from Istanbul

In 2009, I was in Damascus, Syria…

Finishing up a Turkish coffee in hand, I walked through the grand doors of the Ummayyed Mosque. I was completely taken aback, so overcome with awe that I stodgily walked onto the marble floors flooded with summer’s sunlight. I burnt my foot so badly, but failed to realized because I was in shock. I remember saying to my friend, “I will bring my children here one day.” That was history. I couldn’t believe my eyes that much beauty existed in the world. With all that said, to think that so much of history’s gifts to our world don’t even exist anymore breaks my heart so deeply.

There’s more I want to say here about the current Turkish government, but I prefer to protect the people that made this trip possible.

Reflections from Istanbul

Be kind and be grateful.

I guess the point here is that appreciate everything you see. Each flower, each person, each little details from a button to the sea… because each of those elements help make a wonder of the world. Be kind and be grateful.