Uncle Velvet's Bojon Adventure travel blog



and more kids

Our Kurdish host, Aziz.

Sun-baked homes in Harran.

Little girl.


They're even cuter wıth toy AK-47s.

When in Rome...

Şanlıurfa is also known as the Prophets' City and is an ımportant destination for religous pilgrims. Legend has it that the Islamic prophet İbrahim was in old Urfa destroying pagan gods when king Nimrod (insert George Bush joke here) took offence at this rash behaviour. Nimrod had Abraham immolated on a funeral pyre, but God turned the fire into water and the burning coals into carp. Abraham hımself was hurled into the air but landed safely in a bed of roses. To this day they have ponds full of portly pampered fish. Most of the above is stolen verbatim from Lonely Planet, and earns a gee-that's-interesting-shrug from me. What I really love about this unbearably hot (118 ın the shade!) town are the people. We're staying with a local Kurdish family, and Aziz et al could not possibly be more delightful if they tried. AND they have A/C!! Then there are the chıldren. Yesterday, James and I went for a directionless ramble through the town. Everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming, and not just in that hey-buy-something-from-me kinda way. Obviously, we stick out like sore thumbs. Ahh, but the children are magical. They are absolutely everywhere, and all giggle uncontrollably as they practice what little English they know. As we'd walk past, they would call out with Hell-Looow! and often follow up with What ıs your name? or Where are you from? As a come-on from the touts, its tiresome (James and I are now officially from Jamaica), but from these children its a riot. We went from one group to the next, letting them see their images on the digital cameras and chasing and tickling and high-fiving and the girls liked to hold our hands and show us around. They never wanted handouts, but were merely thrilled with the attention from these strange outsiders. It was one of my favorite days in quite sometime.

Later that evening, we took a quick trip to Harran, an ancient city mentioned in the Bible, where the children were aggressively looking for handouts but many more just wanted to say a word or two in English. Some intersting conversations with adults as well. Being an American ten miles from the Syrian border adds a unique dimension to political discourse.

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