Istanbul ch. 10, 11, 15

The word huzun, melancholy, is discussed and it is a feeling that is obtained when you cannot get close enough to Allah. Though you will also get it when you become to “invested,” as the book says, in worldly goods and pleasures. What I can understand of this word is that it can represent a few different situations but mainly it is just a word that represents calmness and a sense of inner suffering. This feeling of melancholy also reflects upon the mood/feel of the city of Istanbul and all who live there. There is an author discussed in the book called Ahmet Rasim and there was a moment that said that he had to keep his melancholy in check. He was a happy guy who loved to write and so I believe that the idea of huzun and what it represents prevents people from being to happy. Making certain that they do not fall ill to worldly pleasures but representing a true Muslim who puts Allah before himself. This word is very complex and a bit confusing but it is suppose to help some up Istanbul. It can also be seen in the architecture.

Extra Virgin

It was a nice and interesting read. Virgin olive oil was said to have come from the goddess Athena but now it is considered to be more from science. Olive oil is put into many things people use daily. I never realized that aside from food it is used in makeup as well. It seems to be true when this item is referred to as “liquid gold.” Also it is interesting that people in Europe that use olive oil for everything do not conceive the same illnesses as often as what Americans were. It helps prevent heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes. This proves that maybe Americans should use more olive oil in our foods to substitute all the artificial things that are affecting us so negatively.

From the sounds of it olive oil in its first form seem pure and good for the body. When it comes to extra virgin olive oil cooks and chiefs find it to be the best thing to cook with. But why add the extra virgin to the name? To me it seems to be done just to take away from the stereotype of women having to be virgins, like Athena, and making it a substance so fine that it is above virginity. Pureness is one thing but extra virgin olive oil surpasses all expectations and limits. But of course knowing the American way, they will make it to where olive oil is a bad fat to have because we can never leave things alone. Always making it the next best thing that is not necessarily the best.

Corsican Fragments chapter 1 and 2

The way in which this book is written is different, so far, from how our previously assigned books are written. It is not my favorite read and I find myself zoning out and having to reread paragraphs because it is just not capturing my attention. The first chapter focuses on the landscape of the island of Corsica and its location. It also introduces some of the local people and describes how the inside of their house walls are decorated with authenticity and have the farmland represented. Also it touches on the school system and how culture is put into the classes and the classes are taught bilingually. There is the native language Corsican and French.

Chapter two discusses how the island is seen as mysterious my French novelist. It is discussed how Corsica fought for its independence against France. Also the problems of the island and how it needed help. There was French prejudice and the negative opinion of the island from non-Corsican people. This was a big issue among the native Corsican people. What I fully do not understand is why people are bombing things around the island. Are they protesting? I do believe they said there was a bomb placed where the French governor lived. Is it because the people of Corsican hate the French? I am just confused. Also I do not enjoy the topic of this book.

Writing Women’s Worlds chapters 1and 3

I really enjoy this author, Lila Abu-Lughod. Her style of writing really captures the interest of the reader and makes you want to continue reading without stopping. For an educational book I find myself getting lost in the story and genuinely wanting to know what happens next and more of these first hand memories.

Are the girls allowed to say no to their possible suitors like Migdim did or was she just lucky that she was able to throw a big enough fit to get out of them until she felt she was offered the right match? When it comes to marrying it is thought that close relative marriages within the camp are best because it keeps the children close to home and their mothers. They do not have to travel to visit.

I do not know how they lived around the war sites of WWII. From the sounds of it they had to fear for their lives everyday and to hear those planes and bombs going off constantly would be to much to handle. Even after the war ended the people of the camp had to be careful of hidden bombs and traps. I would not have allowed my children to participate in salvaging metal and such things from the army camps. Getting items to sell is not worth their lives.

It  is so strange that the woman refer to giving birth as seeing death and being closest to god. Is it perhaps they feel as if they are dying? After the child is born it seems as if boys are wanted more among the community. Is it because the boys will stay within the camp after they marry but at times the girls have to leave? Then again the way the mothers talk they adore their girls and say they are nice, caring, loving, and do not know what they would do without them. This part is just really confusing because it makes it hard for me to understand what is wanted more. In my opinion it really doesn’t matter. A baby is a baby and they should be loved regardless. Lastly, Why do the women have to wait seven days before bathing after giving birth?


The author, from the very beginning, lets you know that he is and has always been different. It seems that he spent a lot of time in his own special place and thoughts. It is strange how he goes about describing the experience he had with seeing himself in a picture. thinking that it was someone else that could possible be his twin. Also, why are the old Ottoman mansions being burnt to the ground just to be replaced by new buildings? Those building are apart of history and should be preserved as a museum or a historical building of some sort. The city may be in ruins but it can still be resurrected if given some time. Orhan also speaks of how the only colorful pictures there are of Istanbul are done by outsiders or people that no longer live there. It is sad that he lives in this once beautiful place and he has never seen it in its true and living beauty. He sees the world in black and white which allows a person to see past the vibrant colors and actually focus on the details of the city, buildings, and people.