Day Two~ February 2nd~ Lebanon

born into faith~ boy in mosque door

In Lebanon, ‘non-religion’ is not recognized by the state. Being familiar with Lebanon, it is totally understood that it is so. Religion is in every grain of sand and in every handful of soil  there and the word ‘God’ is somehow slipped into every conversation. You hear things like “allah ykhallik, (may god keep you)” for “please”, “allah maak”(god be with you) for “see you later”, “iza allah bireed”(god willing) for “maybe”… I can literally count hundreds of these expressions. Religious references go as far back as the epic of Gilgamesh from the Mesopotamian mythology, biblical references to the cedars of Lebanon, among others.

With a majority of various sects of Christians and Moslems currently in Lebanon as well as Druz, it is almost a given that people will guess your religion from a combination of your last name and your village or city quarter. Despite all that, you grow up in Lebanon with deep friendships and ties across the religious boundaries that no war or schism can tarnish. True Religion causes humility in people and I never tire of seeing it translate into genuine smiles and deep penetrating eyes.

faith lives there~ two nuns at a greek orthodox church in Batroun

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