the bright Uyghur people of Kashgar
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, spanning more than 1.6 million square kilometeres in the north western part of China, borders Tibet, Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Kasakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is home to different ethnic groups like Uyghur, Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz, Mongol, Tajik and the Han Chinese. Only about 4,3% of Xinjian is suitable for human habitation.
Traveling in Xinjiang was an unforgettable adventure. This month’s journey will start in Kashgar, go across the old silk road to the high mountain of Tashkurgan near the Pakistani border and then go back to end in Kashgar again. The people I met on this trip were some of the brightest, most hospitable and unique tribes in this part of the world. The name Uyghur translates to ‘united’ or ‘people coming together’, as these wonderful people demonstrate in their great sense of community and age old traditions.
photo taken: a playful moment between brothers in an old city street in Kashgar.
what looks out of young eyes
When a small child looks at me and holds my stare, I can’t help but wonder ‘what’ looks out of those eyes. Unburdened by personality traits and identity, small children can look deep into your soul with a strange kind of knowing, soul to soul.
the trees of ta prohm
Nature always finds a way to erode away human traces on its surfaces around the planet. In the temples of Angkor Wat, like in this old one in Ta Prohm, nature’s ways are not very subtle. The magnificent banyan trees just march over the great temples with their large trunks and extend their roots to wrap them around the great rocks and squeeze them till they simply fall apart under the intense pressure. And no matter how many times humans try to cut the trees and free the ruins, the trees just keep coming back. Such are the mysterious ways of the jungle temples of Cambodia. In these places you don’t have to squint or extend your arms to try and feel any energies or vibrations of mystery, because it all stares you straight in the face and if you stand there long enough, it just might warp you in its powerful grip.
young girls in Phnom Penh
The children of the world are the only hope for its future if there is to be one…
They are the ones who will carry on when we stop, who will live after we die, and who will break into the new realms that await the human race after we come close to giving up. If this is the undeniable truth then how come we, as a collective can still allow them to be abused and exploited by the few sick ones among us? I can not imagine a crime bigger than the ones committed against the children of the world.
inside the shaft of the great pyramid
The Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, the greatest and largest pyramid known to us, I had the chance to walk inside it in 1996. If you find the pyramids mysterious and impressive on the outside which everyone I know does, then the inside will leave you mystified! The pyramid of Khufu is constructed with shafts like this one in the photo above that are perfectly straight and on a large scale connecting in a strange maze that no one seemed to have figured out the purpose of despite many various efforts.
The wooden steps you see in the very old photo I took back then were added to allow tourists to walk up the shaft that leads to the king’s chamber.
It was a very strange feeling being in a such a wonder of the ancient past and thinking only how futuristic it felt.
(writing this post and the next few while away in NYC, so I will have very little to reply to comments, but hopefully will catch up soon :))
the Egypt of today
History and civilizations are not linear in their development…
Each time I look at remains of ancient civilizations like the Chinese, the Mayans, the Romans, the Greeks, and the Egyptians, I find it quite difficult to relegate the fact that a lot of what is evident in their artifacts and architecture points to a more developed culture in certain ways than what we are witnessing today. Despite the post-industrial revolution’s speedy advancements in technology, I find that comparing for example the pyramids, temples, artwork of the ancient Egyptians, today’s Egypt appears to be primitive in so many ways.
This leads me to wonder where the human race has gone wrong. Did we deviate in some way from the glory that could have been? Or is a world engrossed in wars, poverty, global warming, revolutions and failed leaderships the way of the future?
standing where they stood
They say that whatever you do while alive on this planet is printed in the astral light of it, in its archives, waiting to be tuned to and accessed…
I remember one time while working in Paris and on a quieter morning at the Louvre, standing in front of the Mona Lisa gazing at her and thinking, after the initial surprise at the small size of the painting (my head always liked to magnify it to larger proportions), that Da Vinci stood once in front of this painting and gazed at it, his beautiful work. That thought stayed with me and its simple truth amazed me every time I looked at works of art or remains of ancient history.
It was the same in Egypt, the echos of the creators of Egypt lingered on, haunting the visitor with questions and wonderings. How did they build it? What were they thinking while they carved these walls? What was the weather like? Who were they? How tall were they? Did they take meal breaks? How often? How long did it take to complete? And that always leads to the major question: “what was the purpose of it all?” The mystery in history, it never stops tugging at me.
photo: my friend Mark gazing at a temple wall in Dendera~ Egypt
Farewell to the ancient mountains
I am 2 days late in posting this because I am finding it so hard to leave my one month process with Lebanon, the most special place for me on this Earth. But life and this project must go on. On to the next journey in the next place which you will know about in the next post. It has been quite a journey the last month mentally traveling through my archives of photos, through my diaries and through the hieroglyphs of my mind. I hope you were able to get a small sense of how wonderful and extraordinary Lebanon was, is and can be. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have been following, commenting and encouraging along the way. Great thanks to the people at wordpress who added this blog to freshly pressed twice! And many thanks to those who have been nominating me for awards. I must admit, I have not figured out how the whole process works and what to do with them, but I will.
I am posting 2 self portraits from Lebanon, one with my beloved mountains and one gazing at the deep blue Mediterranean.
See you tomorrow elsewhere 🙂
farewell to the deep blue sea