CURRENT UPDATE

TRAVEL AS AN INTERFAITH ACT

Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lebanon & Cyprus - 2018
(Continued from Previous Page)

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Travel As An Interfaith Act
Embrace encourages all who can  
do so, to learn about other  
traditions and cultures by traveling  
as “Grassroots Diplomats.” We  
hope that people every where  
become life long students of our  
world-wide humanity.

“ In every man there is something  
wherein I may learn of him, and in  
that I am his pupil.”
                                  R.W.Emerson
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Virginia (Embrace), Dr.Anwar Barkat (World Council of Churches, UN) & Imam I.H. Kauser
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Anne-Stuart & Ajata (Hosts), with Rabbi Gelberman & Dr.Jayaraman
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A Very Sacred Place -Entrance to Somunca Baba (Sheikh Hamid-I Wali) -
Dervish (Sufi, Sidi, Saint) - Darende, Turkey
St. Paul’s Well at his family home site in Tarsus, Turkey. The well is next to archaeological digs exposing ancient rooms underground.  The well has water that is safe to drink and considered by Christians to be Holy.  Muslims come to pay their respects here also.
These Young, Inquisitive, Independent, Smart, Girls , Called out to Virginia & Ajata. They wanted to meet and find a way to communicate with the Embrace Founders.
"Come, Come Whoever You Are"  Mevlana's Very Own - Konya, Turkey
Ajata Coming Out of a Retreat Cell of the Bektaşi Tarîkatı  (a Dervish Order) Tekke - Haci Bektas, Turkey
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Beautiful woman pilgrim in front of the Cave of Abraham
(Nabi Ibrahim) - Sanlifurfa, Turkey
Inner Courtyard Gumusler (Eskigümüş) Cave Monastery (Christian) - near Nigde est. 10th Cen. (Cappadocia) Turkey - Cave Monasteries, Churches, Living Quarters became occupied by Christians initially during the Roman persecution.
Haci Bectas Veli Shrine- (Dervish, Sufi, Saint, Sidi)- Virginia with tesbit (standing)-
Celaleddin (Jelaleddin) Rumi (Mevlana -"Our Guide") Poet, Mystic, Dervish (Sufi, Saint, Sidi) -
Known & Revered around the World. Dargah Below the Turquoise cone - Konya, Turkey
El Maqam El Sharif (Shamlikh) - Druze Shrine of Bahaa Ed-Din El-Ta'i Samouqi (El-Moqtanah)  Druze Women Wear Slightly Full Flowing Black Dresses and Soft, Flowing Long White Head Scarves  - Aley, Lebanon
A small group of Druze teenage girls approached Virginia and one of them asked her questions in perfect English. Virginia explained what she and Ajata were doing and that they were taught to respect and honor all traditions and that was why they were at their shrine. The girls apparently had been taught the same thing by their Holy Men and nodded sagely and then asked and you pray with all the people too? Virginia answered “Yes.”
El Maqam El Sharif - Druze Shrine of Bahaa Ed-Din El-Ta'i Samouqi -
Construction is Lengthwise on Two Sides, Courtyard Between  - Aley Province, Lebanon
St. Peter’s (Apostle of Jesus - Isa) Cave in Antakya (Antioch in the Bible) - on Mt. Staurin. It is one, if not the first place Christians met and came to pray secretly. The land was supposed to have belonged to St. Luke (Apostle of Jesus - Isa) who was from Antioch and who is said to have donated it to the growing Christian Community.  Muslims come here, but this is very, very Holy for Christians.
Traveling in the Footsteps of the Christian Apostles & Mary, Mother of Jesus (Isa)
Visiting Shrines of Islamic Saints, Druze Saints, an ancient Zoroastrian Temple and Recording the Beauty of Orthodox Christian Churches of Antiquity,
Plus a visit to Two Georgian Synagogues
BACK TO TURKEY
Hazreti  Ibrahim Halilullah  (Cave of Prophet Abraham (Nabi Ibrahim)  - Sanliurfa, Turkey    
(Bedouin Designed Kurda (Top) Made in India - Men at the Georgian Synagogue thought she was a Palestinian, but did not take offense at her wishing to photograph the interior of their synagogue.)
LEBANON
Every Person who Creates Beauty - Is a Jewel in this World
Beruit Grocer - Lebanon
This world is so filled with sorrow and suffering, any person who creates some beauty is precious. Beauty can be created by helping a disabled person up some stairs or guiding a blind person to a destination they want to go to, or smiling at a stranger who seems sad or by creating a visual treat in a grocery store with the vibrant colors of vegetables and fruits.  This store is in an area of Beirut where people have had a hard time economically. This grocer has brightened up the whole block with his display.
Do something Beautiful for this World !
The Cave where in the Bible Jesus Performed the Wedding Miracle - Cana
Prayer Tree next to the cave where Jesus Performed the Wedding Miracle - Cana, Lebanon

(Prayer Trees are also Found on the Indian subcontinent among Hindus & Muslims & also among the Chinese)
CYPRUS
Cyprus is a difficult place for people who are eager to see rapprochement between opposing sides.
Sacred Icon of Virgin Mary (Miriam) Ayia Napa Monastery (Greek Orthodox Christian) - Cyprus
Hala Sultan Tekke (Mosque of Umm Haram) - Umm Haram Knew the Holy Prophet -Larnaca Salt Lake, Cyprus
ONCE AGAIN BACK TO TURKEY
According to tradition, St. John (the apostle of  Jesus) after the death of the Christ, brought Mary (Mother of Jesus - Isa) to Selcuk some time between 37 and 48 A.D. He is said to have come again in 95 A.D. shortly before he died and his remains are believed to be in the Basilica. Many Christian faithful come here. It has a wonderful spirit, view and purity to it.
The Basilica of St. John (the Apostle of Jesus) (Isa) - Selcuk, Turkey
The Tomb of St. John at the Basilica of St. John in Selcuk -Turkey
High on Mount Koressos outside of Selcuk is Meremana, the House of Mary. This is where Mary (Miriam) Mother of Jesus is believed to have lived out her last days.
Meryemana - The House Of Mary - Mother of Jesus (Miriam - Mother of Isa) - Selcuk,
Mt. Koressos - Turkey
Mystery! What is a First American Kiva doing at the House of Mary on Mt. Koressos  Turkey ? No signs explain it and no explanation is given for it, but any one who has lived in the American Southwest or visited First American Pueblos or ruins will recognize this immediately. Perhaps Catholic First Americans came here in modern times and built this as a tribute to the Virgin Mary.
We live during transitional times when it appears that nothing is remaining the same. Grand overtures, like political leaders come and go (as the Sufis say: This too shall pass) but kindness, charity, compassion, giving hope where it is needed on a daily basis is what will make the real difference in this world.
St. Peter’s (Apostle of Jesus - Isa) Cave in Antakya (Antioch in the Bible) -
on Mt. Staurin
St. Paul’s Well, Tarsus

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Swami Satchidananda, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan & Ajata