Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Tag: Germany

My 3 Poems Published by The Transitional

The Transitional

The Transnational has published 3 of my poems (in German and English). This is a bilingual literary magazine which publishes authors from all around the world who offer a new approach to the political and social landscape of the 21st century. Worldwide. In English & German.

It describes itself as such: Texts which are published in the Transnational can dissolve existing boundaries or suggest new ones. They can make us question our beliefs, champion social justice and human rights, war and psychological violence, giving rise to provocative or soothing thoughts. We believe that all great literature is revolutionary and necessary. Great writers are honest. They call upon us as readers to experience the intangible.

USA: https://www.amazon.com/Transnational-Vol-bilingual-Literary-Magazine-ebook/dp/B01GIDZJQW?ie=UTF8&qid=1464934461&ref_=tmm_kin_swatch_0&sr=8-2

 Germany, Europe: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Transnational-Vol-4-Weam-Namou/dp/3844810412/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464934474&sr=8-1&keywords=transnational+4

 or Hugendubel (Thalia und Co.):  http://www.hugendubel.de/de/buch/weam_namou_christian_knieps_markus_gragert_thomas_orszag_land_cassandra_ricard-the_transnational_vol_4-26232857-produkt-details.html?searchId=1070551207

 UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Transnational-Vol-4-Weam-Namou/dp/3844810412/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464934474&sr=8-1&keywords=transnational+4

Conversations in Silence

Mother Meera

I just finished reading the book Conversations in Silence, which is written by an old friend whom I have not seen in a long time. Narendra, the author, was born in India. In his book, he describes in diary form his journey with a spiritual master, Mother Meera. He meets her in the early 1990s when he is sent on a job project in Germany.

Mother Meera is an embodiment of the Divine Feminine, the Divine Mother on earth. She was born in India but today she lives in a tiny hamlet in the German countryside where she gives thousands of visitors her unique blessing of Darshan – in silence.

She teaches the unity of all religions. Everyone can go their own ways. It is only important to be connected with the light (the personal spiritual role model) every day by praying, reading or meditating.

Narendra’s accounts in this book, his determination to attain enlightenment, are inspiring. After work (he’s an engineer), he is anxious to drive for hours to sit – even if briefly – in front of Mother Meera. One wonders how this world would be if we gave as much attention to our spiritual growth as we did to the physical and mental aspects of our lives.

Frankenmuth

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Last weekend we stepped, slightly, into the heart of Germany when we visited the small city of Frankenmuth and had dinner at the Bavarian Inn. Frankenmuth’s population is less than 5000, and it the place to go to if you want to stroll through 13 acres of beautiful riverfront, or “Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland” which bills itself as the world’s largest Christmas store, listen to the hoof beats of horse-drawn carriages, and enjoy family-style chicken dinners and authentic German dishes.

The city’s name is a combination of two words. “Franken” represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria, home of the Franks, where the original settlers were from. The German word “Mut” means courage; thus, the name Frankenmuth means “courage of the Franconians.” The area was settled and named in 1845 by conservative Lutheran immigrants from Roßtal area of Franconia (now part of Bavaria) in Germany. The group of settlers left Germany on April 20, 1845 and arriving at Castle Garden seven weeks later.

The nearby villages of Frankenlust, Frankentrost, and Frankenhilf illustrate that the area remained a magnet for other Germans from the same region even after it lost its original purpose as a mission post for the spread of Christianity to the Chippewa tribe.

Although we didn’t get to do any beer tasting that day, we ate and ate and ate until we could barely breathe. Then we were served ice cream! Word of advice, do not wear tight jeans if you plan on eating at the Bavarian Inn.

Meeting Little Sarah in Germany

http://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=647860281896641
Video of my cousin Ayad with his daughter Sarah and his niece – talking in Aramaic, he shows them a church in Germany

The Frankfurt Book Fair held in Frankfurt, Germany in 2004 welcomed the Arab League as Guest of Honor. I attended the book fair, which was an interesting ten day experience. But what I remember most about Germany is my cousin Ayad, his wife Furrat, and their little daughter Sarah, who at that time was about a year old.

I stayed at my cousin’s home, and I’ll never forget what great hosts Ayad and his wife were. I’ll also never forget how much my cousin loved his daughter. I was engaged at the time and when I returned to the United States, I kept in contact with him and his family. I ended up getting married shortly afterwards and having my first child and he had a son and then another daughter. Then suddenly, one day I heard he was diagnosed with cancer. He died within weeks. I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t stop thinking about Sarah. His last request was that she be well taken care of, given how much she was accustomed to him pampering her. In the above link to the video, her cousin calls her “Sarah, the pampered one.”

Well, I know that his little family had one hell of a time after he passed away. But today I got news that Sarah, who has since moved with her mother and siblings to the United States, woke up this morning unable to see. She was taken to the hospital, and they discovered she has brain cancer. She is now in critical condition and doctors are not sure if she will make it.

Her aunts, uncles and cousins have posted pictures of her, praying for God to save her. It has been nearly nine years since I saw Sarah, but I remember her enough for my heart to go out to her and her family and to pray for her well being.

Sarah