1 often sa а potential customer sop ЬеГогс а� untended stal1 obvioLlsly

1 often sa а potential customer sop ьегогс а?

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1 often sa\\! а potential customer s:op ЬеГогс ап untended stal1, obvioLlsly debating within himself whether to wait [ог the return оГ the vendor or 10 шоvе оп to the adjojning stalI - and invariably thc neighbouring trader, the competitor, \vould step jn to enquire after the customer's \vants and sell hilll the required goods - not his о\уп goods, but those of his аЬsелt neighbour - and \\;ould 'еауе the purchase price оп
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126 ТНЕ ROAD ТО МЕССА ше neighbour's ЬепсЬ. Wberc in Europe could опе Ьауе wit- nessed а lfke transaction? Some of the bazaar streets were thronged with the hardy figures of beduin~ in their wide, fiowing garments: теп who al- ways seemed to carry their lives with themselves, and always walkcd in tbeir own tracks. ТаН теп with grave, buming eyes wer~ standing and sitting in groups befort. the shops. Тhey did not talk тисЬ to опе another - опе word, опе short sentence, attentively spoken and as attentiveJy received, sufficed for long conversations. Тhese beduins, 1 felt, did not know chatter, that ta1king aЪout nothing, with nothing at stake, the hall-mark of .worn-out souls; and 1 was reminded of the words of the Koran wblch described life in Paradise: ' ... and thou hearest по chat- ter there ... ' Silence seemed to ье а beduin virtue. Тhey wrap- ped themselves in their \\"ide, brown-and-white ог black cloaks and kept silent; they passed you Ьу ",·ith а silent child's glance, ргоцс, modest and sensible. When уои addressed them in their tongue, their black eyes Н! ир ш а sudden smile: for they were not self-absorbed and liked to ос sensed Ьу the stranger. Тhey were grallds seiglleurs, entirely rescrved and nevertheless ореп to all things of life ... Оп а Friday - the MusJim Sabbath - you could perceive а сЬапве of rhythm in the Hfe of Damascus - а little whirlwind of Ьарру excitement and, at the same time, solemnity. 1 thought of our Sundays in Europe; of the silent citystreets and closedshops; 1 remembered а11 those empty days and the oppression which that emptiness brought forth. Why should it ье so? Now 1 Ьерп to understand it: because to most people in the West their еуегу- day life is а Ьеауу load [гот whicb only Sundays сап release them, Sunday is по longer а day of rest but has Ьесоте ап es- саре into the unreal, а deceptive forgetfulness behind \vhich, doubly Ьеауу and threatemng, the ·",·eekday' lurks. То the Arabs, оп the other hand, Friday did not seem to ье ап opportunity to forget their workdays. Not that the fruits of life fell easily and without effort into the laps of these p~ople, but simply because their labours, еуеп theheaviest, did not seem to conflict with their personal dcsires. Routine, for ше sake of rou· tine, \vas absent; instead, there was ап inner contactbetween а working-man and his work: and so respite Ьесате necessary only if опе got tired. Such а consonance between тап ап.} his
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VOICES 127 work must Ьауе Ьееп envisagedby Islam as the natural state of affairs and, therefore, по obIigatory rest had Ьееп prescribed for Friday.
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  • Fall '09
  • Bevington
  • Saudi Arabia, wblle Ье, Ьу Кiпв IЬп Saud

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