// a non-Muslim woman in Tunis
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« on: Jun 02, 2009 07:17 AM »

peace be upon you

Morning Melodies in a Muslim Country
May 20, 2009 at 7:10 am by PilotGirl

Having been gone for under 2 weeks in Tunisia you wouldn’t think I had time to get used to any of the Muslim traditions. Then again, I underestimated the power of the adhan, or Islamic call to prayer.

I’m actually missing the melodic call to prayer five times a day. It was vexing at first, especially at dawn when my hotel windows were open. The first morning I propelled from my covers thinking there was an air raid in the city.

“What the hell is that!” I blurted out to myself in a darken room. I ran to the balcony where my hotel room had a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Tunis in the distance. It was still dark and the city lights were blinking while sparrows chimed in with the lyrics.

I returned to bed wondering what I had got myself into….

During breakfast it was explained to me.

The call to prayer used to be the job of a man called a muezzin. He would climb to the top of the tallest mosque and belt out a “Hasten to prayer.” Today the message is recorded and can be heard on loud speakers throughout cities. The prayers inspire and remind Muslims to practice their faith. It’s no different that Christians ringing a church bell or an old Jewish practice of using a ram’s horn to gather the faithful.

It’s nothing to be afraid of and after a few mornings even I preferred the morning wake up call to a phone ringing from a hotel desk clerk.

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