Inside the Painted Mosque.
Artifacts from an Macedonian Orthodox Church (not Greek Orthodox, mind you. They are very particular about that. They have their own archbishop) These particular artifacts are currently on display at the TCC Grand Plaza Hotel in Skopje.
Clock in painted mosqueCeiling in painted mosque.
The places of worship and the artifacts contained therein are pretty amazing. Every morning I am awakened by the muezzin’s call to prayer. The mosque (not the one pictured here) is about three buildings away from my house. It is a pretty nice way to wake up. (but as you might guess, I am awake well before the call to prayer–old habits die hard) The painted Mosque is still an active mosque and has existed since the time of Columbus. The colors used on the mosque have eggs as a base. (Hmmm, think I saw that in Nicaragua)
This country has an incredibly rich history. I continue to be fascinated by the entire area of the Balkans and the concept of ethnicity–something that we as Americans seem to have discarded when our ancestors emigrated from their homelands. We are Americans–not Italians, Irish, Welsh, German, English, Spanish but plain old Americans. Here the Albanians who happen to live on the Macedonian side of the border do not identify as Macedonians. They are simply Albanians who live in Macedonia. This despite the fact they are fully enfranchised citizens of Macedonia. They are permitted by the legislature to keep their language, have separate schools and are entitled to about a 10% representation in the legislature.
My current book selection is educating me a bit more about this area and it’s 20th century history. I can certainly recommend a number of books but my current tome is The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. Excellent book! (Thanks for the suggestion, Ed!) I just wish I had a bit more time to educate myself. I understand that once I move to my permanent site I will probably have a bit more time to read and explore. Right now we are having our brains bombarded with language, culture, technical skills and our bodies poked with needles. The end is in sight. Just a little over a month before we are sworn in–29 November. So while the rest of you will be out in the stores for Black Friday we will be meeting the President of Macedonia, the US Ambassador and being sworn in!