TEDx, the Harem, Tea, Thanksgiving and Sacrifice

by Tara Agacayak on November 22, 2009

I’m both excited and daunted by the week ahead. On one hand, there are many fun activities in store for me this week. On the other it means I have to work double-time to make sure I can enjoy them.

On Monday I’ll be attending a TEDx event in Istanbul dubbed TEDx Bosphorus. I love the TED concept and am looking forward to spending the day meeting new people and discussing the videos we’ll see.

On Wednesday I’ve been invited to a very special tea party. I used to attend these often when I first moved to Turkey, but have had less opportunity since I started working more seriously. This one is sure to be full of ladies dressed their best, specially-prepared food, and plenty of good conversation. It was at these tea parties that I learned to speak Turkish and was educated in the ways of etiquette and culture.

The very next day is both Thanksgiving and the day before a big Muslim holiday – the sacrifice holiday. I remember the first time C explained this holiday to me. He said it commemorates when Abraham took his son up on the mountain to follow God’s order to sacrifice him. “No,” I said to C, “That can’t be your story, that story is in our bible.” It was the first time I realized that we’re not so different.

So, as I was saying, Thursday is both Thanksgiving and the day before the sacrifice holiday. I’ve noted the irony that Americans will sacrifice turkeys for their holiday table on nearly the same day that Turks will make their own sacrifices. See – we’re not so different.

Though you may not see much of me around this week, I have posted some things for you to read about the harem over at Behind the Bazaar and Citara’s. On that subject, there might even be a surprise on Thursday at Anastasia’s expat+HAREM blog come Thursday.

For my American family and friends, know that I’ll be thinking of you on Thanksgiving. For everyone, know that I’m thankful you’re here and I hope you all have a great week.

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