Friday, January 25, 2008

On Haifa: A City like Any City Until You Look Up

The Shrine of the Bab and the Baha'i Gardens never fail to awe. -gw

EL just got back from a trip to Israel.

We were all concerned for her when she left, because all you hear about the middle east these days is the terror, the bombings, and how unstable the region is.

She had none of those experiences. She showed me pictures of the city of Haifa, where the world headquarters are located for the Baha’i faith. They were extraordinary.

The centerpoint of Haifa is a beautiful domed building, sitting halfway up Mt. Carmel. Below and above are a total of 18 immaculately terraced gardens, that you must crane your neck from looking all the way up at it from a pristinely rounded street. The pictures struck me that I was looking at some gigantic, heavenly postcard.

EL told me that a hundred or so years ago, there was nothing there but a barren, empty mountain. Now the city around it is built up and looks like any other city. And then you look up at this mountain and the terraces and it’s, well, … heavenly.

{Photo: Uploaded on July 3, 2007 by Michele & Meyer Potashman on flickr}

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