Last day in Herat

September 5, 2007

Last day in Herat. After a long day’s work, went to the shrine of Khwaja Abdullah Ansari. Was taken by the meditative peace of the place and the confluence of giant white turbans. Remembered verses from Khwaja’s “Munajat Naama.” Held up my hands, touched the discolored marbles, then put both my hands to my face.
In and out. It was getting dark.
Entered the Friday mosque and saw the rows already formed. Shoes in hand, ran across the tiles and took my place in the last row. Prayed in my own heretical and syncretic way – with hands now open on my sides, now over-lapped.
In and out. Late for a dinner.
Have an ealy flight tomorrow. But have not yet examined the citadel up close. Having read Peter Hopkirk’s “The Great Game,” cannot leave Herat without visiting the citadel. So got to get up very early. Hence the shorthands.

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