Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sobhan'Allah - The Pope's Recent Trip to Turkey

I was thrilled to see the Pope pray inside the mosque in Turkey. When the Pope took off his shoes and stepped inside the mosque to pray, I was so satisifed that he went so far beyond what was expected in order to mend the divide between Muslims and Christians. I found this article on Yahoo this morning and found another positive outcome to the Pope's recent visit to Turkey. Something in Arabic can only be explained by saying "Sobhan'Allah" (something that cannot be explained, except by God).



ISTANBUL, Turkey -
Pope Benedict XVI' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> Pope Benedict XVI's successful visit to Turkey was the answer to Turkish tourism operators' prayers. In the tension-filled days before the pontiff's arrival, tour operators confessed Friday, they prayed he wouldn't say anything that could be taken as an offense to Islam, that he wouldn't pray at the Haghia Sophia and that the anti-
Vatican' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> Vatican demonstrations wouldn't be too large or violent.
Most of all, they wished for him to return home safely. "It was a blessing for Turkish tourism that it went so well," said Nurdan Ustman of United Travel Services, a 45-year tourism veteran. "I'm sure in the coming year we will see positive repercussions in the image of the country, and image is everything in tourism."
The trip was a success in part because there was so much that could have gone wrong, said Mert Dagoglu of Istanbul-based International Travel Services. "It was such a successful visit because we were all so afraid of the negative effects," he said by cell phone from a cruise ship near the resort town of Kusadasi. "In Turkey, a Muslim country, the demonstrations could have affected the whole atmosphere. But fortunately nothing but positive things happened, and we're so happy."

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