Wednesday, March 18, 2009


For several years now, the word "transparency" has been big with politicians, diplomats, news reporters ... I have never felt right when I hear a politician say that we need transparency , but now I have a new take on it. I have been reading a book called Living with Djinns - Understanding and Dealing with the Invisible in Cairo (by Barbara Drieskens) and in it there is a whole section on transparency.
In this book, the author says that "Almost everyone I met in Cairo at least once went through a period in their lives in which they were searching for answers to the "secrets of Allah". They searched for shafafiya, transparency."
In Cairo people might say "he has transparency". "Shafafiya is not a fixed state of being, but of becoming. One can never be transparent except ina certain context, for a certain amount of time, when Allah blesses you with some transparency. "Some people are more sensitive to the influences of angels and djinns, demonstrated by their having meaningful dreams and premonitions. These qualities can be developed and extended by trying to reach transparency." "Part of reaching this state of transparenct is personal effort but a greater part of it comes through Allah's grace.
The road to transparency is a journey into oneself. It entails serious questioning of what one is doing, why and how. But there is also the second element: the deepening of religious knowledge and its application as a moral standard."
Now when the politicians talk about the necessity of transparency, I will understand.


Blogger Joan said...

Hi Gary,

I was looking for your Dordogne post to make another comment and came across this one. I think this transparency is what i am looking for in art when I layer, collage, allow the coalescence of seemingly disparate things. Thanks for the understanding: They searched for shafafiya, transparency."
In Cairo people might say "he has transparency". Beautiful!

5:45 PM  
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10:28 PM  

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