19 January 2018

Fri., Jan. 19, 2018

Cap Monastir Marina
Monastir, Tunisia

In Tunisia, we hear calls to prayer, megaphoned from every minaret, five times a day.  These are always male chants in a minor key that last about a minute - most are not particularly pleasant to our western ears.  The first one is at about five a.m., well before sunrise which at this time of year is at about 7:45 or so.  And the last one is at sunset or thereabouts.  The times are dictated by a sundial like thing with Arabic scroll in the courtyard of the mosque.

This morning in our very chilly cabin, covered by four blankets, I woke to the first call.  On Friday, the Islam Holy Day, the calls are especially long and, it seems to my ear, more melodious.  At the marina we are able to hear the calls from several minarets which begin and end only seconds from each other, kind of like a campfire round but with different melodies, growing louder and then gradually dying away.  Today was more melodious than most and, although it woke me up, I was happy to listen and even enjoy the still strange-to-my-ear and otherworldly chant.

The mosque and minaret that is beside the rabat here in Monastir and one of the several that we can hear broadcast from Milly.  It is not the main mosque but is a popular one for the men who attend.

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