Faryal Khatri continues her report from Istanbul, pausing to appreciate the city before Ramadan begins
I just arrived last night after a long journey and am already overwhelmed with the beauty and culture of this city. I’m staying with family in Üsküdar which is on the Asian side of Istanbul. It was so interesting to see the differences between the European and Asian sides during my taxicab ride.
After reaching my family’s home, we took a walk to the riverfront and got a taste for local cuisine. Delicious! On our way back, we stopped at a stall selling the famous streetfood dish midye dolma which is stuffed mussels with rice. It was quite the experience trying to eat it in one bite!
I absolutely loved waking up to the sound of the athan, the Muslim call for prayer, for fajr (the sunrise prayer). Every mosque has the call made on a loudspeaker and so you can hear it from every direction. After praying, I sat on the rooftop to watch the sunrise over the Bosporus River as I finished my morning prayers. It was an absolutely stunning and surreal moment.
I’m looking forward to exploring the city before Ramadan starts in the next day or so.