Music to my ears

One of the characteristics of living in the capital is its proximity to the Green Line.

Having lived for some time in Paphos, I often identify Nicosia’s peculiarity by detecting the sounds of the mosques’ calls to prayer five times a day that ring out in the centre of the old town.

I was taken aback this week when, while sitting on the veranda of a third-floor apartment in Acropolis – a side of town on the outskirts of the centre – the sounds of a late-night sermon caught my ears.

Initially, I was perplexed by the experience. I had lived a couple of streets down some years ago and don’t recollect having noticed the power of the outdoor speakers mounted on these tall minarets.

I wondered what had changed. Perhaps technology had got better. Perhaps the night in question was particularly quiet. Perhaps the height I was standing at played a role in how the sound travels.

Or perhaps the volume was turned up a notch; turned up a notch at a time when talks about reuniting the two communities are ever-more prominent.

There could be an ideological understanding behind this; that of instigating normality through conveying the sounds each community is used to hearing on a daily basis, for their own well-being.

The song of the muezzin is without a doubt a symbol of the east.

Accepting our geographical location is then one part of the equation.

The other is the culture of the people living within it. Embracing its sounds is thus a primordial step towards acceptance.

Bringing music to my ears always makes things better, not by choice, but by default.

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