• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 07

Syria as pictured

The West meets the East here
In this visual strange.
Or, rather an imagining West picturing the imagined East.

A French cartographer-engineer-soldier is on the hunt for the depiction of the Other.
His Descriptions of the Universe contains synopses of the varied cultures
As per the prevailing European perceptions
This illustration is now vintage-400.

Under an open sky two women stand, one veiled, another head-covered
A hand obscured by the rich robe; another pair folded up.
Eyes locked together
Something un-said hovering in the air.

Winding pathways
Plain verdant
Clouds gossamer
Two shrouded figures
Plump and perhaps, bit fair
---Maybe a caricature of the original French women---
In a mood to converse
In an exotic place--- uninhabited
Two unescorted females
That is so rare!


Syria as pictured

A romantic setting?
Or, pastoral?
Or, mysterious?
In a desolate spot, oddly,
The females opt to linger on
Taking a short break and trying to catch up with the other:
The need for communication is deeply human and universal.