Reg Info Q&A Today, July 8, 1-2pmET
And an image of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
Welcome back to Lucid. Here is the link to register for today’s Q&A, July 8, 1-2pmET. Registration is free and your information will not be used for any other purpose. Check your spam and promotions folders if you don’t see the link to join in your inbox. Ask a question or just listen in. All are welcome. The meetings are not recorded.
A reminder that there is a Q&A on July 10, 8-9pmET, for paying subscribers only. You’ll receive that link to register on Sunday afternoon.
Every Friday I include an image. If you have a special place, send me a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll assume you want to be anonymous unless you tell me to credit you.
Today I am featuring the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. I have been fascinated with this building ever since I took a course in Byzantine history at UCLA. It was built in 537CE as a cathedral, then was a mosque for centuries after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, and in the 1930s became a museum. Now it is a mosque again as despot Recep Tayyip Erdogan pursues his goal of being a global leader of political Islam.
For me the Hagia Sophia is also a reminder to go places and see things while you can. I have never visited Turkey, even though there have always been Benghiats/Bengiyats/Ben Giats there. An ancestor, Alexandre Benghiat, was an important journalist, publisher, and translator from Smyrna/Izmir who was active in the late 19th-early 20th century. I always thought “I’ll go next year.”
Now I will wait until Erdogan is no longer in power, since anyone who denounces his crimes or irritates him or one of his cronies is fair game for arbitrary detentions or lawsuits.
Where have you wanted to go, but have put off visiting? If your health, finances, and political conditions permit it, make that journey.
Lucid is a reader-supported publication. To receive extra essays, Q&As, and quarterly forecasts, consider becoming a paid subscriber.