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Hearing The Call To Prayer In Istanbul (VIDEO)

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A favorite thing for me anywhere in the Islamic world is to hear the chaotic chorus of cheaply amplified voices erupting into song as they sing the call to prayer from mosque minarets all over town at the same time. Here, just outside Istanbul's fabled Grand Bazaar, it's that time. People seem to ignore it, but I can't. It's part of the audio track of any visit to this corner of our world. Mix the sounds with the people and you get Istanbul stew.

The warbling call to prayer used to unnerve me, and now I find it actually beautiful...even comforting. What happens to you when you hear this Muslim call to worship? When it wakes me early in the morning, I remember that that prayer has an extra line in it. It roughly translates, "It's better to pray than to sleep."