Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sitting With Bush in Front of a Korean Mosque

Today in South Korea I visited the Seoul Central Mosque. Seoul's only mosque and the neighborhood around it provide an opportunity to learn more about the lives of a group of people in South Korea numbering in only the tens of thousands--Korean Muslims.

As I was passing by the mosque a second time I noticed a woman sitting in front of the main gate.

woman with a book sitting in front of the gate to the Seoul Central Mosque

Notably, she was holding a book in a manner which suggested she wanted passersby to notice it. I took a closer look and saw the book was none other than the English version of Decision Points, a memoir by George W. Bush.

I found this to be... curious.

So I approached the woman and asked if she had read the book. She had.

I then asked what she thought of George W. Bush. She said she respected the former president of the US because of his efforts to fight terrorism.

I waited to see if she would say more on her own. She only said that I could visit the mosque and that she occasionally walks around its grounds herself.

Since I sensed she was not entirely comfortable and I suspected a long conversation might be required to fully answer the questions now in my mind, I decided to simply wish her a good day and walked away to continue my explorations in the area.

If I have a chance, though, I might see if she's later willing to continue the conversation. I wouldn't be surprised if I could find her in the same spot with the same book on another day.

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