Trip to the baha’i temple

A little while ago we visited the Casa de Adoracion de Baha’i (the Baha’i temple) in Penalolen. It’s glorious moment of calm, just a short drive from Santiago centre. It’s a breath of fresh air, both literally and spiritually. The foundation of this place of worship is openness to all. Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith describes it as follows:  ​’Build…
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Why we should all pray (including atheists like me)

I’m atheist and I pray. No, I’m not agnostic. I’m not harboring a subconscious desire to convert. I don’t believe in any god in any form. I don’t believe in the soul. Telling me that there’s a god is like telling me blue is red. It’s not a case of wanting or not wanting to believe, I just don’t. Blue is…
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Living abroad can make you a better person

Last week I wrote about my life as an atheist with my devout Catholic husband. I received some really interesting feedback from fellow Expaters and it struck me how lucky I am to be surrounded by such a diverse network of people. Living abroad puts us among groups we probably wouldn’t mix with ‘back home’. Now research by the Director of…
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An Atheist’s Guide to Marrying A Religious Guy

One of the things I love most about my Expater friends is their sheer diversity and openness to other cultures. My address book is more multiculti than a Benetton ad. A good deal of them are with partners of other faiths. Recently a friend living in NYC asked how it was to get with a religious guy. Would the cultural…
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My semester at a Syrian mosque: Islamic dress, spies and Britney Spears

I lived in Syria, pre civil war, before it became known to many as hell on earth, for about six months. A chance chat with a lovely beautician led me to rent a room in her home. To say that Syria was nothing like today is an understatement. After a few months studying Arabic at the University of Damascus, I still…
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Dear Dlall… A Letter to my friend in Syria

Dear Dlall I hope you are well. I hope you are safe. I hope you are snuggled by the boiler roasting potatoes as you showed me one winter. I hope you are laughing, clapping your hands with delight, your joy bursting out into the open like a firework. But this is not what I imagine when I see Syria. Times have changed for sure. But enough…
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