As a Buddhist, I have spent the last month - to the surprise of many - visiting the morning and evening prayers at my local mosque during this holy month of Ramadan. In brutal contrast, this morning I woke up to the news that my fellow Buddhists in Southeast Asia had just razed a local mosque to the ground.
Our plane was descending slowly. From the window, we could see overlay yellow lights like sparkling stars in the dark night. Meanwhile, the pilot instructed all passengers to fasten their seatbelts and move their seats into an upright position. Our hearts beat faster and faster. We could not wait to begin our short trip to a country to which we had long been looking forward: Morocco.
If you like shopping you will love the Souks in the old town. Row upon row of market stalls with Moroccan goods from jewellery to teapots to hand made carpets to tempt you. Even if you don't have money to spend the Souks are wonderful just to wander through and see the sights, although the sellers might coax you in, after all "looking is free".
Stepping into the street of the Medina (Old City), from our tranquil guest house with its traditional courtyard, open-roof top and old fashioned doors and locks, was like stepping into a world not to far removed from the images of Asia and Africa depicted by 19th century European Orientalist travelogues and art works.
The fierce debate raging inside the Algerian regime over greater or less interventionist action will continue. For now, North Africa's 'reluctant policeman' will no doubt stick to a number of its non-interventionist dogmas. However, should a cataclysmic event like In Amenas occur on Algerian soil once more, the country will have no choice but to take decisive action.
Yoga is known mostly for the (asanas) aka the Yoga postures in the west. However, Yoga is much deeper than this. Whilst the asanas are an important element, it also teaches us to consider how we treat ourselves, others, how to stay calm and focused, and encourages us to overall look after ourselves and eat well. You can achieve inner peace with Yoga, it has been known to lower the stress hormone 'Chortisol' even after one session.