KOMORSKA OSTRVA – COMOROS – UNION DES COMORES – UDZIMA WA KOMORI

Centar glavnog grada Moronija-Capital Moroni city centre

Centar glavnog grada Moronija-Capital Moroni city centre

Centralna dzamija u Moroniju-Central Mosque in Moroni

Centralna dzamija u Moroniju-Central Mosque in Moroni

Duty free shop at the airport

Duty free shop at the airport

Dzamija Princ Said Ibrahim- Prince Said Ibrahim Mosque

Dzamija Princ Said Ibrahim- Prince Said Ibrahim Mosque

Gradska pijaca-The city market

Gradska pijaca-The city market

Komorska lepota-Comorian beauty

Komorska lepota-Comorian beauty

Massizanou zastita od sunca-Sun protection

Massizanou zastita od sunca-Sun protection

Plaza Itsandra-Itsandra beach

Plaza Itsandra-Itsandra beach

Povratak mujezina-Return of muezzin

Povratak mujezina-Return of muezzin

Prijateljsko popodnevno caskanje-A friendly afternoon talk

Prijateljsko popodnevno caskanje-A friendly afternoon talk

Slano jezero na severu Velikog ostrva-A salt lake on the North of Grand Comore

Slano jezero na severu Velikog ostrva-A salt lake on the North of Grand Comore

Sportsko popodne na gradskoj plazi-A sporting afternoon at the public beach

Sportsko popodne na gradskoj plazi-A sporting afternoon at the public beach

Stara dzamija u gradu-Old Friday Mosque in the town

Stara dzamija u gradu-Old Friday Mosque in the town

Tradicionalni camci-piroge-Traditional pirogues

Tradicionalni camci-piroge-Traditional pirogues

U Magicnoj dzamiji-Inside Mosque miraculeuse

U Magicnoj dzamiji-Inside Mosque miraculeuse

Zenski ribolov-Women's fishing

Zenski ribolov-Women’s fishing

Zgrada opstine Moroni-Moroni Town Hall

Zgrada opstine Moroni-Moroni Town Hall

Većini Afričkih zemalja oslobađanje od kolonizatora sredinom prošlog veka
donosilo je velike radosti i entuzijazam, osim Komorskim ostrvima.
Siromaštvo, nemiri i stalni prevrati doveli su ih u neobičnu situaciju:
bolje je vratiti se starom kolonizatoru ako želi da ih primi natrag, nego
živeti na nov i nesiguran način. Vešti Francuzi uzeli su natrag samo jedno
od četiri najveća Komorska ostrva, ostrvo Majot, i tako napravili neprijatnu
situaciju za stanovnike ovog arhipelaga. Iako su vekovima živeli zajedno,
oni danas teško odlaze na Majot u posetu rođacima i prijateljima jer su im
potrebne vize koje Francuzi nerado ili uopšte ne daju.
Komori su veoma lepa tropska ostrva, ali zapuštena i često bez osnovne
infrastrukture. Narod je pomalo ljut, bučan i nervozan, svi nešto viču na
nekoga u svakom trenutku, ali u  stvarnosti, kada se uđe u spontanu
komunikaciju, veoma neposredan. Pošto su izrazito muslimanska zemlja, žene
bi trebalo da su obučene onako kako vera zapoveda, ali im u tropskoj klimi
to ne polazi u potpunosti za rukom. Marame su često ovlaš prebačene ili
uglavnom spale, a jarke i pastelne boje, u koje su obučene, čine ih lepšim i
privlačnijim. Da bi se zaštitile od sunca koje prži lica premazuju u
massizanou, svetli prah dobijen iz sredine jedne vrste drveta, kako bi im
ten ostao lep i gladak i ne bi suviše pocrneo, iako su već prirodno tamne i
bez sunca. Na taj način se postiže ne samo kozmetski efekat na koži, već
nanošenje ima i ritualni značaj.
Zov vernicima sa minareta preklapa se spontano sa muzikom 50 Cents-a u
restoranu na dugoj peščanoj plaži, po kojoj mladići trče za loptom. Ako ova
ostrva u nečemu ne oskudevaju, onda su to plaže i džamije. Najlepše tropske
plaže sa sitnim belim peskom često se nalaze među velikim crnim vulkanskim
stenama kao kontrastom.
Komori su ostrva začina i parfemskih ulja, baš kao i susedni Zanzibar ili
Mauricijus. Najpoznatije ulje se pravi od biljke ylang-ylang čiji su najveći
proizvođač na svetu, a zatim od vanile, jasmina, cveta frangipani, tako da
gradskom pijacom lebde ovi opojni mirisi koji, zajedno sa jarkim bojama
tropskog voća i lokalne garderobe, čine ovo mesto prijatnim za popodnevni
obilazak. Tada se i zraci zalazećeg sunca mešaju sa tim bojama koje postaju
intenzivnije i lepše.
Džamije su uglavnom male, sem ako nije u pitanju Velika džamija u glavnom
gradu Komorskih ostrva, koji se naziva Moroni. Često je za njih vezana neka
zanimljiva priča ili, možda, božje čudo koje bi samo Kur’an mogao da dočara.
Jednu od njih pripovedao mi je moj vozač Ahmed.
Želeo je da svom selu, na severu ostrva Grand Comore, izgradi džamiju i
jednog dana je,  s tom namerom, kupio u njemu komad zemlje. Te noći je u snu
toliko želeo da je sagradi da, kada se probudio, ona je već bila tu. Bio je
veoma srećan i okrečio je u belo. Sledećeg jutra sva boja je spala sa
džamije koja, jednostavno, nije želela tu boju. Zbog svih neobičnih
događanja oko nje meštani su je prozvali Čudesnom džamijom – Mosqée
miraculeuse. Deluje sasvim obično, ali izgleda da nije.
Ili bih ja, posle ove romantične priče, želeo da nije.

Februar 2012.
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The majority of African countries experienced great joy and enthusiasm when
they broke free from  colonial rule in the mid -20th century, but not so the
Comoro Islands. Poverty, unrest and constant upheavals of power brought on
an unusual situation: better to return to the old colonial ruler if they
would still take them back than pursue a new and uncertain way of living.
The deft French took back only one of the four largest Comoro islands, the
island of Mayotte, and thus created an unpleasant situation for the people
of this archipelago. Even though they lived together for centuries, they
hardly ever go to Mayotte to visit their relatives and friends because they
need visas that the French do not give at all or not easily.
The Comoros are very beautiful tropical islands, yet neglected and often
lacking basic infrastructure. People are a little angry, noisy and
irritable, everyone is shouting at everyone else all the time; yet when you
get into direct communication with people they are essentially very
spontaneous. This is a strict Muslim country so women should follow a
religious dress code but in the tropical climate it does not seem possible.
Their scarves are often loosely slung over or have just slipped down, and
the intense and pastel colours they are dressed in make women appear only
more beautiful and attractive. To protect themselves from the scorching sun,
they apply massizanou on their faces, a light powder derived from the pulp
of a particular tree; this way their complexion remains smooth and beautiful
and the already dark skin does not get darker. This application of powder
has not only cosmetic benefits for the skin but also the significance of a
ritual.
The call to the faithful from the minaret mingles spontaneosly with the
music from 50 Cents, at a restaurant on a long sandy beach where young men
chase after a ball. If there is something that these islands do not lack, it
is beaches and mosques. The most gorgeous beaches with powdery white sand
are often nestled between huge black volcanic rocks providing a stark colour
contrast.
The Comoros are islands of spice and perfume oils, just like neighbouring
Zanzibar or Mauricius. The most famous oil is made from ylang-ylang, and
Comoros are its biggest producer in the world. Then there is vanilla,
jasmin, frangipani flower, so that the city market is suffused with all
these heady scents which, together with bright colours of tropical fruit and
locals’ clothes, make this place a pleasant haunt for an afternoon stroll.
Then, the setting sun’s rays mix with these colours, making them more
intense and prettier.
Mosques are usually small, unless it is the Central Mosque in the capital
Moroni. Often mosques are linked to some interesting stories, or perhaps a
miracle that can be described only by the Qur’an. My driver Ahmed told me
about one of them.
He wanted to build a mosque in his village in the north of Grand Comore
island and with that intention, one day, he bought some land there. In his
dream, that night, he wanted so much to build this mosque, that in the
morning, when he woke up, it was already there. He was very happy and he
painted it white. The following morning all the paint had fallen of the
mosque – it just did not want that colour! Because of all the strange
happenings surrounding this mosque, the locals called it a ‘miraculous
mosque’ – Mosqée miraculeuse. It looks completely ordinary, but probably it
is not.
Or perhaps, after this romantic tale I would prefer it not to be ordinary.

February 2012

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