The Mystic Music Festival (September 22-30) brought performing artists from Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Comoros, Bolivia, and Spain to Konya, Turkey, site of the tomb of Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century founder of the Mevlevi, or “Whirling,” dervishes. Nice videos of performances by Sain Zahoor of Pakistan and Kayhan Kalhor of Iran . . .
Rumi’s idea of finding the ‘Beloved’ through the human heart, and his message of tolerance seem particularly relevant today, given the Islamic State crisis lurking nearby on the Turkey-Syria border. . . . During the festival, big sema ceremonies (recitations of Koranic verses, along with music and whirling) held in a specially-built building, as well as more informal musical gatherings and sessions in hotels and other venues throughout the city.