Like the brother said after spending hours viewing the world through his camera lens: 'How do you even begin to capture the devotion people here feel for Ali in a photograph?"
I don't know.
I'm still struggling to put it down in words.
Each pair of eyes tells a different story. Most are in tears: some ecstatic, some pained, some sorrowful. All of them reflect this ultimate all-encompassing devotion that - to tell you the truth - I envy very much.
Because I know that despite a genuine respect for what-this-place-has, I'm not there yet.
But for the first time since I began to question, the need to think about 'why' what I see here is-the-way-it-is has vanished somehow. Instead, I'm content just to sit back and observe. And to absorb as much of what's going on as I can. Without really thinking about it too much.
Perhaps that is what respect is all about.
And the truth is, if not belief (although, I have to admit, the core of disbelief has been somewhat affected), and if not devotion, then the least I can do is respect what Karbala and Najaf have to offer.