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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Book Store/Library (06/03/10)

TITLE: The Library Oasis
By harvestgal Ndaguba


“Where've you been Derya,” asked Fatma excitedly. “You leave class and disappear, then come back to the dorms late at night. Do you have a boyfriend.”

“No, Fatma, but...I am falling in love,” said Derya.

“Love and no boyfriend, how can this be?” said Fatma with growing curiosity. She could see something new and delightful in Derya's eyes.

“I've been at the Library. I stay there for hours. I even eat my lunch there. I'd love to spend the night there if they'd let me. It's the most wonderful thing. It has changed my life,” she said as tears of joy watered her eyes. “The books have all been translated from English to Turkish. There are all kinds of things to read that we've never heard about here in Turkey.”

Fatma's heart skipped a beat. “What library? Where? Tell me!” she said eagerly feeling as if she was about to jump out her shoes. She had a deep unction that Derya had found what she'd been looking for. She could tell by her changed appearance and attitude.

“Follow me after class and I'll show you,” said Derya.

Fatma sat through her geography class at the university but she could barely wait till class was over. She didn't hear a word her Turkish geography teacher said.

After Class Derya led Fatma down the street, a few blocks from their university. Right above a small bread store was a second story flat. She knocked on the door. A black woman answered the door. Fatma was shocked. She looked at Derya, who greeted the black woman with the traditional Turkish greeting of a kiss on both cheeks. The black woman hugged her.

“Welcome, I see you brought a friend,” She said in English. “Yes, this is Fatma.” Fatma didn't know rather to shake her hand as she had heard the Americans did or give her the usual Turkish greeting, but before she could figure it out, the black women kissed bother her cheeks. As they removed their shoes and stepped into the house, she saw it was lined with books and book shelves all about.

It had many books but they were all on computer paper, not like real books. Just computer paper and placed in notebooks. A Turkish man sat at a desk in the back of the room typing from a book written in English. He looked like he was translating the material. .

“Where Am I?” Fatma finally asked.

“My name is Cynthia. I'm from the States,” said the black lady. “And this is Oasis. It's a Christian Library. Probably one of the first of it's kind in Turkey. It's been me and my husband's dream to open this Library here.

Fatma felt her heart drop. She looked at Derya with dread, “You haven't become a Christian, have you?”

“I have,” Derya answered with a glowing light in her eyes and a warmth and love that Fatma had never seen or felt.

Fatma remembered the prayer she'd prayed that morning asking Allah to reveal Himself. A million thoughts went through her mind.

“Where's your husband?” She asked the black lady, looking for something to say to break the silence.

Cynthia pointed to the Turkish man who was sitting in the back of the room at a desk translating materials.

Fatma's mouth dropped open.

Cynthia laughed, “I know, that's the usual reaction I get. I came to Turkey 5 years ago to teach English. Meanwhile, I met Erman and we fell in love and got married my first year here. We love Turkey and the Turkish people so we've decided to live here instead of going back to the States. He was an English teacher too. He became a Christian through reading some books written in English. Then it became his goal to make all these materials available to his own people in his own language.”

“I can't read this stuff, its cursed by Allah.” said Fatma looking around at all the books.

Derya handed her a book and said, "Read it and judge for yourself if it's cursed or not."

Derya's curiosity got the best of her and her longing to know truth. She sat down and began to read.

She was one of the many who came to The Oasis and discovered a life changing message through the books that had been translated.

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This article has been read 426 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Seema Bagai 06/10/10
A creative piece. I enjoy reading about other cultures.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/12/10
Wow this is great. It's so easy for me to stay in my safe little bubble. Thank you for taking me to another country and culture.
Edmond Ng 06/14/10
An interesting read instilling a sense of suspense. Good imagery directing the reader to walk through with the author into a room filled with mysteries waiting to be discovered.