-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

When I walked on the Arab Street
in Singapore,
I felt like in a new story
from Arabian Nights,
in which Sinbad the sailor
blessed my steps,
Aladdin lit my way
with his lamp,
and Ali Baba showed me
another human treasure,
for which I could not find
any normal measure.

Also there I could meditate why
some of the stars have Arabian names,
imagining that Sirius, Altair and
Aldebaran throw, in fact, friendly flames.

The Arab Street was named after a Muslim merchant,
who lived here before the British Empire
instituted its protectorate in Singapore (1819).

The diamond monument of the zone
is the Masjid Sultan Mosque,
founded in the 1820s.

Along with the main symbol,
the Crescent Moon and a Star,
this superb mosque and its surrounding places
show other interesting cosmic representations,
a fact which is not a surprise if we think that, in the Middle Age,
Arabian astronomy was superior to
European astronomy (frozen in the Ptolemaic system).

Thus, the Arabian astronomers built observatories,
made discoveries, published studies,
and gave to more stars
names which are available today.

The profoundly cultural feeling I lived in the Arabian zone of Singapore
gave me a special inspiration,
so that finally,
since the Moon is an observational good of humanity,
I tried a fantastic photo-poetical combination
between an Arabian-Persian form of creation
and my European instruction:


You are so beautiful, Moon,
Each of your phases charms, Moon,

First or Last Quarter, so fine,
New or Full Moon, such a shine!

I know you have many seas,
But I don’t want to swim, Moon,

You have a lot of craters,
But I’m not volcanic, Moon,

And I prefer to watch you
When you’re veiled by sunlight, Moon!

I always love your fifth phase,
When you are a goddess, Moon!

So Selene, I’m afraid
My idea would be fade:

May I change your name into
Heavenly Scheherazade?


© 2015 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)