Two stories

Ekaterinburg (Russia): Shoes

Right after the fall of communism, a Belgian company sent two representatives to look into the feasibility of selling their products. Two different reports were received.

“Nobody wears Western shoes here,” wrote the first representative, “if we install a factory here, we will suffer heavy losses.”

“Nobody wears Western shoes here,” wrote the second representative, “If we install a factory here, we will start the fashion trend and sell the entire production.”

Kairuan (Tunisia): The Truly Devout

Abu Sari owned a haberdashery in the middle of the main market in the city. He spent all day selling, buying and bargaining with the customers.

But every afternoon he drew a cloth curtain in a corner of his shop around himself and prayed.

One afternoon, a mullah visited him.
He said he was close to God and wanted to share his joy with Abu Sari.

“Where do you live?” asked the merchant.

“In the desert. There, I manage to contemplate the face of the Almighty Lord and swim in his blessings.”

“If you live in the desert, that means that you are still far from the Divine,” answered Abu Sari.
“An enlightened man lives in the middle of a market, and is never a single moment absent from the company of God.”