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.”