A brief visit to Şanlıurfa should bring one to the Eyyübiye district of the greater region. Just to the southwest of the great Urfa castle one finds themselves at one of many pilgrimage points in Urfa. The cave of Job the prophet, where he allegedly spent seven years in torment and eventually was refreshed and healed by a miraculous spring that is still servicing the community to this day.
Jobs Tomb Urfa

The ladies and men in the region wear the bright purple caftan and spend time in the shade in the courtyard outside a large rather new mosque and the ancient cave site. The ladies are also prone to wear a beautiful turquoise dress that compliments and makes them stand out in the sandy colored background of an otherwise color bleak region.

Job's Well Sanliurfa

Job’s Story

The story of Job has him losing all his wealth, children and health in one great calamity at the request of the devil Job is allowed to be tried by God and when he proves faithful his health, fortunes and family are restored to him. One of the first places where women are shown to have received a portion of a father’s inheritance is in Job and the text itself may be one of the oldest of the Hebrew books of the Bible.

Local Customs

The locals will come to pray in the cool shade of the cave, while they are regularly yelled at by the security guard tasked with the impossible duty of making sure no one should be praying in the cave. The women go in first and enjoy the cool for a moment and kiss the glass and begin their prayers while the men remove their shoes and prepare to descend the few steep stairs that lead down into the cave. When the men’s turn comes they store their shoes somewhere safe hoping they will not be stolen in the crowd and make their way down to receive the blessing of praying in such a holy site. The young men sit in awe remembering the telling of Job’s righteous patience as their father’s focus on praying.
Jobs Cave 01

Coming out of the tomb it is a short walk down the path to the well and one will find families filling their water containers with holy water. They will later take it home and use it for a mystical balm. The blessing of this water is similar to the waters of the Zem Zem well in Saudi Arabia. After filling the water jugs some will stop in the mosque and pray, hoping for a respite from the heat of the day. The old men in the neighborhood have gathered in the courtyard and are disputing something as we walk by, not wanting to be too direct we snap a few pictures sideways. I sit down and talk with an old man with a smiling face. I asked him about the purple caftans, wondering out loud if there was any cultural reason that everyone was wearing purple. He admits sheepishly to me that he just likes the color and we smile and talk about language and Job and I must leave to make it to the next tour stop on the road West.