Day 10: Wandering Through The Old City I

Posted on September 14, 2010

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Taking a break today, we wandered around the city, finding a little cavern-restaurant that set a nice warm mood right outside the cold security entrance for the Western Wall. You know there’s a metal detector for entrance, but we dared not enter. We’ve had enough of security procedures thus far. Even at Al Aqsa, we are questioned before going into the gates with a salaam or a keiful hal?(how are you?) or even a blatant question as to whether or not we are muslimeen and where we are from? Don’t they recognize the same three brown-skinned people by now roaming their cities? But that’s not as bad as I’ve heard others have had it…some are asked to recite Al Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Qur’an. Al Aqsa’s security force has never asked us that, but there have been some random Muslims on the street, not believing that American Muslims exist, who have asked us to recite Qur’an or ask what we know of the Qur’an. Of course we don’t, putting the question back on them to answer, and then they see how abnormal their request is. But again, I digress…

We found a khayata (seamstress/tailor) in the old city to put pockets in a pocketless jilbab I bought. The tailor shop is owned by a nice sweet older couple. The husband taught himself English by just interacting with English speakers in the city, and the woman, Khalti Fariha, as I’ve begun to call her, was born in the States but doesn’t speak a lick of English. They made us Arabic coffee as we awaited my 15 minute pockets and entertained us with their stories as our daughter decided to take a nap right outside their store front.

After leaving the tailors, we found the sweet sh’abira dessert we’ve been looking for. We had it when when we went to Omar’s house for Iftar and hadn’t been able to find it again until now. Yum! It seems different people call this sweet by different names…we’ve decided to call it “honey cloud of yumminess”.

Also, today, through wandering, I finally found the women’s restroom near the Dome of the Rock. And city toilets!!

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