Back to Basics

It’s Sunday today. We haven’t even been home for 24 hours yet, but we must go shopping. We emptied our refrigerator clean before we left. And though family members cooked food for us to eat, we’ve had enough of eating the same meal three times a day and eating dinner food for breakfast. What we…

Day 19: Journey to Hebron

We were greeted by a strange man today. You know the kind…the one that talks, sighs, and grunts to himself in the street and makes you want to walk the other way. The kind that will say anything to you without hesitation. The kind of crazy sage that speaks some truth amidst their chaos. He…

Day 17: Eilat

Eilat is truly a vacation within a vacation. Yesterday all I could tell you about was how beautiful it is here and the abundance of marine life. Today, we see the people and the city for what they are. It seems to be extremely HOT here everyday…so much so that if there was one day…

Day 16: The Room with a View

Hmmmm…Ramallah had me going there. Today we are on vacation. We are journeying….to Eilat!!! The hot spot in the south of Israel touching the Red Sea…beach town…coral reefs…blue skies smiling at me. We left at 6am to make the four hour drive to the south. Sorry, can’t tell you much of what happened during the…

Day 15: Play in Ramallah

After seeing the city shut down on Friday, today we were privileged to see the Old City wake up. The city wakes up around 7am and sleeps around 6pm on a normal day. A beautiful sight of mostly empty streets…It’s all just now coming full circle, just as we are about to leave this blessed…

Day 14: Welcome to Nachlaot

Welcome to Nachlaot (pronounced Nah-latt or Nah-la-watt). Our new home. And yes, it is in the Jewish part of town, but don’t hate. It’s the cheapest place we could find for the length of our stay. And I like to think of it as an experiment in dawah and Israeli treatment of Muslims in general.…

Day 13: Surprises

Because we love the feeling that we get at Nabi Musa, we decided to go to Nabi Musa for jumua–surprise! Jumua wasn’t there..all the towns close their shops and head for Al Aqsa. But, surprise! My hubby had the honor of leading prayer there! Again, it was a great feeling to be asked to be…

Day 11: Wandering Through The Old City II

Today we were vagabonds. We still need a break–we’ve almost checked everything on our lists, but still we must see the Prophets Lut (Lot), Ibrahim (Abraham), Yaqub (Jacob), Yunus (Jonah), Alyasa (Elisha), and possibly Yusuf (Joseph), too, peace be upon them all. There are some disputes concerning where some of them lay…but we will try…

Day 5: Journey to Bethlehem

After praying dhuhr in the Old City at al Aqsa, as we always do, we headed to Bethlehem today. It was harder to find the checkpoint than in Ramallah. We had to go through a checkpoint with a don’t enter sign. We still don’t know if we legally entered, as we entered through what seemed…

Day 4: Journey to Ramallah III

Today we journeyed to Ramallah again for a shopping trip with Ana. I must say, I am truly grateful for Ana. If you have the privilege to meet her in this life, then count yourself as blessed. She has a wonderful story to tell, but it’s a privileged story that’s not for me to tell…not…

Day 2: Journey to Ramallah II

Today we went to Ramallah to visit Ana again. We had a yummy iftar at her house and met her in-laws. Visiting Ana’s neighborhood of Surda is a little bit of a flashback to my childhood visits to my great-grsndmother’s farm. Her whole house is embraced with fruits and vegetables, including grapevines, fig trees, olive…

Day 1: Journey to Ramallah

Today we went through our first checkpoint–it didn’t take us much time to assimilate, did it? Actually, we’ve blended in with the locals pretty well–we now know where to park and when after looking at some visual cues in the form of color coding on our street (blue and white means you can park there,…

Journey to Jerusalem…here we go!

Abu Hurayrah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, “You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the following three Masjids with the expectations of getting greater reward: the Sacred Masjid of Makkah (Ka’bah), this Masjid of mine (the Prophet’s Masjid in Madinah), and Masjid Al-Aqsa (of Jerusalem).” In another…