PALESTINE – THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME

It was one of those places I never imagined myself visiting, like many others it was never on my radar and with it being on the news every other day, I never thought it was safe enough. But Palestine always held a very special place in my heart and it made me sad that I’d never visit the land. But as my dad always says “never say never”, and alas God always works His magic in mysterious ways. “You plan and He plans but He is the best of planners” (Holy Quran, Surah Al-Anfal 8:30)

Despite what you think you see on social media, this year has been one of the weirdest, hardest, most intense, life changing years for me personally. And naturally, in times of hardship one always turns to the Creator, but it’s a complicated relationship, Sometimes up sometimes down but perhaps He wants you to turn back to Him and you just need to be reminded of the bigger picture, just ONE reminder that He is near. This trip was exactly that, it was the perfect moment, in the best of situations and the fact that I got to do it with my best friend was an immense experience.

Before I left for Jerusalem, I was given 100 tips and warnings from 50 different people about a Muslim travelling to Israeli land. But this was a journey I was willing to make. Side story – about a month ago I was offered a job in London, it was perfect, the role, the team, the salary, the organisational structure, not to mention the offices overlooked the most stunning view of The Shard. The manager offered me the job there and then. The only thing that ate at the back of my mind was the fact that the company was Israeli owned and I’d have to travel to Israel a few times a year for meetings. After much deliberation and to-ing and fro-ing, I turned down the role having a very frank conversation with the manager explaining to him that my strong affiliation and connection with the free land of Palestine would always be a conflict of interest for the organisation. Moral of the story, go with your gut always and going on this trip reaffirmed my decision tenfold!

We travelled from London to Tel Aviv on a very early morning flight and travelled by road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As it was our first time in Palestine and didn’t know what to expect, so we travelled with a tour provider called Ibadah Tours.



Palestine
Dome of the Rock

Palestine
The Golden Dome

Islamic Clothing
Abaya by Oooh.My

Palestine
Lovely View of the Dome of the Rock

Dome of the rock
And from the inside .. some of the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen

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The entrance to Masjid al Aqsa, Jerusalem


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Courtyard of Masjid al Aqsa

Palestine Masjid Al Aqsa
Mornings like none I have ever seen…

Palestine Masjid Al Aqsa
Mornings like none I have ever seen…

Aqsa Library Masjid Al Aqsa Palestine
Not forgetting the beautiful libraries of Al Aqsa which is the home to books older than I can count!

Why Jerusalem?


Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is home to the 3 Abrahamic faiths – Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Some of the most important Prophets in the history of all 3 religions have walked the streets of Jerusalem including Jesus (who was made to walk down the streets whilst on the cross), Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) who made his journey from Medina to Jerusalem to what Muslims refer to as the Journey of the Night or Me’raj and David and Solomon’s residing place.


Judaism’s Wailing Wall is one of the most important sites for the religion where Jews from all over the world, particularly the Orthodox Jews of Jerusalem visit every Sabbath (Friday night to Saturday night) Unfortunately we weren’t able to visit this part of Jerusalem.


Christianity – Jerusalem and Bethlehem are embedded in Christian history but Jerusalem also has the resting place of Mary where she waited for Jesus to be born. Not only that, The Holy Church of the Sepulchre was allegedly where Jesus was crucified and buried before his resurrection.



Old City Palestine
The Holy Church of the Sepulchre

Old City Palestine
The Holy Church of the Sepulchre

Old City Jerusalem Palestine