Jordan: 8 maqams of prophets and sahaba to visit

Jordan: 8 maqams of prophets and sahaba to visit

Expectation There are a number of maqams in Jordan and I only managed to cover some in the north. Didn’t know what to expect except history lessons. This is definitely no ordinary people I’m visiting, they are people beloved by Allah. So, definitely a lot to be learnt from their life story. The Journey I was picked up at my hostel in the morning and we immediately went to the first maqam. Weather Very sunny! Locations vary so no specific temperature on this trip. People Not many people around, so…

New 7 Wonders of the World: Rose Red City, Petra

New 7 Wonders of the World: Rose Red City, Petra

Expectations I’ve always wanted to explore Petra, aka the Rose Red City. I love everything mysterious, obviously. Nabataean Empire & Roman Empire Petra was a Nabataean city back in the 6th century BC. The kingdom was absorbed into the Roman Empire in AD 106 and the Romans continued to expand the city, thus, the existence of some very recognisable Roman architecture in Petra. Roman Trade Port & Quality Hydrolic System An important center for trade and commerce, Petra continued to flourish until an earthquake destroyed the buildings and water management systems…

Jerash Roman Ruins: #2 popular site in Jordan after Petra

Jerash Roman Ruins: #2 popular site in Jordan after Petra

Expectation Another site containing Roman ruins in Jordan. I’m really thankful for the excavation works because history would otherwise be hidden from sight. Jerash is now the second-most popular tourist attraction in Jordan, closely behind the splendid ruins of Petra. Anyway, I not only lost my camera in Jerusalem but I also lost ALL photos of my Jordan trip (taken with my phone) because my external HDD crashed while I was transferring the photos! Seriously technology, why do you keep letting me down? I managed to save the very few photos I…

2 Roman ruins I visited in Hashemite Kingdom, Amman

2 Roman ruins I visited in Hashemite Kingdom, Amman

Expectation The numerous Roman ruin sites (pleasantly) surprised me, didn’t know there would be so many. I didn’t expect women to be seen in public areas. I thought Arab women don’t work in Jordan. And on my first day here, I was afraid to step out of the hostel to explore the downtown streets alone. Alhamdulillah, I met an American lady in my hostel room and she showed me around downtown Amman the whole day! Me: Is it safe for women to walk alone here? American doctor: Yes! of course….

2 Faces of Hebron: Israeli Palestinian Conflict

2 Faces of Hebron: Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Expectation Background This is one of the places where the Israeli – Arab violent clashes happen. Hebron or Al Khalil is the largest city in the West Bank and the second largest city after Gaza in the Palestinian Territories. Separated into two areas called H1 and H2 – H1 is controlled by the Palestinian Authority while H2 is 20% controlled by Israel. Even though Hebron is largely under Palestinian Authority, there is a large presence of Israeli settlements. I toured H2, both the Palestinian and the Israeli quarters, to hear stories…

The 1 cave where Jesus was born in: Bethlehem

The 1 cave where Jesus was born in: Bethlehem

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Expectation Jesus was born in Bethlehem, according to biblical references and Christians world over flock to this place for a visit. It is also revered by Jews as the “birthplace and home town of David, King of Israel, as well as the traditional site of Rachel’s Tomb (on the outskirts of the town)”. I overheard someone said Bethlehem is the center for Christianity, birthplace of Jesus AS. The tour guide told us we will be seeing the separation wall here. I was so pumped! Just when…

Site of Christianity: 3 places in Jericho to trace Jesus’ footsteps

Site of Christianity: 3 places in Jericho to trace Jesus’ footsteps

Expectation Next stop – site of Jesus’ life, according to biblical references. I expected cool weather – simply because there was never a warm day in my trip so far. This was the next stop in a full day tour of the West Bank. First stop was Ramallah and it was a bummer. So I didn’t expect much. The Journey It wasn’t a long bus ride from Ramallah but the views were superbly, remarkably, outstanding! Weather It was HOT! Temperatures could’ve been well over 30 degree Celsius at least. People There’s…

1 aspect of Palestinian life I missed in Ramallah: Food

1 aspect of Palestinian life I missed in Ramallah: Food

Expectation I had no idea what this place was going to be like. I went to Ramallah as part of a one day tour to the West Bank from Jerusalem. The tour was organised by the hostel, which was convenient. Since it was a tour, I expected to know about it via the tour guide. The Journey At the hostel lobby Immediately after coming back from Fajr prayer at Al Aqsa, I showered and prepared for the day’s events. I slept well the night before but my right feet was sore from…

Centre of 3 religions in the holy land: Jerusalem

Centre of 3 religions in the holy land: Jerusalem

Expectation Jerusalem. Holy Land. Period! I couldn’t wait to get out of Tel Aviv! – No boss, no more work – Get out of boredom – Al Aqsa “There’s a strange aura in Jerusalem. You can feel it when you’re reaching the city,” said my boss. Jerusalem, the center of the Abrahamic religions – rich in history that Jews, Christians and Muslims are proud of. I get giddy reading about Jerusalem, I LOVE THIS CITY! History buffs should feel me! I expected colder temperatures, soldiers armed with rifles walking up…

More than just a business district: Tel Aviv

More than just a business district: Tel Aviv

Expectation This was a business trip that I couldn’t get out of. I’m a Muslim woman donning a hijab about to enter a Jew majority country, what was my first thought? I was terrified! Customs Heard horror stories of muslims being held at the customs for up to six hours, men mostly. And I’ve heard of some who were told to “come back again tomorrow”. I’ve heard of the stringent questioning at the customs. Some of my friends and colleagues who’ve been to Israel told me they were asked these…