Monday, November 22, 2010

PEACEFUL THOUGHTS: Journey to God's Compound: Jerusalem to Jordan(Amm...

PEACEFUL THOUGHTS: Journey to God's Compound: Jerusalem to Jordan(Amm...: " I woke up feeling refreshed and energized, 'whoa' I am supposed to be tired after that long flight. I am like an athlete who is about to co..."

Journey to God's Compound: Jerusalem to Jordan(Amman and Jaresh)

 I woke up feeling refreshed and energized, 'whoa' I am supposed to be tired after that long flight. I am like an athlete who is about to compete in a 100 meter sprint, energize and ready to go. I washed,  had breakfast and started getting ready for a long drive to Amman Jordan for a visit.  Just when  I finished having my breakfast our ride came and we have to leave I was following Daniel ( my friend and  host )as we run down the  stairs. Even though my adrenalin is high my brain seems to still be half asleep from the jet lag as we drive through the streets of Jerusalem and my two friends were showing me what is what  when we came to a rest place with many tourists taking pictures of the beautiful hills whiles others were taking pictures on a 'rented' camel which I also  took a couple.. click:
  We drove for two hours  stop at only one check  point and finally arrived at  the boarder where we have to get a visa and continue our journey to Amman.  We crossed the Israeli side took a bus to the Jordanian side of the border. We answered a couple of questions and since this was the first time crossing through this point , I was photographed and my right hand thumb print was taking, after a couple of standard questions they welcomed me to Jordan and asked me to go. One of the officers asked me if I know Michael Essien ( Ghanaian international soccer star) when he saw from my passport that I was born in Ghana.
a@ the  'Cantaloupe'
  We drove through beautiful mountains ,small towns and villages on these part of Jordan. The people were nice and the food awesome. We spent the evening driving round the city of Amman, whose night life is just like any American or western country's city night life. Rainbow  street is littered with many shops, cafes beautiful restaurants and cocktail bars we spent about 30 minutes in a cocktail bar name Cantaloupe over looking the beautiful Amman night skyline. ...
Sitting on the stars to the temple of Zeus
 We were hosted to a dinner by  Seeds of Peace DL'S and some others from  a couple of local peace and interfaith organizations,  It was a perfect networking diner for us and the locals as well. Still tired from my flight I slept like a baby at the end of the day.
  Our friend  picked us up to the Montessori School where another  friend teaches, we had breakfast and were giving a mini tour of the . School was half day because the next three days is one of Islam's holy-days. ( Eid -Al Adha) Our next stop  to visit in Amman is  Jerash :
   Jerash is an ancient Roman city 48 km. north of Amman.  At one point had 20-25,000 people living there it was inhabited for about 6500 years by the Romans.  I was amazed by the beauty of the ruined old city and the Zeus temple . I kept asking my self, if the Romans knew that someday, their pride will be history and people from all walk of life will come from near and far just to appreciate its beauty and wonder how it was built.. 
Quote of the Day: 
  'Our civilization is now in the transition stage between the age of warring empires and a new age of world unity and peace'.~~ John Boyd Orr

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

jerusalem Chronicles: My Journey and the complex Identity of God's compound

    Located between the dead  sead and the Meditarranean Sea, Jerusalem  is a 'holy City' to the three Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).. It is a tourist destination for many people of various faiths from all over the world:
           Thursday : Nov 11 20 10
    My flight from Boston's Logan airport  to JFK was about half an hour which was great.  I took the  shuttle to Newark airport. The boarding and departure was on time despite the many layers of securities  at the airport for those of us traveling to Israel.  I slept a couple of hours and  wake up to have dinner after which I watched the  movie Gandhi and went back to sleep again , when I woke up we were two hours away from Ben Gurion int  airport in  Tel Aviv and my heart  started beating faster, so I am finally getting to be here , to see all the holy sites I have been reading about since I was a child and many stories  my many  friends from the region have been telling me. I was excited.. We clapped and cheered as the plane made a safe landing.  My excitement was short lived as I walked out of the plane into the beautiful warm weather of God's Country..
                                                           'PRIVILEGE PASSENGER'
 Friday 11.20.10
 I was the only  passenger who is Black / African Descent or you can say ( person of color) as  officially referred to in America. Those of you that I have shared my airport experiences with, know that I am a 'privilege' passenger, and it didn't take long for the Israel security officials to figure that out, an officer pointed at  me  and asked me to  step  aside for security check whiles showing me his badge.
 ' I am use to this but at least they should have wait for me to streh my legs after  10 hours flight. The first officer asked me for my passport and asked me all sort of questions from my first, last and family names to my grand parents names and my job address. Then handed my passport to another officer who asked me the same questions and also asked me if I have another passport apart from the America one when I asked why should i have another passport?, his response: ' because you were born in Ghana and some people have two passports' and handed my passport to me.
Fastfoward to the passport control 'box'  : I handed my passport to an officer in one of the kiosks and she also drilled me with the same questions in a nice way, much nicer than the guys from the plane gates. She then gave my passport to another officer who asked me to followed him which I did thinking that he was just going to do a body check and let me go since I was having an American Passport, I was wrong...... it took me more than two hours to leave the airport and according to other people, I was lucky.... 
  I went through many interviews by about six different immigration officers asking me the same questions over and over and over again., they called my friends to verified if they were expecting me. The whole process was very intimidating and stressful. The last officer that interviewed me was  a sweet lady, she was very respectful as she asked two additional questions: Are you a  Muslim and  do have  any kids, what are their names? I answered and she made a last phone call to the friend who was picking me up and asked me to go  wait for her . She came out a couple of minutes later and handed me my passport as she welcomed me to Israel.  I was picked up by  my friend Daniel and his friend. We drove to an open outdoor  market  call  Mahne Yehuda in down town Jerusalem  the market was busy Shabbat. We visited a young family for me to have diner and also see how the Shabbat  is observed. .  The street of the neighborhood the (Bak' a ) was empty as people wish each other Shabbat Shalom, its the Jewish observing of the sabbath  I have already falling in love with the city of Prophets David, Solomon and Jesus.

 Quote of the Day:
 Holy Quran chapter 7:verse 1
'Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque (Mecca)to the farthest Mosque(Jerusalem), whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).