Dec Holiday - Day Two

16th Dec 2010, Thursday.

Good morning! (in our room)
Like clockwork, Tufeil woke up at 4am after 10hours of sleep.
This is a fleece pyjamas from his paternal grandma.
Guess this will be the only time he'd wear - too hot in S'pore.

Luckily it's the right size for the right time.

Sunrise from our room.

If you look closely, you'll notice the golden dome is Masjidil Aqsa.
His attire for today. At the lobby.
(Found out they have wireless internet here but only the lobby. Nevermind I still rejoiced!)

Also shalwar kameez from Pakistan. He was wearing tights under the shalwar and later when we go out a jumper over his kameez. I should have put on a bodysuit for him underneath. I was wretched with guilt all day long esply when the shirt rode up as we tried to carry him. But my travelling companions said that as long as he remained active means he's good and he did.

Breakfast at 7am!
Cakes, cut fruits and what looked to be Chicken Poloni
Dining room

Hmmm I ate none of these except for the cheddar cheese.

Weeehooo Cookie crisp is Tufeil's favourite!
We packed some for the rest of the day since T didn't eat properly.

No make that Sausage his ABSOLUTE favourite!!!
Entrance of Holy Land Hotel.

And the sight seeing begins!
We set out at 8.30am thereabouts. We had a long day ahead of us. The guide is trying to fit in 2 days worth of activities into one. We were supposed to have half a day of tour yesterday but were held up at immigration.

It was just a short drive (about 30min) to Mount Olives. Having been awake for 5hours, Tufeil was just about to sleep in the bus when we reached there.

First Stope: Maqam (tomb) of Salman Al-Farisi We gathered around the tour guide sitting on the stool.

I was all set to hear from the guide like some campfire story when Tufeil started to exclaim "nak Susu!! Nak Susu!" The place was small and only our group was around and they could all understand that Tufeil wants his milk. So i had to quickly accede to his request before he threw a tantrum, just at the corner. After all the trouble, he decided he's had enough and wanted to walk around instead. I had to quietly entertain him with Spongebob app on iPhone or other videos. As a result, I didn't quite catch a word of the guide!

A short while later, I had to put on T's shoes for him and strap him down again for a walk down to the next attraction like 3 doors away:
The Chapel of Ascension
This is believed to be the last place where Jesus (Nabi Isa a.s) stayed before he ascended to Heaven.
Next door still is Maqam Rabi'atul Adawiyah.

Nothing much also just a small place to pray.
These whole place is called Mount Olives
Went back to the bus for yet another short drive to a location with a panoramic view of Al-Aqsa.

BTW, everytime people said AQSA, i thought they were talking about my company. HAHAHA
There it is

I opted out of the group photo taken here. In fact, I didn't even get down from the bus. Tufeil was getting very cranky and totally NEEDED his nap and he wasn't quite sleeping yet when we reached so I stayed in the bus.
And FINALLY we reached the entrance towards Aqsa.

It's about 5min walk back to the hotel. And most of our group had already been here for Fajr but they couldn't see much of anything since it was still very dark
The "gate"

Those two might look like street signs but they actually say Allah and Muhammad.
Wet market!
Sign at a junction says Herod's Gate to the left, and
Al-Bustami Ascent to the right
Onwards to herod's gate then.
Lovely smells came from the bakery
We paused here as the Guide showed where the male and female toilets are.
Mind you, its still quite a ways to go till we get there
But before that, we stopped by another spot nearby
Stairwell to Masjid Al-Burraq

This was the place where Prophet Muhd saw leashed Burraq the "bird" before going to Aqsa for a prayer and taking off to the sky. We had to take turns going down because it is not accessible by stroller.
Oh but T woke up already and demanded a walk w his atok!
You cheeky boy you!

I noticed that just outside that masjid, there were about 5 uniformed soldiers. I couldn't distinguish if they were Palestinians or Israelis. I thought at first it was the latter but then I saw one of them taking ablution to pray.

Time for Zohr. The rest of them were inside praying while we waited outside.
T accidentally sat on some bird's shit
The Grand Entrance

It was very sad that I couldn't pray that day. I mean to travel all the way here and miss out on a prayer at the 3rd most important mosque for a Muslim, that's a real waste! But I hope Allah understands.
While waiting, we saw a group of primary school kids being taught how to pray!
They attempted to follow the Imam, but quite difficult as they couldn't see the leader's actions right?

Afterwards, the guide brought us underground.
He said this is the Original Aqsa
But again I missed out on listening to the guide because either Tufeil was asking for milk or running around climbing stairs. Aiyooo
Now to the Masjid of the Dome of Rock.
Not a cloud in the sky got the sun in my eyes.

Mummy and Ayah wanted a couple picture but Tufeil refused to be let down! hah

We were underneath the rock.

I kept asking Dad where's the hanging rock? But he said that walls have been built underneath it to disguise the Mukjizat (miracle) so that people would not worship the rock itself and to prevent people from fainting or whatever looking at the sheer magnificence beyond human's understanding.

It was prolly 2pm by this time and Tufeil was SUPER DUPER CRANKY. It's no wonder since it was wayyy past lunch time and we still have not eaten! Biscuits didn't do the trick either... then I rememebered the sausages I nicked from Bfast. There were only 2 pieces but he quietened down.

I thought we tour was over but far from it! From there, we walked further still to see the West Wall where the Jews would weep for the massacre of their people sometime back in history. There was a checkpoint where you had to show your bags to go thru to this section.

Tufeil started getting cranky again. We couldn't find any food vendor but we did get him an orange and a pomegrenate but diff to eat. At my wit's end, I decided to sit down at the tunnel and nursed my son and he fell asleep. Then it was time to move on but he still hadn't detach from me yet. So I had to carry him like a baby. But Boy that's not easy seeing that he's what? 12kg now? *faint*

After what seemed like forever, we finally got a move on to the bus and towards lunch.
Our first lunch in foreign land (plane food not included) was RICE with fish, chicken, beef, vege all chinese style.

Since T was asleep, I had a very peaceful fulfilling meal. I was half wishing that he'd wake so he could eat. But in the end, it was better that we packed his rice and fed him on the bus. That's sort of entertainment. HAHA
Just in front of the restaurant is the WALL separating the Arabs from the Arabs? I donno that's what the guide said. I thought I read it differently from the books I borrowed from the library that i read before coming. But I totally can't recall what its about now.

It was probably 4pm but the day was FARRRRRR from over! We drove on to Bethlehem, hebron to visit Maqam Nabi Ishak and his wife Rafiqah and Nabi Ibrahim as and his wife Sarah.

Tufeil, having eaten properly, happily walking with the big boys.

He was also happily lounging around on the lush carpet.

Also played with a local friend who stopped by with his father for maghrib.
Nabi Ishaq (Isaac) as and wife
In there are Nabi Ibrahim (Abraham) as and wife.

The story of this masjid: during some conqueror's occupation, the masjid was shut down. When it reopened 6-9months later, it was discovered that it has been divided into two sections. The other is a synagogue for the Jews to pray.

Oh yes there were police and guards stationed everywhere here. Our bags were searched too prior to entry. There were gates along the street too. The little boys and teenage guys who hustled us relentlessly to buy some souvenir bags and beads couldn't cross that line.

Their common phrase would be like, "Please help me fi sabilillah. My Dad and brother shaheed. I have 4 other siblings." Lucky thing I didnt have a cent on me. All money was with Mum. I might have succumbed to the pressure. But really I couldn't make out the authenticity of their need. I mean their story sounds very sad but is it true at all? and what if they use our money to buy cigarettes?

The SHOCK of the night was, the older boys followed us by taxi to a souvenir shop some 10minutes drive away!! And then I also saw they had a handphone on them.

We reached the hotel very late or it seemed late to me past 7pm. Only then did we have our dinner. Too tired to snap photos but T woke up to eat. That's good.

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3 glasses of Juice:

Nadia said...

T and his Grandma has the same mouth in the picture you posted. :)

Anonymous said...

The boys were telling the truth. Indeed, their father and brother did shaheed and they needed sustenance.

It depends on the person and some hearts are not opened to accept it. If you give it's between you and Allah Wa'Jazz'Allah.... and you give it for him only and leave only to him (redha) on what they do with the money. It is a matter of the hearts, really. ;)

On the other hand, collecting beads can be a nice form of hobby too, something of a memory to remind us of how fortunate we are and to never be kufoor.

PS - You missed the feta cheese... It's nice, if eaten with olives as some veggies as a salad. "Greek salad"


Anonymous said...

We can be Gracious and Merciful towards Allah SWT's servants, be it a man, woman, animals as tiny as an ant or even plants since Allah SWT; the Lord and Creator of Heavens and Earth; the Abaser yet Most High can be the Most Gracious and Most Merciful.

Do everything in the name of your Lord; for the Lord never forsake his servant's good deeds, even to a point of moving a stone to prevent someone from getting hurt. ;)