All posts filed under: middle east

Exploring Petra: In Pictures (and a few words..)

Just a few hours after crossing the border back into Israel from Egypt I found myself making my way through customs into Jordan. Three countries in one day, nice. We showed our passports a total of six times on the way, only running in to some trouble with our bags. For some reason they were unsure if they should allow me to go in with my GoPro, which had an underwater case on it. Thankfully after some discussion amongst themselves, the security men gave me my camera back. Although the next item of suspicion was my mother’s police badge, which after ten minutes or so was returned to us… We were apart of an organized trip, we were fourteen total. Finally on the Jordan side we were separated into two vans and prepared for our two hour drive. Before climbing in the van I had no clue I was in for such a long ride, but wow, the Jordanian mountains are something beautiful. The lines of phosphate and shades of green from copper, it wasn’t …

Dome of the Rock

Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, Har HaBeit (הר הבית), Haram al-Sharif, it goes by many names and has a deep history. Without going into too much detail this Dome of the Rock is the holiest site in Judaism. It is believed that at this spot all of creation took place from the creation stone. The first and second Jewish Temples once stood there. Now stands there the Dome in the center, one of the oldest Islamic structures. And on the south side sits a mosque. Now on the mount only Muslims are allowed to pray, which is cause for a lot of controversy in Israel. I was unsure about visiting the mount, it is not a common or recommended thing for most Israelis or Jews to do. When entering through security I was listening to a tour guide prep his group before entering. He double checked several times, asking if anyone was Jewish, if anybody was carrying something religious that was not Muslim, no bibles, or kippas, no rosaries. He didn’t want any trouble …

Jerusalem: The Old City, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Wall

My Mommy has finally arrived! Now my twin and I are taking her around to see the sights. We’ve started here in Jerusalem which my brother knows very well. He has been volunteering at an archaeological dig site next to the wall for the last five months. So we are very lucky to have our own personal tour guide. We dove right in to site seeing on the first day. It was made easy by the perfect location of our hotel, right on King George St., in the center of all the action. The name, City Center Hotel doesn’t lie. This hotel is perfect! Superb location, great staff, and the rooms are modern, clean, with the comforts of home. I would call this place a hidden gem, nested in the heart of King George St. in the center of Jerusalem. It’s surrounded by restaurants and cafes, the light rail is just around the corner. It was lovely to wake up in the morning, walk outside and find a cafe to sit at, and enjoy some …

Tekoa: A trip to the Northern Judaean Mountains

The West Bank My friend never came out and said, “I live in the West Bank”, so it took me by surprise when we were crossing the line over in the dark of night. Not sure how I didn’t put the two together when he said “I live on a settlement”, but in my defense I was still new to the country. So it wasn’t until we were about five minutes away when my eyes widened with (I will admit) a little bit fear but also a lot of excitement. And that is how I found myself in the West Bank, Palestinian territory.