Friday, August 17, 2012

Our Day in Jerusalem Part 1

During our family vacation to Palestine, we spent one day in Jerusalem.  Getting into Jerusalem from Palestine territory is not easy, even when you are an American citizen.  At first, we were in line to cross the border into Jerusalem on foot.  I hate this.  I feel like cattle being herded into the gates.  I overheard Raed haggling to get a shuttle ride through the border, which he initially declined because of price gouging.  I asked him what the man wanted him to pay.  Approximately 30 dinars for the six of us, and he would take us directly to the old City.  What!  No Cattle-like herding with 4 kids and no bus ride!   I told Ray, call him back.  Thirty dinar is sooooooooo worth it!  Honestly, I would have paid up to 100 dinars, because I hate the border so much.

First, we wanted to see the Main Mosque in the Old City.  The Al-Quds, I think.

This time I was prepared with my burka and hijab in tow.  (My last trip to this mosque, I was dressed American and the guards gave us trouble letting me in.  My husband had to recite the fatiha to prove he was Muslim, and I had to borrow appropriate clothing.)  The girls and I changed in the restroom and we walked straight past the guards without stopping.  The girls looked beautiful in their new traditional Palestinian dress.

Next, the kids were hungry, so we stopped into a cafe that was established in the 1920's.  We ordered kebabs for the adults and cheese pizza for the kids.

Our last stop in the Old City was the Holy Sepulcher Church.  I overheard a tour guide say this was was considered the holiest place on Earth.  Outside of this church is where Jesus was stripped of his garment before he was nailed to the cross.

Once inside the church to the right marks the site where Jesus was nailed to the cross.  The ceiling of the room has a mosaic depicting the event.

In the center of the initial room was an altar dedicated to Mary.  This area commemorates Jesus being taken down from the cross and his mother who took the body into her arms.  Many people were touching and kissing and blessing items on this altar.

As we walked through the church, we came to the Tomb of Jesus.  The tomb is covered with a marble slab, and there are 43 lamps that burn day and night in the burial chamber.  Not all Christians accept the identification of the tomb inside this church.

We took some pictures by the beautiful ceiling in the church.

Mya and Layla

and Adam.


  1. The gold dombed mosque/shrine is called the Dome of the Rock which is located at the temple mount/alaqsa area. The masjid next to the Dome of the Rock is referred to as al Aqsa masjid though the entire temple mount is considered "al aqsa" which is the "far off mosque" mentioned in the Quran (where Muhammad pbuh went on night journey/meraj). Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem as a whole. :)