Friday, July 17, 2015

Eid Mubarak!

I’ve been back in Israel for about a week and a half now! For the most part it’s been very uneventful as I slept off my jet lag and basically just went back and forth to class. Until yesterday... when I actually did something worth sharing.

For one of my classes we had a seminar in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem. We spent the morning and afternoon hearing some lectures about the Holocaust in Russia. I decided to make it a full day in Jerusalem and stay overnight there. 

One of the reasons I wanted to stay was that I knew I would be there on the second last day of Ramadan. I wanted to see some lights and decorations and party like I just ate for the first time after fasting all day. 

So after the seminar, I dropped my stuff off at the hotel and headed to the Old City. I love the feeling of coming up to the walls of the Old City!

Even though I’ve spent a lot of time there, I always find random things that make me smile in the Old City.

Like harp players in Jaffa Gate.

Or this quintessential tourist family.

Or Jewish mannequins.

After hanging out a little bit in the Jewish Quarter, I ventured into the Muslim Quarter hoping to catch some Ramadan action. I wasn’t dark yet, but it looked promising for when it would be.

I found a place to hang out outside Damascus Gate to wait for sunset. My parents were a little concerned about me wandering through the Muslim Quarter after dark alone, so I took this picture to show them who I chose to sit by while I was waiting for dark haha.

No, they weren’t actually about to shoot anyone. They were just doing some kind of salute or something.

I was also sitting by these palm trees. It was a good location to hang out and people watch.

If you’re not familiar with what Ramadan is, Muslims don’t eat or drink anything all day from sunrise to sunset FOR A WHOLE MONTH. When Ramadan falls in the middle of summer, like it has for the last few years, that has to be really tortuous in the hot Middle East. I would probably die.

Where I was sitting, a lot of families started to gather in this park type area to have picnic meals together. It was fun to watch people get happy as it got darker and it was almost food time.

When it was finally dark enough, I went back through Damascus Gate to walk the Old City streets and find some lights!

What I found out was that the streets leading to the Temple Mount (which has Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque) were the ones that were the most decked out.

It was pretty cool! It reminded me of when we went to the Jerusalem Festival of Lights with BYU.

Here’s a deserted Jewish Quarter street that I saw on my way out.

Right outside of Jaffa Gate, I came across a mass outdoor spinning class. I mean, I guess the Jews haven’t been fasting for a month, so they needed to burn some things off. You can't really see it, but there were at least 100 people simultaneously biking together.

Saying goodbye to the Old City.

I saw one last cool site on the way to my hotel. A fun little display in West Jerusalem. NOT Ramadan related :)

It was a fun, quick day back in Jerusalem. I always leave Jerusalem happy, even though I can also always feel the burn in my calves the next day from the hills. It's great to live just a two hour bus ride away from this place.

1 comment:

  1. Glad that you had fun visiting your beloved city AND that you got back safely! Cool pictures!