Tuesday, 10 September 2013

lunch with my Buddhist sister on a beach

A couple of months ago, I found myself chillin on ziiii beach munchin sandwiches with my Buddhist sister. Despite her father being Welsh and her mother being Japanese, she was telling me that her parents adored the Arab culture and thus on their family holidays they were forever travelling to the Middle East, in places such as Jordan and Israel/Palestine. Since I've never visited those places myself, I was very curious as to how her experiences were and asked how she found it.

"Shabzzzzzz, it's so amazing! You walk around the city and you see such different cultures, traditions and religions all within a few feet of each other."

She seemed stunned by the contrasts of what Jerusalem offered. Churches, Mosques and Synagogues all in one city. The Abrahamic religions all in the same place. Just imagine. 

"Did you hear the Islamic call to prayer?" I asked.

"Yeah it's beautiful...we got on a taxi and luckily the taxi driver was ethnically half Palestinan and half Israeli. It meant he had access across both borders. We drove to the West Bank, they checked our passports and everything cause the security there is strict."

She paused a while in mid thought and sadly said. "Ah Shabnum, it's so deep."

My eyes lit up as I recalled something ''Did you see the Banksy graffiti on the wall?"

"Yes I did!" she smiled.

"I'm sooo jealous man! I remember googling the images of the Palestinan Banksy graffiti ages ago. I've always wanted to go there and see it..."

"Its deep Shabz... like really deep. I hope I can take my children there one day... you know ... to educate them about stuff like this. It makes me appreciate and become much more grateful for everything I have. After visiting Palestine I think I'm more on their side now. I think it's really unfair Shabz, they don't let the Palestinians pray in their own places of worship and I think they should."

 I'll take my children there one day too - God willing. 

I was touched by what she had said but at the same time envied her, as I was now even more intrigued! My mum's always banging on about how she wants to go there - she keeps telling me she wants to pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque too. If the Almighty God wills, with sincere intentions I pray that one day we'll be able to perform salah with the people of Palestine. 

"How was Jordan?"

"Me and my sister saw the Syrian refugees there. It was deep Shabnum... its deep there. They looked so dirty and weren't washed ... they were in such bad conditions. It made me feel really grateful for everything I have Shabz. We quickly went into a corner shop to buy cookies. Me and my sister handed it out to the refugees as they walked by..." 

 I couldn't help but think Subhan'Allah* سبحان الله 

May our Creator grant these sisters with goodness. Ameen.

*Glory be to the Almighty God

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