"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Forget what others think..."
Tuesday - 12 April 2011
KL – Amman
The Royal Jordanian flight departed at 10.30pm on Monday, 11 April 2011. The 11-hour flight to Amman transited in Bangkok for an hour. We reached Amman at 6.00 am and were cleared through immigrations and customs swiftly by our ground agent. A 40-seater bus took us to Jerusalem Hotel in Amman for breakfast and after a good breakfast, went to a place to store our luggage. We only brought an overnight bag each for our travel into Jerusalem, the 3rd most sacred city in Islam.
|(At the Israel border)|
We went through group check-in at the Jordan border but at the Israel border, the entry process was a little thorough and we have to go through 5 check points. The process was tedious but swift and we were cleared within 2 hours. Our Jerusalem tourist guide Mr. Sharif met us on the Israel side and would be with us throughout our stay in Baitul-Muqaddis. Our first stop was at Temptation Restaurant in Jericho for a sumptuous buffet lunch. Jericho is claimed to be the lowest and oldest city in the world and also the home of the late Yaseer Arafat.
|(In front of Temptation Restaurant, Jerico)|
Around 4.00 pm we reached the National Hotel Jerusalem, situated a short walking distance from the Holy City. After a short rest and freshened up, led by the local guide we walked through the city streets and entered the Citadel through the Herod’s Gate to visit the two most important Muslim sites in Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque..
|(Palestine Citadel of the old Holy City)|
The winding narrow streets and stairs of the old Holy City lead us to Masjid Al-Sakrah (The Dome of the Rock), the site where Rasullullah SAW miraculously traveled to Jerusalem by night and ascended to heaven (Isra’ Mi’raj). We performed our solat jama’ Zohor and ‘Asar under the sacred hanging rock.
|(The Dome of the Rock)|
We later visited Masjid Al-Aqsa, the original qiblat before it was changed to Makkah and performed the solat jama’ Maghrib and ‘Isya after listening to a short tazkirah by the Imam Sheikh Hussein.
|(Masjid Al-Aqsa in the background)|
The weather was chilly and windy when we walked back to the hotel and had our late buffer dinner at Al-Wattani Restaurant.
Wednesday - 13 April 2011
We checked out from the hotel at 7.45 am and stopped at the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem and visited the Chapel of Ascension, a Christian and Muslim holy site believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. We also visited the nearby tomb of Rabiatul Adawiah.
|(Panoramic view of Jerusalem from Mt. of Olives)|
|(Chapel of Ascension)|
After buying souvenirs and having photo shots of Jerusalem, we stopped to visit the tomb of Nabi Musa on the way to the Israel border and cleared border checks by 12.30 pm.
|(Masjid and Tomb of Nabi Musa)|
Networking with the right connections, our passports were unstamped by the Zionist regime. The professional manner our Malaysian and local guides managed the border crossings was very exemplary.
|(Passport clearance at the Israel border)|