Tell us about a journey– whether physical trip you took ,or an emotional one.
It was a while ago my husband and I took a trip to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. It was the month of September, the days were scorching hot, we landed at Jeddah airport early afternoon. There were no chairs in the lounge, we sat on the floor waiting to be called at the customs, many hours passed , there were flights coming in with passengers from all over the world.
Finally at 3 am in the morning we were called, we were told we needed to pay one hundred riyals each to go through, we paid the required sum before we started on our journey, but there was a change, we didn’t have riyals and they refused to take US dollars, my husband’s cousin who was supposed to pick us up, but for some reason he was not there,his friend came forward and lent us the required amount.
We were glad to be out of the airport on our way to the cousin’s apartment. Five days later we were on our way to the city of Makkah, our accommodation was same as the other pilgrims.
Next day we went to the Kabah for circumambulating seven times, the day was hot the sun was shining, there was no relief from the heat. We had to hold on to each other to avoid getting lost, there was a sea of people praying and walking around, every stranger we saw spoke a different language, which we didn’t understand, this is why we had to stay close to each other, if we lost one another, we wouldn’t be able to find us and the language barrier wouldn’t help.
Thankfully we completed the rounds, then there was a place called ‘Safa Marwa’ where we had to walk seven times it was inside but the walk was not easy. We completed it and went to the mosque for prayer.We stayed in the tent for five days, after completing all the rituals we went back to Jeddah and to Medina for a week.
At Medina we visited the mosque where the prophet was buried, I met a very young girl she was so sweet, she asked if I would share the the piece of paper with the prayer written on it, she had such a gentle temperament I remember her and her face to this day.
After a month in Saudi Arabia we went back to Chicago, and then to Canada our home!!