Writing 101, Day thirteen

Compose a series of vignettes.

Today tell a story through a series of vignettes( short,episodic scenes or anecdotes)that together read together as variations on the same theme.They can each be as short or long as you see fit–they don’t have to be the same length- but they need a common feature to tie them together, whether it’s a repeated phrase, a similar setting, or the appearance of the same person.

These are some of the things we were supposed to do, when we went for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

  1. We walked around the Ka’ba seven times, there were stops where we said a little prayer and moved on. It was sunny and warm, we walked bare feet, amazingly enough the ground was not hot, but very comfortable. I was told because it’s covered with marble, it remains cool.Mosquée_Masjid_el_Haram_à_la_Mecque.jpg (4000×3000)
  2. Next we went to Al- Safa and Al- Marwah : In Islamic tradition(Ibrahim) was commanded by God to leave his wife Hajar(Hagar) and their infant son alone in the desert between Al Safa and Al-Marwah , the two hills.They were left with basic provisions to test their faith.
  3. Hagar climbed the nearest hill, Al-Safa in search of water.When she didn’t find it , she went to the other hill Al-Marwah, she was relieved she could see her son, whom she left alone. When she went to the valley she was unable to see her son, she would run in the valley and walk at a normal pace when she was on the hillsides.She walked back and forth seven times between the hills in the extreme heat searching for water, before returning to her son.When she arrived, she found that a spring had broken forth when Angel Jibreel hit the ground with his wing.
  4. In Al Safa and Al-Marwah we walked and ran like Hagar. Sa'yee_To_Go.jpg (2592×1944)
  5. Then we went to Muzdalifah, spent the night there and also collected pebbles to stone the Devil.Muzdalifa.JPG (3840×2880)Muzdalifah. (All the images are supplied by Wikipedia.)
  6. These were some of the rites we performed when we went for pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
  7. …………………………….. 🙂
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Day Two: A Room with a View Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

I’d like to be transported to Makkah right now. Yes I’ve been to this place before, my memories of this place is fresh as if it was yesterday I took this trip.

My husband and I boarded KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) from Chicago. All the passengers were heading to Jeddah,Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

I noticed the passengers were quiet, I saw passengers praying getting themselves accustomed to the place  we were going to, some unfolded their prayer rugs, lay them flat on the floor of the plane to pray.

After several hours on the plane we reached Jeddah, we were directed to the lounge by some Saudis. The floors were clean but there were no chairs, we sat on the floor and waited to be called by customs officials. While waiting I noticed more and more passengers were coming in , there was a family, they looked prepared as soon as they came into the lounge they took out bed sheets and lay them on the floor to sit, one of the ladies took out an apple from her bag, sliced it and offered a piece to me I was too overwhelmed by the whole scenario, I could not think of eating.

Several hours passed My husband and I were waiting patiently for the call to the customs, night changed to early morning we were still waiting.

One of my cousin’s friend spotted us ,he looked at our papers and thought we’d be called shortly. He walked back and forth to find a way to get us to see the customs official, so we could be on our way to my cousin’s house in the city.

There were two young guys serving the visitors, unfortunately we didn’t know their language, he told our friend we needed to pay one hundred dollars, my husband didn’t have Saudi currency, besides we paid what we had to when we applied for visa, this is what we were told.

Somehow the friend was able to get the money, we were out of the lounge after several hours.

From Jedda, our cousin took us to Makkah by car. It took us a few hours to get there. There was a man who was responsible for our accommodation. There were tents set up for us, the ground was uneven and the temperature was very hot. we did not mind we came for pilgrimage, we couldn’t expect to spend the nights in a first class hotel.

We left our things in the tent after getting dressed in white, we were covered from head to toe. We went to the Kabah to make seven rounds, we told each other to stay together, there were thousands of people walking, praying and making sure they did not lose any member of their group.

After completing the rounds we prayed inside the mosque near the Kabah.

Next we went to another place called Safah Marwah, here we were supposed to walk from one end to the other seven times, it was a long stretch, walking bare feet was a challenge, we were not the only one. There was no concession for anyone, except people who had problems walking were provided with wheel chairs.

After completing our walk we went downstairs to drink water, at the  zam zam fountain, it was tough to turn on and hold on to the faucet to drink the water. My cousin-in-law told me once this was a place, where anything you wish is fulfilled. I didn’t remember it when I was trying to hold the faucet so the water would flow for me to drink, suddenly in my mind I said, “I wish someone would hold on to the faucet so I could drink the water.”

I felt someone behind me holding  on to the faucet and I was able to drink the water until I was satisfied. I did not see who it was it must have been “Divine Help!” I was unable to thank this person because she disappeared immediately.

During the pilgrimage all the pilgrims have to go to the hill close by to spend the night. It was a very cool and refreshing night. We woke up in the morning and went back to our tent.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/day-two-a-room…o-to-right-now/

 

 

365 days Writing Prompt: Tell us your story

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!!

 https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/365-days-writi…-us-your-story

 

 

DP Daily Prompt: Journey Post by Ranu

English: A picture of people performing (circu...

English: A picture of people performing (circumambulating) the . This picture taken from the gate of Abdul Aziz seems to divide the Kaaba and the minarets into mirror images of one another. Français : Pélerins en train de réaliser la Circumambulation (ou Tawaf) autour de la Ka’ba. Photo prise depuis la porte Ibn Saud, d’où la vue présente une symétrie en miroir presque parfaite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One year my husband and I decided to go to Makkah for pilgrimage. We applied for our passport and applied to the Saudi Embassy for visas. We left the children with their uncle in Chicago. We took a flight from Chicago. We had one stop at Amsterdam. We waited  an hour to catch the next flight. I felt great watching all the passengers praying, the flight was going to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.We got off the flight and went to the lounge.There  was no place where we could sit. I saw other passengers coming in ,it seemed they knew how the system worked, one family took out a large sheet and spread it on the floor and sat down.I was amazed to see how calm they were. One member of the  family took out an apple and shared with people around her.

After clearing customs we went with my husband’s cousin to his home. The wife gave us instructions,what were the things we needed to do. My husband and I were excited. His cousin’s family accompanied us to Makkah. We visited the Kaaba we went around it seven times.From there we went to Safa Marwah .We walked back and forth seven times. We stayed in Makkah for five days.

Our next place of visit was Medina,we stayed here for two weeks.During our stay we visited the grave of Prophet Muhammad and other holy shrines.

From Medina we flew back to Jeddah . After a couple of days, we were on our way to Chicago. We got our kids and flew back to   Gander,via Toronto, Canada.

It was a wonderful experience for us.

Daily Prompt: Stranded Posted by Ranu

Bird's-eye view of uncrowded Kaaba, Mecca, Sua...

Bird’s-eye view of uncrowded Kaaba, Mecca, Suadi Arabia in 1910 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Supplicating Pilgrim at Masjid Al Har...

English: Supplicating Pilgrim at Masjid Al Haram. Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Français : Pélerin en prière dans Masjid Al Haram, la mosquée interdite, à La Mecque (Arabie Saoudite). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year there are about two and a half million people from all over the world who congregate for pilgrimage.My family and I also went to Makkah for the same reason. One of the requirement is to go around the ka’abah seven times.This was a day when if you are not careful,you can get lost.It happened to me,I was so busy praying and going around I forgot to keep pace with my family.To my amazement I found myself separated from them.I moved around looking for them,I found me in a sea of people,there wasn’t anyone I could ask for help.Every second felt like eternity.

It took me a while to believe,’I am stranded’,I have no money,I don’t know Arabic,I am hungry and worst of all the thought that I  don’t know where I will spend the night,was killing me inside.I couldn’t even weep to feel better.My tears were dry.I kept asking myself, did I really lose my family? I started to walk and reached the front of the mosque,I climbed a few steps and sat down,I had no strength to climb up any more. In the middle of this terrible anxiety I heard my mother’s voice,she was telling me to  pray quietly.I was happy my mother was miraculously telling me what to do. I began to  pray,which I always did when I needed help from the,”Divine”.I prayed and asked God to help me,I was stranded in a foreign city. This is what I said,it is a translation from Arabic into English:

In the name of Allah,the beneficent,the merciful.

“Allah!There is no God save Him,The Alive,The eternal.Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him.Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave?He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will.His throne includeth the heavens and the earth.And He is never weary of preserving them.He is the Sublime, the Tremendous”.

I kept repeating the prayer.My eyes were heavy and I fell asleep where I was sitting. I had a strange dream,someone was asking me, why I was there.The stranger had  a friendly face.It seemed this was what I needed,I broke down and tearfully related my story.Next moment I felt someone’s arms around me. Fear gripped me,I quickly opened my eyes, there before me was   the face of an angel,she assured me I was going to be fine.She was there to help me.Immediately I became aware of the fact,that I asked for ‘Divine’ help through my prayer and God has sent this person to help me.

She took me to her home,while on our way she kept reassuring me I was safe. We used sign language,she didn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Arabic. Her family received me as if I was one of their own. Amidst all the sign language between us,the lady instantly remembered one of her son’s can speak English.This revelation brought joy to us.The son was brought in and the atmosphere became pleasant,he was the interpreter for me and the family.We exchanged pleasantries for a while,then as promised the lady with my help found my family.My husband was worried and told me how scared he was of losing me.My nightmare finally came to an end.I was grateful to God for His help.I was convinced that If one needs help,prayer is the best source.