The memories from my summer vacations in the West Bank (Palestine) are unforgettable. I was born and raised in Dubai; a big, busy, luxurious and recently built city. On the other hand my parents were born in a small village (Aqraba) in the West Bank; which is quiet, peaceful and has a wonderful nature.
Last summer vacation I’ve agreed with my 3 young boys whom I’m raising here in Ottawa to go for adventures vacation and spend 3 months in the other half of the world. First we flew to Dubai, then to Amman and Finally to the West Bank (Palestine). These places are located in the Middle East; while they share the same language (Arabic), religion (Islam) and culture, they’re each slightly unique in their own ways. There are many reasons for taking my boys to different places in the Middle East; first to learn where they originally came from and what is our tradition, second introduce them to the bigger family, their grandparents and cousins, and finally to practice their mother tongue language.
Here I will write about different things that we have done during our vacation.
As most people know, Dubai is the city of dreams, Dubai is known for its high skyscrapers, 5 star and even 7 star hotels, restaurants, shopping Malls and of course for their beautiful beaches.
Our first few days in Dubai, people were celebrating Eid Al Fitr, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. In Eid, the boys went for prayer with my dad; we had a big feast with family and friend. We went to shopping malls so the boys can buy toys and games also we went to amusements parks like IMG World & Hub Zero. The boys also enjoyed swimming in the sea and tanning under the sun.
Ooh I forgot to say what I’ve done for myself…I took the privilege of leaving the boys with my mom, I went to the Spa, I took a Moroccan bath, went for shopping, met with my old friends and smoked Shisha (hubble bubble smoking).
Amman is the capital of Jordan. The temperature in Amman in the summer way better than Dubai, the air was refreshing and clean. The boys went for summer camp, where they met many boys in their age who speak Arabic; they went together to Royal Stables, Scandinavian Forest, and to olympic swimming pool in Aljwaeda club.
Also we went together to Jara Souk, Rainbow Street, and we attended my cosine’s wedding parties where they served a delicious Mansaf.
Food in Amman is unbeatable; we had Falafel, Hummus, Kubbah, Fateh,Roka Salad, foul, Maklobah,Musakhan and vine grapes.
Our visit to west bank lasted for two weeks; we visited historical places and enjoyed the beautiful nature of Palestine. We spent first few days in Araba where my parents were born, we met our cuisines and we remembered our old days when we were young. We visited Khan al-Tujjar in Nablus, the 15th-century souk, it has been noted as the finest khan in the region. We went to Kanīsat al Mahd (Church of the Nativity) in Bethlehem, the church has The Grotto of the Nativity, the place where Jesus have been born. Lastly we prayed at Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi (The Sanctuary of Abraham)in (al-Khalil), considered the fourth holiest site in Islam.
the trip was an unforgettable; the boys learnd by experiancing the real life in my chidhood places , it meant much more for them than me telling them stories about my childhood.
Would you consider visiting any of these city next summer, if yes, which one?