Posted in sewing

Religious Thoughts

I felt very conspicuous in Egypt. One, because people kept thinking I spoke Arabic and I had to make that goofy face that says, ‘I’m an American. I only speak English because our public education system doesn’t value multiple languages. Because of that, I speak English and haven’t a clue what you’re saying.’ And two, because I wasn’t wearing a hijab (the fabric Muslim women wear over their head).

I was really intrigued by the hijab. I’d say only 1 out of 10 women were not wearing one and the assumption was they were Christian or foreign. To be frank, I think everyone looked far more beautiful with the head covering. Your eyes were just drawn to their face and strong features. My guide tells me that 30 years ago, few women wore them. But, it’s more common now — and not just for religious women.

Cairo has horrible air quality, lots of sand and wind. Some cover the hair because it’s easier. Others have social pressures to wear it. Personally, I gave up on my hair after the first day. There was enough sand in it to fill a Scrabble timer. I just started twisting and going.

In Israel, I visited the Old City of Jerusalem and walked the Via de la Rosa. There, we stopped at all the stations of the cross. I found the markers along the way visually fascinating.

Here at the Church of the Holy Seplechure, you can enter Jesus’ tomb, touch the slab of rock his body was prepared on, and feel where they cross was planted.

I found the Western Wall / Wailing Wall / Kotel the most interesting. It sits next to the Dome of the Rock. What a juxtaposition of two of the three major monotheocratic religions.

I placed a prayer in a crack of the wall. Men and women must pray on different sides. When done, folks walk away from the wall without turning their back to it (you don’t turn your back on God) and washed their hands. I also read that the wall was erected where God created Adam. Cool, huh?