Friday, January 27, 2012

"And as he passed over Peniel the sun rose upon him..."

On Wednesday we had a variety of experiences. We started our day off by going to the King Abdullah mosque in Amman. There all of the women had to put on head scarves and then wear black robes (Dr. Huntsman coined them the "Dementor Cloaks"). Though black robes aren't traditionally necessary, different religious leaders in Amman have been pushing through more modesty requirements, and, thus, we we donned the cloaks.

King Abdullah mosque

Outside the mosque in my head scarf and robe
The mosque itself was actually quite beautiful. It was one of the larger ones we've seen, and the first one I've ever gone into. After taking off our shoes and entering, we sat down on the ground and our guide Jousef began explaining some fundamentals of Islam to all of us.

The inside of the mosque
I've never thought of myself as ignorant, and especially after attending a lecture on Islam last semester I assumed that I knew most of the fundamentals--Muhammed's revelations, the five pillars of faith, etc. However, in the space of half an hour, Jousef was able to surprise us all. For instance, I had no idea that Muslims recognize Jesus Christ as a prophet and hold great reverence for Him. Though there are, of course, some large discrepancies in our beliefs, it was really refreshing to hear that we share something that is so absolutely vital to our Christian faith. I now feel a much greater kinship with all the Muslims I have met so far, all those I will meet, and those that I never will. Just another great lesson here in the Holy Land.

After the mosque we went to the Citadel in Amman, or the ruins of the old Roman city that was built there. It's strange to be at a site full of ruins, and at the same time be surrounded by a modern city. But we found that to be pretty common practice in Jordan. We had a good time there and got to spend some time in a neat Archaeological museum there.

A sign explaining some different periods of Amman, and some ruins in the background

There were some very big pillars. They accentuated my shortness quite nicely.

Davis and I in front of some of the ruins

A shot out from the citadel over Amman - one of my new favorite cities

Next we headed to Jerash, an area in northern Jordan. On the way there, we stopped at the Jabbok River, known as "Peniel" in the Old Testament. It's the place in Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestles with an angel of the Lord, and where he is blessed and becomes Israel.

The Jabbok river from where I sat
After that we headed to Jerash, which was absolutely incredible and definitely deserves its own post, so I'll conquer that when I can.

God Bless you all,

Claire Rose


  1. In the quiet Polson HS library I burst out laughing at the "Dementor cloaks."

  2. Hahaha, Dr. Huntsman is always quoting Harry Potter - and obviously, I love that. :)