Sunday, August 24, 2008

As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

Our schedule at the dig is Sunday through Thursday, 6:30-2:30. Meal time is 10:00-10:30 and then a 15-minute break at 1:00. About a third of my Muslim co-workers use the afternoon break as one of their five daily formal prayer times. They do the required washing (at a garden hose), then spread cardboard on the ground to kneel on, facing south, in the direction of Mecca. The haj in front of the line leads.

Thanks to my blogger friend at Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo for inspiring me to post this through her amazing picture of signs of prayer. Don't miss it.


Eki Akhwan said...

Nice set of pictures, Dina. Many people often forget what those words (sentence) mean: May peace be upon you and the blessing of God. (I believe Jews also use the similar greetings, "Shalom" (?).

Religions are there so that human being may live in peace with one another in justice and compassion. Many people often forget this and use them instead to pursue their own interests and destroy others.


Suzanne said...

Oh Dina, how I miss Jerusalem so.

mommanator said...

although not muslin, how great it is to see folk practising their faith!

Rambling Woods said...

I almost feel as though I am intruding...

nonizamboni said...

Dina, these are such touching and important photos. Thank you for sharing your world.
Hoping your week is good.

Meead S. said...

Thanks for the photos and the Qebla direction link of AbuDhabi. Dina, what's the meaning of Shalom?

Thanks Dina for your comment about Persian Gulf. It made me sure and hsppy that still the true name is used in many countries in the world, even in Israel.

I'm thinking of taking some photos of prayers in Iran as you did. It's more than a year that I haven't gone to a mosque to pray in a group. Ramadan is close, the month of fasting.

ichandrae said...

More beautiful photography.
Beautiful prayer pictures. They show so much devotion, especially the bottom one.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Lovely, Dina. :D

Dina said...

Yes Eki, how true. And thanks for the translation; I should have included it somewhere in the post.
Right, in Hebrew we greet each other with Shalom (meaning peace) as both Hello and Goodbye. Sometimes we say Shalom aleichem which sounds like the Arabic blessing Salam aleikum. One can also say goodbye with

Suzanne, Jerusalem misses you.

Mommanator, Noni, Ichandrae, I agree totally with you.

Rambling Woods, I know what you mean; it's our Western sensibilities at work in that feeling. I asked first if it would be OK to photograph. It's not like a private thing. The Muslim men in Jerusalem are used to stopping for prayer wherever the five daily prayer times might catch them. Some even carry a prayer rug with them.

Shalom (=hello, peace) Haj Meead, yes, please give us more pictures of Mecca, like your post of today! Fabulous!
Shalom (=goodbye, peace) for now.

Abu Dhabi Girl, thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. :)

Petrea said...

Thank you, Dina, these photos are touching.

Eki, you say it so well. If only we would practice what our religions teach us, the world would be a peaceful place.

I have faith in people. It's one reason I enjoy blogging so much. I meet so many wonderful people around the world, people of all cultures and religions, and I know there's goodness in all of us.

Susie of Arabia said...

Hi Dina - These photos of your co-workers praying are wonderful. I try so hard to capture photos like these all the time, but it's very difficult because I am always whizzing by in a speeding car and they usually come out all blurry. I find it fascinating that the men here pray anywhere when the time comes. And then there are so many times when I pass up a chance for what I think would make a great photo because like Rambling Woods said, I feel like I am intruding.

Dina said...

Ahalan Susie. I'm lucky not to have a car. Easier to spot and take photos. hehe
But I know how you feel. I'm shy about such things too. I first asked the ra'is of us workers if it would be OK to photograph the men at prayer, but I would not have the nerve to take pictures from the front.
I'm glad the Arab men feel fine about doing the prayer even on the streets of the Jewish parts of Jerusalem.