Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Downtown Luxor & Visit to a Mosque

Back now, did you miss me? Betcha didn't even know I was a night. I am in my room by myself everyone is now gathering for our group circle up on the roof of the hotel. Every hotel except our first one we gathered on the rooftops for our circle gatherings. The roofs of the hotels here are great locations--they have bars, swimming pools and lounging areas. So right now everyone is up there and I am in my room relaxing. I opted out of our group meeting tonight because I had the most amazing session with Armunkara and I just feel like javascript:void(0)I need to be in my bed to allow it to integrate and boy it is the first time my back feels some relief since falling a few days earlier.

So let me take you back a bit to my trek through downtown Luxor at sunset.
About seven of us decided to go for a walk and get money from an ATM and then shop. We started out and right away someone offered camels for me. Jeanne was my rescuer and felt bad for me right away because this had now become a regular occurrence for me everywhere I went. Sitting here in my bed now and writing this makes me think I finally realize why I am so "attractive" to the men of Egypt. I feel like my Egyptian vibe is on. I mean I am being called Ra'chel Ra which is my name from many past lifetimes and quite a few of them had been in this part of the world. So there is no wonder that I am being "recognized" if you will. I must be appearing to them as Egyptian Ra'chel and not Italian, Polish and Ukranian April.

So as we were walking there were six women and one man walking with us. The one guy, Jeff was walking next to me and laughing at the several offers of camels. I pulled him aside after the last time he laughed and said to him. "I realize you have a girlfriend on this trip, but while you are walking next to me and men are offering camels for me you are my husband and you do not want to sell me!" We all laughed, but believe me I truly meant what I said.
So we found the ATM finally after walking a few blocks because the first one we came to didn't work. We still needed to exchange this money for American Dollars, but nothing was open because at sundown, Muslims stop working for the sabbath just as in Judaism. It is amazing how similar Judaism and Islam are in their beliefs and customs. I knew it but seeing the shops and banks closing down as they get ready to pray just reminded me.

So, we stood on the city plaza at least that is what it looked like to me which is where the pictures were taken. As you looked around you could see people walking and talking as children played. It was really a busy little area.

We walked up to the steps of a Mosque as Jeff started speaking with a holy man. He invited us in to see what it was like. Most of our group stayed outside and chose not to go in; only Jeff and I entered. I had never been inside a Mosque before and my curiosity always gets me wanting to check things out. Time seemed limited because people seemed to be making their way into the house of worship to begin prayers. The Imam, Prayer leader (kind of like a rabbi or priest) was the one who greeted us. We removed our shoes before entering. It was very simple inside and beautiful at the same time. You could feel the energy of prayers as you walked through. There was no seating only carpets for people to kneel or sit on to pray. The Imam showed us around and explained that there is one God and we all have different ways to pray including Jews and Christians. He made it very clear that he was open minded and didn't think anyway was wrong. He said it was just a way in which to pray to God. He accepted all. I really liked that he said that and felt comfortable with his explanation. It was a quick tour because as I said they were getting ready to pray.

As we made our way out to the other side of the Mosque, the Imam asked for a donation to an orphanage. Always asking for money for doing such things. Some people were offended, but I was okay in giving them money for the orphanage. It is a little intimidating and awkward to have a "holy man" ask you for money, but it is what it is. This is the view of the downtown plaza at Luxor. Look at the amount of orbs that are present.

After we finished our little tour, we decided to continue walking and opted not to go shopping. Two of our group separated and opted to shop while five of us decided we would try and find the Nile. The search is on to find the Nile...


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