Saturday, October 29, 2005

Jabl-e-Musa, Sinai

Memory 3:- One of the best time I ever had was when our family went on a trip to Jabl-e-MUsa in Sinai Valley!! They say it's the same mountain that Hazrat Musa( Peace be upon him) received the 10 Commandments.
We set off from Cairo on a weekend with another Pakistani family. We drove through many places on the way. The best perhaps was when we passed through a tunnel beneath Suez River. I'm not going into the history of each of these monuments and places. You guys look it up yourself. Afterall, I'm no historian!! And typing the details of each place would take way too long. Maybe someother day I will enlighten you.Lolz.
The drive to Sinai took apporx. 5-6 hours, or was it more. Frankly, I don't rememeber. Ever since I've started studying medicine, I seem to forget alot of stuff. It's like my brain is saturated with medical details and the trivial stuff is just thrown out to make room for more medical jargon!!! Anyways, it was great fun. The driver drove at the maximum speed legally allowed, in fact sometimes he even broke the speed limit. The car would then shake violently as if we were breaking the sound barrier or something.
On reaching Jabl-e-Musa we checked into a hotel in a nearby village. We spent the day resting and checking out the small village.Around about midnight we set off on our epic journey.Lolz. My mom didn't want to come , but we forced her to. We said, " It won't take long. And if you get tired, you can always come back". Ahem Ahem.
First we thought we might even ride camels like the rest of the tourists, but when we saw the path and the size of the camels we all passed on the offer. We were about to start climbing when this herd(??) of camels stampeded us!! A camel here , a camel there, and us in between trying not to get hurt. The owners came running and got them under control after a while. So now, we totally freaked out and wanted to do nothing with these desert wonders.
It was a cool dark night. We had flashlights with us. There were many tourists and we started climbing. After an hour of hiking we saw a few tourists coming down huffing and puffing. They told us not to take shortcuts, otherwise we would be be in deep trouble.
Now the problem!! It was a mountain or what? The more we climbed, the more we still seemed to have left. My mom was already tired and would stop for a rest every five minutes.She would say that she doesn't want to climb anymore. But the brilliant son(ahem ahem) of her'z would say," Only a little more to go. Look you can see the top now" Ha ha. And when we would reach the place we thought was the top, we'd find there was another place looking like the peak!!
The best thing about this hiking trip was that we got to see people from all over the world. Hazrat Moosa(Peace Be Upon Him) is sacred to all three major religions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Also, climbing at night using flashlights is great fun. First of all, when you would look down, the sight was awesome. Looked like fireflies slowly treking up!! And secondly, we couldn't tell if a camel was coming in front of us or a big tall man. Reason being that the tourists had flashlights on their helmets and camels also had flashlights on their heads. So from a distance, you'd find yourself guessing whether a beast or a human being was approaching. Sometimes, we would say, it's a camel, only to find ourselves embarrased by a man huffing and puffing. At oter instances, we would get real close and find oursleves face to face with a camel. Now, this would be a tricky situation because the path was real narrow,so you couldn't avoid the camel.All you could do was pray that the camel didn't step on you, which it did quite a few times. Also, many times you would find the camels stepping on a rock that would slip and fall down into the valley. That was freaky!! Ands, guys take it from me, don't ever shine a flashlight directly at a camel. figure this out yourself!!
After three hours of climbing we found that we reached a place where even the camel couldn't go.Here there were big big rocks. My mother now was in no man's land. She couldn't turn back and going further was also hard. Somehow, she managed to muster up enough courage and climb slowly. In fact, it was me who almost slipped.Thank God there was this tourist lady that caught me before I fell. Sigh. Lolz.
Anyways, we reached the summit by sunrise. It was the best scene ever. Seeing the sun rise BELOW you. Tourists were clapping , ooing and taking pcitures. This is when you realize how beautiful the world is. SubhanAllah (All praise be to Allah Almighty).
The second cool thing about the peak was that there was a old church there, Saint Katherine. Like, I said, check out the history for yourself. The church truly was in an amazing location. I wondered how they got stuff up there. Found out they used donkeys. Yes, the donkey, this animal is amazing. It could get to the top in as little as two to three hours.
Also amazing was the fact, that all the mountains around seemed to have resemblance to faces of people and animals. Some even looked like Pharoahs Sort of like Mount Rushmore.
On top, I was thinking, " Aftab, you reached the top. How the hell will you get back down?" Lolz. My sister was getting sick. So we had to stay at the top in a hut for a few hours till she got better. Then, we started our journey back down.Now this was actually more difficult , beacause you had to watch your footing or else you'd be falling into the valley. In fact one of my father's colleague's son( hehe...see the use of English....I've destroyed english grammer in my blog....wonder what the English people are thinking :P) slipped and fell quite a way down. Luckily, my father was ahead and he grabbed him before he seriously injured himself. Anyways, it took us about three and half hours to get to base camp. By that time our feet were killing us. On our way down, we found a museum dedicated to Hazrat Musa( Peace Be Upon Him). We went in and took a look. The main attraction was a shrub like tree that is said to have been planted by the Prophet himself. It is still growing and thriving. People were taking back a few leaves for good luck.
Overall, one of the best moments I had in my life. Now, Mariam, can you find a moral in this story?Lolz.

4 comments:

Mariam said...

I dint know that ur Mom's brilliant son's name is "Ahem Ahem"!!!
:)

Hmmm, cant think of any moral for this particular story...

Hmmm, yes,
1 moral is that u shud not lie to ur mother saying "Only a little more to go. Look you can see the top now", while u know that there's alot to tread!!!

Aftab Iqbal said...

Ha ha...actually moral is...NEVER GO HIKING WITH AFTAB. Lolz

Mybrid said...

Another recommendation for a book:
Walking The Bible

I think you'll enjoy reading it. I believe he went through St. Katherine as well.

Aftab Iqbal said...

Mybrid..really appreciate all your links.....thanks...yes...i will read it as soon as possible...i have my exams in 14 days....so have to restrain myself till they are over!!!