Being open to appreciate the Muslim culture

Going around Egypt in the less touristy areas, I noticed a lot of the shops were closed. My local friend, Nada, told me it was Eid. Eid is like thanksgiving for Muslims. It marks the end of ramadan, a month where muslims wouldn’t drink nor eat until sunset for a month.

Name of one the mosques I went to taken by Hugo Morel

All this was new to me because I never really knew about Islam growing up. I used to be afraid of Muslims and Arabs as a kid because all of the negativity coming from the news stations. I remembered 9/11 and San Francisco closing off the Golden Gate Bridge. Through a strange twist of events, I found out my grandma is Lebanese.

Outside shot of one of the mosques we went to taken by Hugo Morel

Since my local friend was Muslim, we had to go to a few mosques for her to pray. I wasn’t complaining because she was showing me around for free. Also, I wanted to see how Islam was in person and not what the media tells me.

A Mosque center taken by Hugo Morel

When stepping into a mosque, you must take off your shoes. Usually, in the more touristy mosques, they have a person who will watch over your shoes for a fee. In other mosques, you just leave your shoes in a cubby.

Where people get clean water from taken by Hugo Morel

Once inside, you see a community of people. Some are just hanging out or relaxing, while others are praying. It was different than a church. There was a lot of open space. As seen in the picture above. Some mosques have clean drinking water for visitors. I didn’t drink any of the water, just to be on the safe side. Although, I did get caught slipping. However, that’s a story for another post.

Muslims praying taken by Hugo Morel

As my friend was praying, I started to walk around the mosque. Accidentally, walked into the women’s section. A lady came out with a warm motherly smile and pointed out that there are two sections divided by genders for praying. By following her directions, I found the men’s section. It was unique seeing the men praying. As they were facing Mecca, I was completely invisible.

A minaret taken by Hugo Morel

When you are in a Muslim majority country, you will hear someone reading the Qur’an from time to time. In the picture above, you will see the minaret. The minaret is a tower where a person will read the Qur’an. At first, I was completely in fear when I heard the chanting. It was in the middle of the night. Of course, my first thoughts were extremely negative. After asking my friend, they told me it was normal. It’s just a part of their culture. Same thing with the division of genders. I just had to learn to accept and embrace the differences in our cultures.

minarets taken by Hugo Morel

After this experience, I learned that Muslims want the same thing. They want to live a happy and peaceful life without being in terror of extremist groups. Ironically, extremist groups kill thier own fellow Muslim more than they do Christians. Unfortunately, Muslims are in the frontlines against the extremist groups. My cousin, who’s in the U.S. army, has been stationed in the Middle East for years. The stories he came back with and my experiences in Egypt, has changed my views on the average Muslim. They just want to live in peace like the rest of us.

Thank you for reading! Much love and safe travels!

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39 thoughts on “Being open to appreciate the Muslim culture

  1. I’m laughing and wondering the look on your face when you were caught sipping. It’s like watching a Bollywood movie. Great post dear! And Happy Traveling! Now I feel like traveling too 😀😀😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Absolutely wonderful post and brilliant photographs too. I love a lot of the Muslim architecture. My husband is Iranian and so these styles are very familiar to me. Absolutely beautiful article too, It’s nice to read a post where someone truly embraces culture. Thank you so much also for your like of mine. I will keep looking out for your work – Julie

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I appreciate! Yes i want people to see there’s love under all the news scare tactics. I love the Persian style mosques. I really have to go to iran one day 😊 thank you hope you followed. I want to show culture of every religion and people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’m. And I love my religion, not just because I’m born with it but because I learned what it actually is. Hearing positive thoughts on it from people who are not much familiar with it makes me really happy. Most of the people often misunderstand what is actually is, so. Sorry for babbling a big reply 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Asalaam alaikom. I’m happy your visit to Egypt opened your mind and you were able to experience the true Islam.

    For future reference, Christian extremist groups such as the KKK target Christians too. The word extremist is not synonymous with Muslim.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it was amazing! I love the culture.

      Yes, i know about the kkk and other white supremacists groups within Christianity. My intent was to show that not all muslims are extremist the way usa media portrays. I know that the word extremist is not synonymous with Muslim. Unfortunately, not all Americans know that or care to know.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this article. I’ve always been so fascinated with the Muslim culture. I hate all of the hate that is being towards them in this day and age. They are just like us and deserve just as much attention and love as we do.

    Liked by 2 people

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