Amazing Kids! Magazine

Touring Through the Middle East

By Fatima Yousuf, Money Smarts Editor and Contributing Writer

 

Filled with historic Roman and Arab sites and delicious shawarma, the Middle East is indeed a beautiful, captivating region. Centuries of history and civilization have left astounding ruins and texts that are both humbling and fascinating. This summer, I traveled to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the city of Jerusalem and had the opportunity to immerse myself in the region’s culture and history.

In Jordan, I stayed in the bustling capital of Amman. This mountainous city was home to many refugees and colorful art scenes. In downtown, I was exposed to an array of restaurants offering shawarma, kunafa, baklava, and much more. One of the first places I visited was the Roman Citadel. When arriving, the first thing I noticed was the incredible view that overlooked miles of city. As I toured the site, I found remnants that dated all the way back to the Bronze Age—nearly 4,000 years ago! I also saw ruined houses from the Roman occupation as well as remnants of the Temple of Hercules. I was astounded by the incredible architecture and was curious to learn how people thousands of years ago lived. In addition, I was able to see the Umayyad Palace that stood next to a ruined Byzantine church. Inside the palace, I saw large arches and words in an ancient language etched into the stone.

After staying a few weeks in Jordan, my family and I traveled to Jerusalem. The drive was several hours, and we had to wait nearly seven hours at border control! Once we arrived at Jerusalem, we hired a tour guide and traveled throughout the ancient city. I walked through the Via Dolorosa, which is believed to be the path that Jesus took on his way to his crucifixion. We also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be where Jesus was buried. Additionally, we visited the Dome of the Rock, which is beautiful both on the inside and outside. Underneath the Dome was a hollowed-out rock which is said to be the place Muhammad was raised to the heavens. We also visited the Western Wall, which used to be part of the Jewish Temple Mount. I was mesmerized by seeing people of all different creeds and nationalities come to live together and pray together.

I will never forget my trip to the Middle East. The sites, the culture, and the food gave me a taste of what it means to be in the home of the world’s oldest civilizations. I encourage everyone to immerse themselves in other cultures and learn what it truly means to be a global citizen.

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