California to Jerusalem
Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem

Gem on Mount Moriah!

The Mosque of Omar, also known as the Dome on the Rock, stands on the temple mound, Mount Moriah, in Jerusalem. It is the place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Issac, where Mohammed ascended to heaven to meet Essiah and Jesus. It is a very holy place to both Islam and Judaism. The building is one of the most beautiful in the world, befitting of the place it stands.

The Mosque of Omar is a very clear and visible symbol of the seemingly impossible obstacles that the people of the Middle East must overcome to arrive at a lasting piece. It is about land. It is about People. It is about religion. It is about holy places. It is about Jerusalem. It is about so many things. Someday? Someday! When it is time. Inshalah!

The Mosque of Omar as one sees it from the mountain arriving from the east, as we saw it on our arrival, as many pilgrims of old first saw it. 23 Dec 10

Built in the seventh century after the Arabs captured Jerusalem, the mosque is visible between many buildings as you wander the city streets. This view is from the roof terrace of the Ecce Homo Convent. 25 Dec 10

Looking from another place, this time with a telephoto, you see this. 27 Dec 10

A closer look from the same place. The colonnade is a ceremonial entrance gate. 27 Dec 10

Another view over the roofs. 27 Dec 10

The eight sides are intricately tiled with geometric shapes and writings from the Koran. 27 Dec 10

The morning sun behind the mosque's minaret. This tower's five-times-daily prayer call filled the city with words of the Koran. 28 Dec 10

Finally, almost two weeks after arriving in Jerusalem, we got to the top of the temple mount to visit mosque up close. We could only walk around the outside because only Muslims are allowed inside. 5 Jan 11

The courtyard and the mosque. 5 Jan 11

Detail on one of the tile panels. Unlike western churches, the Koran forbids Muslims from using pictures of any living being, thus the geometric designs. 5 Jan 11

Details. 5 Jan 11

The closer you get the more intricate ceramic work is visible. 5 Jan 11

The north wall and doorway. 5 Jan 11

Koran writings over the north doorway in the last picture. 5 Jan 11

Details of the writing along the top of the wall on one side. As all Arabic, it is written from right to left. 5 Jan 11

A closer view of the text on another piece of the wall. 5 Jan 11

Yet another piece of text. Notice that it flows around the corner of the building as if it were not there. 5 Jan 11

Another look at one of the walls. 5 Jan 11

Time to leave. We only had a couple hours to be on top before it we had to go out and wait for the next day. We left through the ceremonial gate you can see on earlier pictures and came down the steps to the lower level of the city. 5 Jan 11

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