Jordan trip 2013

This was my second trip to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a nation next to Israel which the two enjoy mostly good relations.   Jordan effectively became a new country taking the eastern two thirds of the British Mandate of Palestine in 1946, two years before the creation of modern state of Israel using the other third.

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Petra is a big national park, we spend a day and a half there which was just right to see most it.  Getting around is done by donkeys, horses and camels, the standard mode of transport for the traditional Arabian people.

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The terrain here is stunning, there are hundreds of caves, narrow passageways and hill tops to explore.   These Roman soldiers were a nice touch and didn’t remember seeing them last time.

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There are people selling stuff everywhere, mostly traditional style jewlery, its almost like the vendors go to a special bedouin sales school, as they tend to use the same phrases to trade, “its happy hour, special price!”  was heard at almost every hour of the day.  Coke machine in the desert!    Sadly you can’t buy ice cream here, as it appears the vast expanse of the place means everything runs of a generator, and freezers are too difficult to run this way I think.

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This is the iconic temple carved into the rock used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, although it doesn’t get more than a minute or so exposure.

I’ve always wondered if George Lucas might of had coffee with the then King Hussein of Jordan, seeing the movie put Jordan on the map for film loving visitors to the Middle East.

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Some of the sellers of items we ignored with the intention of making some deals in the way back down the hills, these coins were interesting as Roman heads can be seen on them.  By the time we came back down to take a better look at these items, the traditional Arab woman was half asleep smoking a marijuana joint, and her 7 year old girl was running the shop!    Theres a small number of feral cats here, I’m sure there descended from the felines brought over by the British to keep the mice under control.  This kitten we fed with some left over cottage cheese from our lunch seemed happy.

Petra is an unforgettable experience, and without a doubt one of the wonders of the world.

Cycle art in Jerusalem

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P1060945I spent sometime with my very dear friends Peter and Deanna from Canada the other week, on the way home were these strange bicycles recently added as a mechanical art thing.

These contraptions don’t go anywhere, they are bolted to the grown, and pedaling provides kinetic power does one of several tricks, either make a big electric fan, plays music or, make a bunch of plastic flowers pop out on a spring.

Its a sort of cartoon type exhibit made by mechanical design, folks will think is rather clever or a may seem a waste of money to some people.

I’m sad this lovely couple have left now, I have worked with for 3 years, but I got to spend as much time as I could at the last few weeks here.

Now I have an excuse to visit Canada, a nation I have not visited yet, and I also hope to show them round Portsmouth and popular and less well known historical parts of southern England.

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Jerusalem Knights event 2013

I was really pleased to go to this popular event in Jerusalem’s old city:-

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This big crane was by the Jaffa Gate, this was holding two cage like structures, as you can see these three women doing this gymnastics on wires event, looks very difficult!!   On top of this, the top cage, contains a man playing the drums!!

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A short walk on, and we are entering the Armenian quarter of the old city, I am not sure if these men were Jews, Arabs, Armenians or foreigners.   These people were playing a small ukelelle, a regular guitar and bag pipes!!

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This man is playing a horn – in reverse!!  not sure what this is, it makes a flute type noise.

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These are my new (ish) friends from work.  I’ve seen some of my other really close friends who have been here for sometime have now left, but these guys are great fun to explore with from Canada, South Africa and Japan.   This was an arm extended self-shot which I didn’t get myself in, oh well.

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These people are funny, looks more like Elvis on stilts!!

P1070153This event was maybe a little bit smaller than last years event, but still really enjoyable.   Theres about three events like this a year, which turn the old city into a vibrant out-door theatre.

here’s a post I did about 2 years ago:- https://britinjerusalem.com/2010/10/22/jerusalem-knights-outdoor-holy-land-theatre/

Support Jews and Arabs in Israel, buy Coca cola!!

One of the common announcements by the BDS Crowd (thats Boycott, Divestment and Sanction)   is to rally around to get people to cease doing business with Israel to ‘stop the occupation’

Its funny that the word ‘occupation’ seeing as Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria for thousands of years, places like Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, Shiloh, etc have Hebrew names and and well known in the bible and real history books.

One of the favourite targets for the BDS movement is Coca Cola being ‘Zionist company’  Some more interesting hoaxes against the Coca Cola company http://www.coca-colacompany.com/contact-us/coca-cola-rumors-facts

This is an interesting idea, and actually not buying Coca Cola actually hurts Arab people and Palestinian people, here’s why:

P1060640I went to the Arab convenience store near my house here in the southern most tip of Jerusalem.   Here is what I bought:-

This Can of Coke is in Hebrew, and its made in Benei Barak, a Jewish city outside of Tel Aviv that has a mostly Ultra Orthodox community.  Its certified Kosher too.  Coca Cola also make soda in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.   However I couldn’t buy this from this shop, but there are other Arabic labeled products from other Palestinian cities.    A company called United Beverage company in Ramallah are licenced to make Coke for Arabic speaking people in this region.

Here’s their official web site of the National Beverage Company who are licenced to sell Coca Cola for Arabic speaking customers:- http://www.nbc-pal.com/

Here below is the Hebrew canning operation of the Coca Cola factory which is on the side of a big motorway, rather use my own photos, I nicked this off of google.

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This can of Pepsi is in Arabic and marked as for sale to the West Bank and Gaza market, – but – its made in Greece!!

Coke and Pepsi seem to often alternate between using 330ml cans in the tall skinny type or fatter traditional ones.  I’m not quite sure why.

These boycott lists of so called ways to help Palestinian people are always unfair and inaccurate, and often use any kind layoff from the financial changes in the last year as a so call ‘win’ for the BDS movement.   The BDS movement’s goals are based on malice towards Israel and not towards positive ways to help Arab people anywhere.  A better way to help Palestinian people would be to maybe manufacture and market the popular Arabic drink Sahalab to UK and western nations, particularly maybe sell it in Arab and Asian restaurants in Europe.

 

May 2013 plans and studying

Not written much in a long time, will try and catch up with some writings of what I have been doing.

Next week I’m studying for a theology course I am doing with Bridges for Peace to be a better advocate for Israel and all things biblical.

Please pray for this to go well, its going to be hard work as its likely I will be in class from about 8am till 9pm at night.

I have all visa paper work from now until February 2014 which is a huge blessing.    Thanks for your prayers.

Jonathan

Cannibalism in Isaiah?

The civil war that’s been happening in Syria has meant 40,000 people died in 2012 alone, and tragedy continues on a big scale this year.

This was most disturbing, an act of cannibalism between one Syrian man and another.   Fortunately this link has nothing too unpleasant shown.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/05/14/video-syrian-cannibal-rebel-eating-dead-soldier-heart-surfaces-leads-to-outrage/?intcmp=trending

Normally I don’t report on this kind of thing, the reason being is that I have just read this week in Isaiah this reminded me of this:- (blue text is mine)

Isaiah 49:26
I will make your (Israel’s) oppressors eat their (Arab Muslims) own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
that I, (Jesus) the Lord, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Syria remains a huge worry for Israel as a massively unstable neighbour which has been confirmed to have chemical weapons.   Are there recent Christians converts in Syria?  I’d like think so, but I don’t know any ministry brave enough to go there.

In a perfect world with these troubles over, I think Damascus, Homs and Aleppo would be great places to visit, the history there seems fascinating, but I’m not hopeful this will ever happen.

Computer hackers Anonymous are no match against Israel

So much for the world famous computer hacking syndicate ‘Anonymous’  who wants to pick on the only democratic country in the middle east.  The country with the largest number of technology patents in the world proportional to the population.

The web site they produced to show their plans to hurt Israel’s infrastructure:

Erm, it got hacked by Israel!!!

anonymous are lamers

Nice touch showing proper history of this part of the world to those not in the know.

Today seems to be no actual damage to Israeli sites, some propaganda is reusing previous successful attacks on Israel and pretend its 2013 material.

Jerusalem’s Old City music event

P1060612Actually those lights I mentioned wasn’t that unusual.    Its my camera which is a bit rubbish, its some coloured lights glowing from this:-

There was a musical festival in Jerusalem’s old city walls, consisting of artists who were both Jew and Arab, a nice evening for me and some friends to take a stroll around the evening.   In fact, pretty much forgot about the whole Obama visit thing.

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Outside Christ Church.

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Jordanian bikers come for the day.  Take a close look at this guy’s jacket.  Its extremely unusual to Jordanian plated vehicles here.   Not sure if these chaps were part of the entertainers.

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P1060624The Cardo, behind the stone pillars were these guys.   One of them looks like a kind of Robert Smith of the Cure.  I had visions of the Cardo becoming a sort of biblical style mosh pit.   🙂

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Beautiful music and beautiful instruments from Jewish, Arab and Armenian Christian residents of the Old City.

Strange bright light from Jerusalem

In Isaiah 62:1 it says: For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.

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So whats this bright thing I saw from the Jaffa Gate entrance of the old city?    The barriers are from where much of the centre part of town was cordoned off from Obama’s visit.

I was just coming out of my bible study group and on the way to the pub when I saw this….

more tomorrow….

Bats in Jerusalem

After a day of cycling past workman set up decorations and security arrangements for the US President visit, go to work, read in a coffee shop (normally do this from 5pm to 7pm on certain days)  then go to a bible study, then head to a bar and have a beer with some friends afterwards, I grab my bike and head back past David HaMelech Street, I see a bat fly in the street in big circle, quite different from a bird.

I then saw it disappear into a small tree, thinking to myself there was no way I can ever spot this creature in the branches, I walk my bike underneath it, I quickly grab my camera and shoot directly up above me, as I am right under the tree, thinking it would probably get spooked by the flash.

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Can you see him?

There is plenty of old buildings they can roost in as well as a trees.  I have seen them hover around palm trees, not sure if they are attracted to palm dates or insects there.

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