Sunday, January 10, 2010

Carved in my Heart in Jerusalem

Seikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari lives within view of the Dome of the Rock (the Qubbet al Sakhra in Arabic), in East Jerusalem.

This past Wednesday morning, the Seikh extended home hospitality to our group of 28 students and faculty from Georgetown University who were completing a twelve day interfaith tour through the Holy Land.

A Muslim and a Sufi, the sixty year old mystic spoke only words of peace and compassion in the city of peace, Yirushalayim (Jerusalem in English).

"Carve God's name into your hearts so that you will remember to see God in everyone and in everything."

He gave us a blessing and a mission.

”It is your duty and responsibility to make peace for the next generation, for your children, your future. Educate others to what you have seen and what you have heard here. You have been given an opportunity to say, "Yes, I did something with my life. I contributed to peace in this world."

Then, we stepped outside and stood on his sun-drenched rooftop. We turned to face the domed Mosque and the Western Wall (HaKotel).

The American Imam translated the Arabic prayer of the Jerusalem Imam. The senior Rabbi offered a prayer for peace in Hebrew. Sheikh Bukhari advocated for peace in a gentle English.

Surrounded by the hills of Jerusalem, we created a unity circle. I was asked to sing the Israeli/Arabic peace song.

"Soon the loving peace will reach us all over the world. Shalom, Salaam, Salaam, and Shalom are like one. Shalom. Salaam."

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