Ring, ring, ring…
I got a phone call… I was trying to recall, who could this be?
0-7-1-5…….8, oooh yah, one of my everyday fans!
An old friend and a person that has personally texted me before to applause me for my work.
She said,” SK, what have you baked for us today? Don’t give me a NO, because this afternoon is already quite boring!”
Who annoys a fan?
Today, I will take you with me to two of the most wonderful places in the world…Keep seated, have your popcorn’s with you and let’s follow Alice to Wonderland.
It was on the 16th of December 2014 when Allah answered my dream. I had previously prayed for the dream and had also gone out to find tickets and visa and all that, but, it was like, that time, man, that time wasn’t right!
The ticket guys at the Kenya Airways would be like, “lady, do you have a mahrim to accompany you? It’s strict in the land of the Saudis’! When you have no mahrim (a man that cannot marry you i.e. your father, brother, grandfather and the like) you cannot really travel all alone.
Whoop, so my plans had started way back after my KCPE exams. My mother had promised to take me to Makkah if I pass my exams, but it seemed that I couldn’t quite fight with the laws. Keeping in mind, I have no blood brother and my dad couldn’t accompany me either!
That was all history! Now, let us start the story!
“SK, have you packed all your bags? Remember you should not take more than 40 KGs!” my mama exclaimed.
“It’s okay maa, it’s not my first journey, don’t worry, I will be fine”.
How mothers worry, I tell you!
But I was super excited and I was dancing all types of songs. It was an extraordinary moment. That moment that you feel like, yes dreams do come true! Everything just fixed itself up like a perfect puzzle. It could not have been expressed any better.
I always have this thing when I am traveling, ‘I cannot eat, especially when taking up a bus, it’s rare for me to eat and if you give me food, please carry some nylon paper also for the throwing-up game’ (hehe). Therefore even though I could smell the amazing aroma of the home-cooked biryani, all I could do was drool over something that I won’t possibly taste.
14:50 pm, 30th May, 2016
Wait a minute; I need to check out this notification
Wow, my son-in-law has just arrived. This is great news! In fact so great that I am more excited to write about this piece! ( son-in-law, implying that when I have a daughter someday, she will get married to Rima’s son, don’t think that am already married, future investments baby, future investments).
So, we rushed to the airport. Reporting time was 2:00 pm and we had to wait for some time before the actual departure. Till then, I kept admiring the place. I have always been fascinated about planes and ships. They never bore me, and when I go to the airport even today, I feel as happy as new. I even pursue some airline courses in addition to my marine major.
After the normal airport procedures, I saw myself in the plane heading to our first stop, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! I felt at home partly because I had stepped Elena’s lands before she actually set foot there. Ethiopia is cool, they are kind of more developed and their airport is giant-large. So many planes, so much display of culture! Even though there was some kind of delay because of the weather, I did not mind staying at that place for some more hours. The adventurous-type of airport, with vehicles to take people to the different exit-entrance stops too! Amazing right?
We arrived at Prince Muhammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport very early in the morning. This is an international airport in Madina. I was seated next to my friend, Amne and we were so busy exploring the places as the bus moved its way to Madina, the land of the prophet (p.b.u.h).
The deserts, the camels, the sand-dunes, damn, those things still exist. The culture is still highly honored and the long palm trees are still there to welcome you, the Arabian way. Coffee is still just as it was during the times of the legacy, what are Arabs without coffee?
We arrived in Madina, took some rest and headed to the masjid. The adhan was recited and I was like today is that day that I will feel my heart go completely crazy for Salaah al Budair. I can tell you, there is no peace better than peace found in God and at that moment of my life, I wanted to record everything, to explore everything, to be able to reconnect with my everyday friend, Allah.
Madina-tul-Nabawi, one of the largest mosques in the world is one of the most peaceful places you can ever go to. The serenity is 100%, the doves that throw no shit (there are many doves and birds but funny enough, I never saw their shit anywhere around), you can get lost trying to get which door is which! The two-tiered mosque is extraordinary big, the people are very friendly; super clean (utaogopa ata kukanyaga), there is the flat paved roof that is topped with an approximate of 27 sliding domes on square bases, mind you, and holes are pierced into the bases of each of these domes to illuminate on the interior. Wonderful, especially Madinah at night is like; I fail to find the right words to describe!
Security is at its peak, there are 10 minarets, I think they go so tall, (I am not so good with inches so I can’t indicate that) and the umbrella-like canopies that I will show by use of a picture are retractable and designed by the very famous German architecture, Mahmoud Rasch. Madina has 4 main doors and so many sub-doors, the Arabic inscriptions are a sight and the doors that are coated with gold, that mosque is where you would want to forever belong!
The main doors are; Bab- un-nisa (the door of the women), Bab-un-nabi (the door of the prophet (p.b.u.h)), Bab-ul-Baqi (the door of Baqi), * this is my favorite one, haha and the funeral place, which happens to be directly opposite Bab-un-nabi.
The women’s door is used as main entrance for the women, the prophet’s door was the door that was mainly used by the prophet (p.b.u.h), the door of Baqi is the door that is mainly to facilitate the flow of people leaving Raudha ( Raudha is the place that is known to be a garden amongst the gardens of paradise, it is the heart of this mosque, it is completely floored with a red carpet except for a small part that is floored with a green carpet and this is the place that indicates the prophet’s tomb, the two favorite companions of the prophet (p.b.u.h) buried beside their best friend and some narrations state that there is one more space reserved for Jesus (A.s.) A wished asked for in Raudha never goes unaccepted.)
Now, let me tell you something, food is also very cool! Like we have Al-Baik, best in fast foods! So after long days spent in prayer, some good food and perfect Wi-Fi was all that I needed. It was a sad story for me! The hotel that we were when in Madinah did not have Wi-Fi access upstairs so I had to go to-a floor downstairs to get my whatsapp texts. Communication is vital, you see, your people back home need to know that you are safe and sound!
To cut the long story short, we then headed to Makkah and I remember we arrived at something like 12:00 am and we were supposed to conduct the lesser pilgrimage at exactly 4:00 am. Sharing a room with a grandma was not quite of a good idea! I had to ensure that she woke up early and she had all her stuff on point! Grandmothers are kind of slow and you cannot go about telling them to move with your times so I was like, God, please pay me for this!( haha, I had some thorough scolding from the agent, just on day one).
Makkah is a very busy place. Busy in that people are always on the run, others doing circumbulation around the Kaaba( Tawaf), others going around Safa and Marwa( Sa’ay), others drinking the holy water, others struggling to touch the black stone, it is an endless list when it comes to Makkah.. But when you sit down and contemplate, you will be like, this place, that I just see on Tv is so real and so big. It is my first wonder of the world. As I tried to fight back tears, I looked at the sky and smiled, He made it possible.
* Check out ‘Funduq- Saa’a’ – This is the Fairmont Makkah Royal Tower hotel, a descriptive scene, a 5- star hotel that is a 76- storey building, a 93-story skyscraper and this hotel is just nuts, nuts and njugu!
I was mesmerized and I felt that I was in cloud nine. For the first time in forever, I saw people move at the same direction, all uniform, no Arab, no non-Arab, no black, no white, nothing, there was no Saalman Khan, the famous star, nor Majuto, the famous comedian. We were all one, saying one word, Allah! I am getting a little bit of emotional and I want to close before I cry, meanwhile: check out (a plate of food from Ethiopia, Raw hahah, I did not eat that even though the air hostesses were pretty!)