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Monday, March 11, 2013

Ammuna Hawwa and Eve's Tomb


Sign on the wall around the cemetery, image stolen from wikimapia
The name, Jeddah, is the Arabic word for grandmother.  This is because it is believed that this city is the final resting place of Biblical Eve.   A cemetery near Al Balad, Ammuna Harra Cemetery, translated to Our Mother Eve Cemetery, is thought to be the burial site of humanity’s legendary grandmother.   The most important people in Jeddowi history are buried at Ammuna Harra, and the site is unfortunately walled off, its contents unable to be viewed by passers-by.  The believed spot of the tomb itself was walled off as a reaction to the many Muslims making pilgrimage to the site while Sunni Islam speaks against such enshrinement. 

Approaching the cemetery by car.  Al Balad is to the right.

Here, you can see female pilgrims being turned away at the gate to the cemetery.  Only men are allowed inside, so the women are pushed back and blocked from entering.  Gender discrimination of any kind bothers me, but instances where it results in women being harshly handled (they're actually pushed back by the guards) by men screams hypocrisy in a culture I exert much energy defending.  
This booth is for collecting donations for the benefit of poor families who can't pay burial fees  when their loved ones pass.  I was too angry about the sex discrimination 20 feet to the right to be touched by such a thing.

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Troy, AL, United States
I am a Political Science student at Troy University in southeastern Alabama. I have been given fantastic opportunities to travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among other brief trips, to study and glimpse other cultures. I believe there is much to be learned about other people while studying, and I want to share my experiences with you.