From Nathan: We went to the Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai. I initially thought that a mosque was going to be a big structure with many rooms. It turned out to have one big room where they worship. The tour went through the different pillars of the Islamic religion.
Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslims to enter for about $3/person, Sunday-Thursdays at 10 a.m. It also offer meals on certain days. The guide encourages you to take photos and ask questions.
It was nice to have the opportunity to ask questions like 1) why do women wear black burkas in the desert, 2) why is there a perceived inequality between men and women in a religion that promotes all people being equal in the eyes of God, and 3) if men and women are equal, why are men allowed to have up to four wives? (Sorry, I’m a reporter. I can’t help myself!) The boys and I had a good debrief after the tour about how our family values relate to Islam.
From Nathan: We then took a short trip by abra to the souks in old Dubai. This part of the city looks more like Africa than the high-life living in skyscrapers in the more modern parts of the city. The souks really weren’t that interesting – just a lot of shops clustered together. I was relieved to get into an air-conditioned taxi, because it was over 100-degrees.
I’m not going to lie. Being with each other 24/7 for the last month has been challenging at times. There have been plenty of arguments and tears. But I feel like we’re starting to turn a corner. We’re all gaining a better understanding of how each other operates. We’re starting to be more accepting of each other’s differing personalities. That development is more important than anything that we’ll see on the trip.