TRAVEL PHOTO DIARY: BETHLEHEM
(Photos by me)
What I'm wearing: (Pant Suit: Theory, Metallic Tasseled Loafers: Alexander Wang, T-shirt: Romwe, Clutch: Club Monaco, Bracelets: BCBG Generation)
Continuing through my journey across The Middle East (ok, I may have skipped some parts, but I'm trying to stay climate relevant for fashion blog sakes!), I found myself exploring the Holy Land of Israel/Palestine. As someone who feels very passionate about the on-going conflict between Israel and Palestine, visiting the 'Land of the Prophets' had been a long-term dream of mine... to be at the center of decades of turmoil, as well as the land that gave birth to the three major Abrahamic religions.
I ventured off to Israel after spending a week exploring Jordan (see my previous travel diary on Amman), and although I could hardly wait to explore this new and unknown territory, my journey into Israel, unfortunately, started off on a bad note. We only had 3 days to discover Jerusalem, and I lost the first day by being interrogated at the Israeli border for more than 8 hours. I knew it would be cumbersome entering a war-torn country, but I did not expect an entire day of interrogations, especially given my Canadian nationality. I know that the Israeli border patrol were just doing their jobs, but after being confined in a room for 8 hours, I felt so devaluated and insulted. It wasn't until I threatened to go back to Amman and have my passport returned to me that I was finally given the signal to enter.
And as horrendous as the interrogation was, it was so worth it.
I had known that we were going to Jerusalem, but what I did not know was that we had to cross Palestine in order to enter Jerusalem. I believe to date, this has, by far, been the coolest experience of my life. Through out my University years, I had been so vocal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and now I was here, in a land that I had been vicariously fighting for. I remember checking in to 'Bethlehem, Palestine' on Facebook whilst I was there, and the number of comments and 'likes' that this check-in garnered. Because we had wasted an entire day at the border, we were severely rushed for time, and could only tour bits of Palestine before entering Jerusalem. Amongst our stops was the oldest city in the world, Jehrico, as well as the city of Bethlehem, commonly known as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Suffice to say, I was overwhelmed to stand in such a poignant place of history. What surprised me even more was the harmonious synchronicity between the Christians and the Muslims, given the political climate of the country. A city owned entirely by Arabs, which houses the most sacred Church and Christian pilgrimages.
The irony here is that, and continuing on with our 'Inappropriate Outfits for Middle East' series, despite being present in such a holy and sacred environment, I'm donning an outfit that complete juxtaposes to its environment, and instead, represents the materialism of the West.
I'm pretty sure more tourists took pictures of what I was wearing, which, let's be honest, is pretty appalling given that I was visiting a holy site and a common Christian pilgrimage destination, but hey, like I say.... we can still look explore history and engage in pensive monologues while looking chic, right? You could say no.