Sunday, July 10, 2011

Biggest sin

Many of you have asked about the "biggest sin" I committed that I referenced in an earlier blog entry.  This is the scene of the crime:

This is a section of a very long wall of murals in King Hussein Park.  The murals are a timeline of the country.  As you can imagine it is a VERY long wall.  What you're looking at here is the very end of it (which is where we started).  As I continued to make my way down the wall, I came across this plaque:
Next to the plaque was a door.  I tested the knob and it was unlocked.  So I walked in.  I thought of it as a replica.  I've been to Silver Dollar City.  Replicas are meant to be explored.  Same rules don't apply in Jordan though.  As soon as I walked out of the closet-sized mosque, the Jordanian leader of our group told me I committed the biggest sin.  I immediately knew she was telling me I should have covered my head.

I asked her what I should do.  She told me to ask Allah for forgiveness.  Uhhhhhhh.  I'm not Muslim.  Now I happen to believe God is God no matter what we call it, but I wasn't sure how most Muslims felt about that.  I didn't want to commit another sin before I even got forgiven for this one.

At that point, I felt very ostracized by our leader and the rest of the group.  I'm sure it was mostly in my mind since most of our group didn't even know about my cultural mishap.  It still didn't feel good.

I ended up asking Rasha (the Jordanian graduate student who worked for CIEE) to ask Allah to forgive me.  She assured me that what I did wasn't a big deal.  Allah bless her.

What did I learn?  I shouldn't use American tourist rules in another country.  Just because the door is unlocked, I should just walk in it.

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