Religious leaders stand united on multi-faith trip to Holy Lands
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:02 28 November 2016
Members of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities stood united on a trip to Israel and Palestine.
The visit, organised by the East London Three Faiths Forum, was the sixth time the multifaith group has toured the Holy Land.
But for Mohamed Omer, a founding member of Gardens of Peace in Hainault, it was his first time.
“It was very inspiring,” he said.
“It showed the level of similarities between the three Abrahamic faiths and how people can come together and understand each other.”
The six day journey saw the group take in the great religious sites of the Holy Land – including the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Mr Omer called the tour “very educational”.
“You couldn’t escape the divide that is ongoing,” he added. “I hope that there is a political solution.
“But during our trip, we were stopped by so many people and tours, asking us about the three faiths travelling together.
“It really was brilliant.”
More than half of the group were from the Redbridge Disabled Women’s Welfare Association.
Paizah Malek-Neaze praised the local communities for helping her get around in her electric wheelchair.
She said: “It was wonderful and I was very touched by how generous people were.
“Many of the religious sites in the old cities had no pavement, just cobbles, and everyone was so helpful. It was a great experience and I loved visiting all the churches, mosques and temples.”
Rabbi David Hulbert, of Bet Tikvah Synagogue, said the tour was an annual highlight.
He said: “I think I might ask if Donald Trump would like to join us next time!
“We had a fantastically busy trip where we all learnt a lot and got along very well.”
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