They NEVER LEFT PALESTINE and the OLDEST CITY IN THE WORLD S06 EP.64 | MIDDLE EAST MOTORCYCLE TOUR
As you can see... We are trying to make a special yogurt salad. Where's the exit? Let's take the route where the cars are parked. There's a ticket but no one can be seen here. And it's closed. This is their holiest site for worship.
The best thing about the place is the mosaic floor. ABC means that we have three different areas in Palestine. Area A is where we are living in Jericho. Assalam Alekum and Welcome Back to the Channel from Nablus, Palestine. One of the most beautiful and oldest cities in the world. I visited the city, just recently.
And I hope, all of you must have enjoyed that vlog. Today we are leaving from Nablus. And now we are heading towards Jericho; the oldest city in the world.
It's a 9000 years old city. Today, I'm gonna showcase not only the city... But also a few important places on the way from Nablus to Jericho. It's not too far away from here; probably around 50 km.
Could just be a 60 to 75 minute ride. So... let's get going. As we'll ride through the old town to leave this city... you'll get to see some more of the old town. Let's start the journey to Jericho. We have come here for breakfast.
And this here is Molly. She's from America ... And she told me that I must try this breakfast before I leave Nablus. As you can see...
We are starting by making a special yogurt salad. We are adding tomato sauce to it. And then this mint, I guess. Yes. Mint leaves and more... Looks like the breakfast is gonna be great. They are also serving omelette with it.
Omelette is not served, yet. It's nice... It's delicious indeed. It has a very unique taste and I haven't tried anything like this, anywhere else before. It's a different thing but it tastes great. Here's our omelette.
We noticed that it had so many ingredients. Honestly, one of the best omelettes ever. Really tasty. So many herbs and other ingredients in it.
The way I gradually fell in love with Lebanese foods.... I'm falling in love with Palestinian foods as well. Let me show you this street art on this wall. "Palestine ... Resist to Exist" And there are mosques and churches in it as well. Looks really great.
I'm told that it's 17 years old. Still in a very good condition. Must be a pretty good artist. That's our motorcycle.
We are in the old town at the moment. Gonna get out of here now. Bismillah... In the name of Allah... *Prayer for the journey* We pray to Allah for a safe and sound journey. May we have a great day ahead. And that we get out of the old town without any trouble.
First we have to get to the main road. Navigation may be showing a different route. But it can always make a different route. That's the old town. The person, whom I left my motorcycle with, woke up two hours late. Sort of ... wasted half our day.
Please make some room there.... Don't want my luggage to touch anything and cause any problems. Thanks very much. Where's the exit?? Let's take the route where cars are parked. Don't want to get stuck anywhere.
This old town is very beautiful. I think we are stuck. We ARE stuck... That's the wrong way. Assalam Alekum Should we go from here? Ah... Excuse me... Should we take this way to go to the main road? Yes... The main road...
Left? Okay... Thanks. I thought, there are cars here so we'll get through as well. And we are back in the bazaar. Let's see if we can turn left from here.
Yes, we can. I can see cars in the end. We are almost there. So this was the old town.
Looks like, today, we had the motorcycle adventure, once again. Actually, we are not going to Jericho at the moment. Before that, there's a mountain here.... We'd like to visit that. Afterwards, we'll move forward.
It's almost 5 km from here. Navigating through the city is turning out to be more difficult than I expected. I hope, we are on the right track now. So, we have reached the top now. It was quite an ascent. The whole city is on the top of the mountain.
No doubt, the views are great... It's not very easy for even locals to go up the mountain daily. Especially going on foot or on bicycle. Just forget that... These houses are really beautiful. This place is called Mount Gerizim.
Let's first get to the final destination here. And then we'll find out more about the place and share it with you all. What? Is it closed? Apparently, it is.
There's a ticket but no one can be seen here. It's closed as well. So, the ticket is 22 shekels. 11 shekels for senior Israeli citizens. There's info about time as well. Wait... What? Summertime?
It opens from 5 pm to 8 am? O wait.. They just opened it themselves. Opening time from 5pm to 8am... Rather strange... However, they just opened it for me. Let's keep going and see what happens.
Don't know if someone is actually present here or not... But there has to be a Visitors Center... as per my info. Now, this is a Palestinian territory. Right?
And this fenced area is inside that territory, controlled by Israel. All the area around this is Palestinian. All the area outside belongs to Palestine but this is Israeli controlled. You can see the Israeli flag here. So, that's it.
There's someone there. Is it closed? No. Open. Okay. Sorry? The register is over here. There are some tourists here. Where shall I park my motorcycle? Let's go to the other side.
Over there. This is a 2500 year old archaeological site of Samaritans. I must have mentioned it while I was going through the village.
These are the people who have always been living in this area and never left it. According to themselves... they have been... They are actually a branch of Jews that got separated from them. And they believe themselves to be the only true followers.
This is their holiest site where they come for worship. Even today. Their first temple was built here. It was demolished later by the Jews. The Byzantine rulers built a church on the ruins of the temple.
Right now, you are, in fact, looking at the ruins of that church. That's all you can see now... the ruins of the church and the temple. The Samaritans believe that Abraham (AS) brought his son Isaac (AS) at this site for sacrifice. For that reason... even today... every year... The first month of their calendar is called Abib. They gather here on the 14th of Abib and offer sacrifice.
Previously, it was just a small festival. But it has turned into a big event now. Tourists from all over the world come here.
It's a very colorful sort of event. You can witness ancient traditions here. We were shown a movie. I'll share its clips with you. As you can see, all of the people are clad in white and wearing a headgear. You'll see a very different, traditional, event here.
Almost 400 - 500 people live here. It's a very closed community and don't allow outsiders to be a part of that. They used to have a population of 25 - 30 thousand. Thousands of years ago, when the temple was built. It gradually reduced to just 100 - 150, about a hundred years ago.
Recently, they have allowed their men to marry women from outside their community. That has helped the population grow to 500 approximately. They have a small village here and also near Tel Aviv. The views from up here are magnificent.
You can have the view of the whole area down there. Personally it was very interesting for myself. To read about these people and then to have come here and witness them. These are the people who never actually left this area.
They still have their churches in their village. Kindly open these gates for us, Sir. The note on the gate reads...
Judea and Samaria Civil Administration Nature and National Park Authority That's the body that controls this area. That's their village... I've come to know of a very interesting thing about them. They have both Palestinian and Israeli IDs. I don't think any other community has both of these IDs. Let's see if we can meet someone in this village.
Someone clad in traditional dress may be.... But there's no one here.. Everyone's resting probably. And since, they haven't left this place ever... their traditions stayed intact with them.
Also they don't allow any outsider to join their community. Only the ones that born into the community. They don't allow anyone to enter their religion. Their tradition and culture is still preserved for all these years. They even speak the ancient Hebrew. It is very different from what other people here speak.
I'm told that their kids complete reading Torah at the age of 6. I mean he has gone through the whole book once. 6 years is such a young age. Looks like we are not gonna meet any Samaritan today.
I hope I was able to give you some information. The board says... "Entry Forbidden for Israeli Citizens". But there's no other road to use here.
So, I don't know how people manage to travel here. I think it's just the board. But you can see the Israeli flag all around.
The area is clearly under their control. The signboards are in place for sure... But people are freely coming here and have occupied the area illegally. I think there are quite a few illegal settlements in this area. That's why there's a lot of military presence in this area. That road on the right side also goes towards the settlement.
There must be army personnel here as well. They are in position there. I'm not sure if they'll let us through or not.
At the moment, I don't really feel the need to go there. But anyway... we might just try to see the response we get. I mean we can try to go there as a tourist.
We may try that in next few days. Take a look... This area on our left side is also a settlement area. They have the check post and the whole mountain.
The road is just too good. And the olive trees on the sides make this scenery even more beautiful. It's fun riding here. We are now gonna descend down this road. So, we are gonna get back to the warmer region.
Jericho lies next to the Jordan river. As you have seen, we have been zigzagging our way through the mountains. Although it was sunny back there, the air was much cooler. That means great weather.
The desert is now in front of us. That's a great view of the desert. That's how this road is. Impressive This is the best part of our ride today. We have crossed the whole mountain range and now we are in the desert.
People here are either nomads or workers. Otherwise, living in these tin houses in this warm weather is quite tough. Is that a check post? I think the check post is due to the settlement on our left side. This feels like an area with tight security. We can see a lot of red boards. It's written here that Israeli citizens can't go inside.
I think we are already in Jericho. Navigation is telling me that the city center is still about 6 km away. We are looking at date orchards in the middle of this city. Wow This is the first time I'm seeing so many date trees here. I think it's the date season these days. We have almost reached the place that we have booked.
It's a little before the city center. May be a couple of kilometers before the center. Otherwise we would have gone to the center. Anyways, let's see the place first.
If only he can open the whole gate for us... Yes.... Arabic.. Just a little bit... So, you are from Germany? Yes. Assalam Alekum All the way on this motorcycle? Yes. Not actually from Germany, right now, but from Pakistan.
So you are from Pakistan originally? Yes. Nice. And you are living in? Germany. Thanks Where are you coming from? Nablus. And before that? Tel Aviv. I came to Nazareth from Jordan.
Ah.. on your motorcycle? Yes. Yes. This heat has actually drained me. I'm glad that I've got here. Turned on the air conditioner and rested for a while. Time for the room tour.
It's actually the house of a Palestinian family. They have constructed a separate portion next to their garage that they offer to tourists on rent. I paid 35 US dollars for that.
Quite a nice place.. Let me show you. This is the living room. There's a coffee bar on one side, for tea and coffee. A fridge is also available. This here is the sleeping room.
It's a really nice and spacious room, considering we are in a very touristic city. Although it's quite hot at the moment, there are a few historical places to visit. They may get closed if the off time has reached. Let's go and see the old town. We are gonna ride through the old town shortly.
We'll try to get some footage on our motorcycle. We are going to see a historical palace. I hope it's still open.
It's half past 4 now. That looked like a church. The building seemed like it has been renovated. The church was built upon some old building. Most of the bazaar is already closed.
This whole region, even Saudi Arabia and Jordan, get closed around 12 in the afternoon. It then reopens around 5 pm. It may get more lively, when we'll be coming back. This part of the city gives a very rural vibe.
Because, in between buildings, you also get to see agricultural fields. But overall, it seems like a nice city. We have reached our destination. Where to park the motorcycle now...? Better if we park it in some shade.
Let's park it here. We are standing at the entrance. I can see the flags of Japan and Italy as the countries who contributed in the preservation work of this site. Let me get inside and show you this palace. Assalam Alekum Are you alone? Yes. That's Hisham Palace and it was built in the Umayyad times.
You can say that it's the most important site of Jericho from the Muslim times. This palace was built by the Umayyad ruler Hisham bin Abdul Malik in the 8th century AD. Unfortunately, just 20 years or so after its construction, it suffered a severe earthquake. Not only did it do much damage to the neighboring cities as well... But also demolished a number of important historical sites. As you can see, it's almost like an archaeological site.
Because there's not much left here. Especially the section where I'm standing right now. It has a total of 3 sections. There used to be a royal palace here.
Not much to see of that now. Right next to it, was a small mosque. You can only see two columns and an arch from that mosque, now.
Everything else from the mosque got destroyed along with the rest of the palace. Other than that, there is a third section that we are gonna see now. This was the audience room, used for the reception of guests. There used to be bathhouses here as well. A big swimming pool too. The bathhouses had a proper system of hot and cold water.
However... everything was destroyed in the earthquake. You can see almost 16 or 17 pillars here. The construction style of these pillars is very similar to the ones from Byzantine temples. But the best thing here is the mosaic floor. I haven't seen a more beautiful mosaic in this region before. A complete part of this area is covered with mosaic floor.
A lot of different, beautiful symmetrical patterns are made here. Amazing That's why a kind of roof has been built over it for protection. So that rainfall or sunlight can't damage the floor.
That's why it's still in very good condition. In such good condition after almost 14 centuries. I have Muhammad here, sitting with me. He is the owner of the house where I am staying.
Thank you so much for letting me stay here. You are welcome. I have some questions for him. A lot of people are asking so I better ask Muhammad. Sure. Can you please tell me how the areas are separated.
Like the area of West Bank is controlled by Palestinian authorities. First of all, I'm Muhammad; A Palestinian guy living in Jericho. With my family.
I like my life too much... And I'm happy to meet Abrar. Good to meet such a famous YouTuber. And yes... in Palestine, we have ABC.
ABC means that we have 3 different areas in Palestine. Area A is where we are living in Jericho. That's the area that is fully under Palestinian control for administrative and safety related issues. Area B is only for administrative control. I call those areas fire waste because there is no security or control of safety there.
So there's no police. And then we have area C. They are fully under Israeli control for safety and administrative issues. For example, I really like to go to the sea. To the Dead sea that is just 8 km from Jericho. But it is fully controlled by the Israelis.
And if I have to go there, I'll have to pay all sorts of taxes to enter any facility for the Israelis. But I don't like that. So I just go to the free beach to enjoy the nature and enjoy Palestine. Thank you very much. Another question. What about the services like water and electricity? Are they also controlled by Israelis? Yes... Even... For example I live in Jericho.
And its' fully controlled by the Palestinians. But we found out that we can't get the underground water but actually we can... Because there are some agreements with Israel that say that we can only have a certain percentage of water. And the skies... we can't have airports. So, I have to go to Jordan and pass through three check points if I want to travel. I cannot go with my car.
And I cannot travel at night. We can only travel in the day ... and there are only a few hours allocated to us to travel. It's very bad... still unbelievable.
People have the right to move. And the freedom... I hope it will change one day. In Sha Allah... God willing it will change one day. She's your daughter? Say Hi.
Hi And he's my son. What's your name? Jad... Ma Sha Allah...