Was so great to visit the holy land and see the humble group on Palestians. This is my 3rd time to the region, and my 2nd SharePoint Saturday event. I really LOVE Jerusalem and always feel a special spirit when I’m there. Despite the fact that I still missed seeing the garden tomb by a few feet and missed visiting the temple mount/dome, need to plan an earlier visit. You have to get there before 11:30am to visit the mosques/dome/temple mount. We really only had about 24 hours in the area based on our rushed travel plans.
Paul Swider and I travelled together from Athens and back through Cyprus. Great trip. This is one small section of the larger SharePoint Amazing Race. Was great seeing Muhammed Saleh MVP from Jordan. Saed organized the event with the help of many, including Huthaifa. Saed and Huthaifa are now in business together, 100% SharePoint Consulting and training. Very cool. The event had around 150 attendees and we were able to give away a laptop.
After the event Paul, Saed, Huthaifa and Mohammed Bajes drove into Jericho. Mid way through the event we got out and visited the equivalent o fthe whitehouse of Abbas, and saw the flags of the nations that support Palestine nation. Was a little strange being an American, knowing the veto basically destroyed the initiative, but was still interesting to see history infolding right before me. I have high hopes for peace in the middle east, and had some great conversations with the locals on what could be done to achieve peace. Always a joy to visit with these guys and it’s great to see real progress in building and I’ve never seen more hope in their eyes. I think this is what will ultimately make a difference. There are obviously some huge differences between Gaza and the West Bank. Lots of different perspectives and I gain more perspectives each time I visit.
Our visit to Jericho involved visiting the Mount of Temptation. This mount has a restaurant and a monastery. The gondola was already closed, but we were still able to work our way up the mountain. It was a great adventure, and we saw the old walls of the city. Totally takes me back to primary class and the story of the Israelites marching around the city with their trumps with Joshua as their leader.
We ended the night at a local ice cream place, that makes their own ice cream. Really enjoyed my time. I pray for peace, and a solution that works for both sides. Things are getting better, and I hope and pray they continue to get better. I do believe that SharePoint is helping bridge the gap, and providing opportunity. I encourage companies to consider outsourcing opportunities in the west bank. There are some very skilled companies and the work itself provides opportunities which ultimately provide hope, jobs, skills and happiness.