Just over 250 miles long and 70 miles wide at its widest point (9 miles wide at narrowest), Israel can be covered in a matter of hours. But, you'll want to stay for days -- as many as possible -- because every inch of this country is imbued with meaning.
I'm standing in a tiny room located in a checkpoint facility on the Israeli/Jordanian border. An Israeli immigration agent holding my passport is grilling me while my sister, who is traveling with me, waits her turn outside. Little did I know that our ordeal was far from over.
Funny how in life we are united with individuals who touch our hearts in unimaginable and meaningful ways. Our meeting was especially timely for me, since just earlier that day I was debating whether or not to venture to the Holy Land.
Many thought Hamas didn't have the technological ability to send missiles to Jerusalem. Many others believed that Hamas would never fire missiles on the city because it houses Islam's third most holy site. But those assumptions can no longer be assumed.
Nothing is simple in this place and the more you find out about what is actually happening here -- not in history or in legend but in the immediate daily lives of people living in the place -- the more complicated things become.
Even when Americans began to travel to Muslim lands, from the start they displayed a more diverse response to Islam and its mosques, which over the course of a century graduated from the crude to the reverent.
Only a few tens of thousands of Arabs were able to visit Jerusalem in the past few decades while millions of Jews and non-Arab Christians are able to do so annually. How then can it "always remain Arab"?