Caldwell couple braves danger for pilgrimage

Middle East: Visit to Israel included worrying about Hezbollah bombs

NAMPA — Just as the first bombs were falling in fresh fighting between Israel and Hezbollah last month, Amelia and David Jamison of Caldwell were packing their bags for a pilgrimage to the troubled region.

Friends and relatives asked them if they were still going, and they responded that “unless they say you can’t go, we are going,” said Amelia.

Their destination was the Bahai world center in Haifa, the city in Northern Israel where Hezbollah bombs have been falling now for several weeks.

{josquote}The couple said they didn’t really talk with people about the conflict in the Middle East. “The Bahais in Israel try to stay out of it,” said Amelia. “We didn’t talk much about politics.”{/josquote}

A pilgrimage to the site, Amelia said, is one of the obligations for every able Bahai, a person who follows the teachings of Baha'u'llah, a 19th century spiritual leader whose belief systems draw on Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

“The most stressful part of the trip,” said Amelia, was arriving at the Tel Aviv airport and not knowing the military situation in northern Israel.

“It was scary because we really didn’t know what was happening,” Amelia said.

David said, “we were advised not to go,” but not forbidden by Israeli authorities.

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