I was fortunate and will remain forever grateful to have chances to live and work in predominantly Muslim countries, in Malaysia for 3 years, and in United Arab Emirates at present. Expectedly, it did not only give me opportunities to grow personally and professionally, more so, it widened my perception, and made me embrace diversities of people, religion, culture and even food.
While most people have developed an aversion to some Muslim countries, sorely equating them to places of danger and terrorism, I became an avid solo traveler to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations where Islam is the dominant religion. Other than Malaysia and UAE, I have been to Brunei Darussalam, Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, and to some extent where Islam is also being practiced -Singapore, India and to my home country, the Philippines. Soon, if everything falls into place, I hope to set foot in Iran and Oman.
Baptised and raised as a Catholic, I am a strong believer that danger could be imposed by anyone, and could happen in any place at any time, and not exclusively by Muslim people or in Muslim territories alone. Strengthened by my faith, my belief is also influenced by the cliche, take the risk or lose the chance. You’ll never know what a place or an experience will bring you, if you won’t let go of your fixated personal delusions.
Allow me to share 10 reasons and 21 photographs
that hopefully could inspire you to consider (or continue)
traveling to Muslim countries without prejudice.
- Traveling to most Muslim countries is safe when you do not initially entertain fear and misperceptions. You cannot break stereotypes unless you experience and accept the truth. You become more scared if you create danger that doesn’t exist.
- Some of the world’s famous and iconic landmarks and must-visit heritage sites are found in Muslim countries. The Burj Khalifa or the world’s tallest man-made structure in Dubai, UAE, the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the visually stunning, Taj Mahal in India, and the inviting ruins of Persepolis in Iran to name a few.
- You’ll never experience the hospitality and warmth of our Muslim brothers and sisters if you will avoid traveling to their places, worse, if you limit interacting with them.
- There’s so much to learn from Islam, or at least be inspired by Muslim’s faith. Also, history, and tapestry of culture and tradition will unfold right before your eyes.
- Awe-inspiring Arabesque and Persian architecture, Islamic patterns and designs, as well as incredibly beautiful and breathtaking landscapes are located in some Muslim countries.
- There’s absolute growth in personal understanding of cultural differences and similarities.
- Traveling without prejudice offers you to gain independence, freedom and self-reliance.
- Halal food is good! Traveling to Islamic countries could further your palate’s appreciation to various Halal-cuisine.
- Most places are not touristy or widely untraveled, hence you won’t expect overcrowding and noisy surroundings.
- Some of the travel memories and experiences could be life-changing.
Iranian Mosque, in Jumeirah 1, Al Satwa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Treasury, in Petra, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
In North Africa : an impressive riad or courtyard in Fes, Kingdom of Morocco.
The mosque, built in symmetry with the Royal guest house at both sides of Taj Mahal.
Camels and a local Emirati in Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Ancient Roman amphitheatre in Petra, Jordan.
Antiques and other interesting souvenirs from Chefchaouen, Morocco.
A Muslim in prayer inside Kapitan Keling Mosque, George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
This is how inviting Chefchaouen in Northern Morocco looks like!
Snowfall in Sultanahmet Camii or the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey.
Another random scene in the blue washed town of Chefchaouen, in Kingdom of Morocco.
Wau bulan or Moon kites : traditionally created by artisans in Kota Bahru, Kelantan.
The Siq before The Treasury, Petra, Jordan.
Colorful shoes from Old Medina of Fes, Kingdom of Morocco.
Another glimpse to the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey.
Twilight at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Taj Mahal: a magnificent blend of Persian, Islamic, and Indian architectural styles.
Kasbah des Oudayas, 12th century castle at the edge of BouRegreg River, Rabat, Morocco.
Aerial view of Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, UAE.
Happy to travel to Petra, Jordan!
I and some Muslim kids who visited the mosque inside Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
*Please note that this article DOES NOT in any way, persuade anyone to travel to areas of conflicts and at war. All photos and insights that appear on this post are my own and are never influenced by anyone.