Medina Stories #05 – Becoming an Umrah Tour Guide
Channel: Tom Facchine
Series: Tom Facchine - Medina Stories
File Size: 4.48MB
I had a lot of opportunities humbly living in Medina, one of the perks is that you get to go on camera very, very frequently. And so even just as a student, the Islamic universities to take groups of people, and they used to prioritize people who hadn't been on camera before. So they make sure everybody kind of has their experience Hamdulillah
we had kind of like a method where we would do like what I used to call the student Express, which is like, you know, Thursday, the weekend, there used to be Friday, Saturday. And so Thursday after classes, you would just get changed into your prom, hit a taxi, go down there, usually arrive after
a shot. And then just like, do your own run the middle of the night, which is when nobody's there, like it's much less crowded, stay for federal state for Joomla if you want to hop on a taxi and come back, so I mean, we used to do that. There were students that did it every weekend, you know, like it was, it was a really tremendous experience.
And then I got involved in Tours, just through some of the, my, the upperclassmen, they really helped me out, you know, that's something Subhanallah like, every step of the way, I'm very touched and grateful for the people who were older than me, that really helped me out. And so a couple of brothers were working with a company, and they
basically put in a good word for me, and I started, you know, leading tours, and that was an important source of income for me while I was over there. And that was amazing, because you get to meet all sorts of people, it's really and it's, it's strange to because you have such a short amount of time to make a connection with people, your our packages are like six to 10 days, you know, and you're there for a really spiritually significant event, and somebody else's life and you don't know what they're, they're coming with, like, I've met people who, you know, their mom just passed away, and they're doing a, an UNRWA for their mom, or, you know, they had a child pass away, or they're
going through a difficult divorce, you know, or, you know, people come with all sorts of issues and looking for all sorts of different things. Some of them drag their kids and their kids are like, estranged from the religion and, you know, they want you to kind of connect with their kids and stuff like that. And so, it's a really unique challenge. And it's something that I took very seriously in my time there because,
yeah, because it's a unique opportunity. And things can happen on on camera that don't happen anywhere else, you know, people are kind of vulnerable. If they don't know the place, they don't know the land, they don't know the language. And so you're responsible for kind of facilitating the spiritual experience for them. So
I don't know, there was a ton of different things that happened. But I guess I'll say just generally, you know, despite that small, small window of time, I'll never stop being amazed at how deep the connections are, that I've made. Like, I'm still in contact with so many people that were on Umrah or Hajj with me. And we never forget each other. It's like your friends for life. And people that you don't even think you made a big impact with you get messages years later. And be like, you know, that was like the turning point in my life or the turning point in my kid's life, or, you know, my kids really appreciated being able to talk with you and relate to you. I just had
one family. They really, really touched me.
We were on camera together. And the they were at a wedding, somebody else's wedding. And the son who's in his early 20s. He was like, look at the Imam, the Imam. He doesn't he doesn't seem like he has a connection with a couple that is getting married. And he said when I get married, I want to have Tom like officiate my wedding. And the mom reached out and told me this and it blew me away because like, at the time, I liked them. We got along really well. But I didn't necessarily think like I had that kind of an impact. But then it's all up to a law. And so apparently, that I did and so yeah Subhanallah