Since our flight to Iraq was next morning, we made sure that everything is packed the previous night and we had a good night sleep. Waking up the first thing I had to do is to make sure the bags are down in the lobby of the hotel by a certain time. You can just imagine that if there are two slow elevators and almost 120 people trying to haul their bags down at the same time, it would take much time to wait for the elevator to come up empty and then you have to put your bags in and bring it down. Even then you would not go down directly but maybe stop in some other floors since it was also breakfast time and people were coming up and down. Before leaving Syria, we had to make sure that we paid our respect to Lady Zainab (A.S.). First my wife went early in the morning to do just that and when she came back I did the same thing. Entering it again, I wasted no time in going directly to the shrine and touched the shrine and praying for my family and my wife’s family and whoever I could think in my mind at that time. It is so peaceful just sitting there and prayer that you don’t want to leave the place. Everybody is there for just one purpose to ask the Lady Zainab’s Intervention to God to forgive our sins and pray for the fulfillment of our wishes. I was very sad that we were there only for one day but we did accomplish a lot during that whole day. Giving my last respect for this trip, I heavy heartedly left the shrine promising to come back again if given another chance and went to the hotel.
In addition to our group going to Iraq, another group was in the lobby coming to Syria so you can well imagine the demand on the elevators was tremendous. After our breakfast and the bags in the lobby, we had to wait for the bus to take us to the airport. Arriving at the airport was not that much hassle but then we had to go through the immigration and getting our boarding cards. Our guide did a good job organizing the passports of different nationalities into their respective groups so that it would be easier for the immigration officials and airline people to give us the boarding passes. We did not have any assigned seats and the plane was small enough to accommodate our entire group with one of the regional airlines since the flight time was less than two hours.