With that the Qafila drove through Philadelphia, escorted by local police, and the route included a drive through city centre and through the historic parts of the city, such as the exact point where the Declaration of Independence was signed, Liberty Bell and across the Ben Franklin Bridge.
We drove past various museums documenting different elements of the history of the United States and along the curiously named ‘Strawberry Street’.
I was glad Huzoor and Khala Saboohi (Huzoor’s respected wife) had the opportunity to see the more developed parts of the city. I was in the car directly behind Huzoor’s car and I could actually see that Huzoor was looking out of his window at the different sites.
At one point we drove past a street lined with restaurants and hotels, including a restaurant with an extremely large and inviting sign which read ‘Jimmy G’s Steaks’.
The restaurant was accompanied by another sign that proudly read ‘Best Fries in Philly’.
I suddenly felt extremely hungry and wished I could taste the ‘best fries in Philly’! Instead, I sated my appetite with some dried mango pieces that were our constant companions during our travels on the road in the United States.
Finally, before leaving the city, the Qafila drove to the seaport where Mufti Muhammad Sadiq sahib, the first Missionary of the United States, had landed almost a century earlier in 1920.
As we reached the exact point the cars slowed down almost to a standstill.
As we looked out of our cars, a local member of the Jamaat, informed Huzoor and the other Qafila members via walkie talkie, of the exact place where Mufti sahib had been arrested.
Those of us present all felt fortunate to be retracing those historic first steps of Ahmadiyyat’s first entry into the United States with the true representative of the Promised Messiah (as). Alhamdolillah.
With that Huzoor’s visit to Philadelphia reached its conclusion and the Qafila drove onwards towards Baltimore.
We were all eagerly anticipating not only the inauguration of a Mosque in Baltimore but also looked forward keenly to Huzoor’s travels to Texas and Guatemala over the next few days, Insha’Allah.
End of Part 1