Al-Andalus Pilgrimage

Hadar Cohen Start Date: Feb 19, 2022 - End Date: Jun 18, 2022

My Travel Story

by: Hadar Cohen Start Date: Feb 19, 2022 - End Date: Jun 18, 2022
Dearest Visitor!

Thank you for coming to learn more about my dream travel journey to visit one of my homelands, Al-Andalus.

I desire to make pilgrimage to Al-Andalus for my 30th year. To me, this is both a personal journey of healing and spirituality, as well as a learning that is in service to the world. I teach mysticism and direct experience of God, and Al-Andalus has been calling me to return and deepen this learning, specifically to receive the teachings of Kabbalah. This sacred land knows so intimately both profound spiritual teachings, and the unspeakable violence done in the name of colonization. I feel a need to listen to her, and let her teach me this knowledge of spirituality in the face of violence. To learn how to decolonize everything, to undo white supremacy, to heal trauma. To return again. 

I was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardic / Mizrahi Jewish home. My ancestors come from all over the Middle East including Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine. But the lineage I feel most connected to is my Syrian-Jerusalem roots. Before landing in Aleppo, my people were in Al-Andalus - teaching and practicing the Word of God through Kabbalah and other forms of mysticism. It seemed like a lovely time - the devotional inquiry, the poetry & dance & music, & collaboration with other traditions, particularly Sufism. But then in 1492, an immense heartbreaking tragedy occurred and the Jews were expelled from Spain. 

My ancestors found their way from Spain to Greece to Turkey and finally landed in Syria. They mixed with the indigenous Jews there. And a few hundred years later came down to Jerusalem. 

I love this part of my lineage. This is my paternal grandfather's line. His name is Yitzchak Cohen and he was a chazzan - a prayer leader - in a small Syrian synagogue in Jerusalem. I loved him so much, but he passed away when I was quite young. I never got to directly learn from him about Jewish mysticism, and prayer and song. But throughout the years, he has been teaching me through Spirit. 

In his honor, I would like to make a pilgrimage to Al-Andalus. I would like to return, to remember, to reconnect. To learn what was lost there and to listen to the land. 

My work in the world weaves the spiritual with the political and this journey feels incredibly aligned with my offerings. A couple of years ago I launched a project, Jerusalem In Exile, which is a psychosomatic exploration of displacement, healing and rupture between land and body. 

I desire to return to Al-Andalus with these questions in my heart. What does it mean for the body to return to a land 500+ years later that it has known so intimately? What does the land remember and what memories does the body hold onto? These questions are essential for our time. 

The violence of 1492 wasn't just directed towards Jews, but also the beginning of the slave-trade, the rise of colonialism fueling Anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, and Anti-Semitism. As a world, we are still recovering from the impacts of these violences. 

What I have learned is that healing cannot happen outside of connection to land. And if we are to understand how to decolonize our bodies, we must also center the experience of land. 

To me, this work is essential and critical for our times. Particularly, I am thinking of my other home Jerusalem, who has suffered tremendously due to unhealed wounds. This trip is a dedication to my homeland Palestine, and in service to all homelands across this world. May we unite once more our bodies with our lands. 

Your support for this pilgrimage is deeply appreciated. 

With me in this journey, I will take the world in my heart.  

With love,
Hadar Cohen


  • Thank You So Much!

    Thank you all so much for supporting my journey! this support fills my heart up so much <3 I am deeply touched and very appreciative. Will definitely keep you updated about my trip which will hopefully take place during Elul / August / September time!