Islam

Playing Indiana Jones

Smitten.  That’s what I was from the moment I saw Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981.  I mean, seriously… weren’t you? Harrison Ford and archaeology became intertwined and favorites in my world. I even applied to study archaeology at the Hebrew Universtiy in Jerusalem in 1983, which never happened,  and has remained one of my life’s …

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Israel is so much more than the sum of its parts. This piece was difficult to write. Difficult to digest. Difficult to explain. But I’m giving it a shot because its been on my mind for over two months and I feel it helps me understand why I love this country so much. Its been …

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A Miracle of Life in the Galilee

One of the reasons I moved to the Galilee a little over three years ago was because of the diversity and daily multicultural encounters we experience here. Jews, Bedouins, Arab Muslims, Arab Christians, Circassians, Druze… we all live side by side in a fragile co-existence that defies the odds. Our small community of Hannaton is …

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An Insignificant Hill

Looking out my front porch, I enjoy oaks and pines, vast olive groves, a beautiful Beit Netofah valley floor checkered with shades of green and brown agricultural fields,  two mountain ranges dotted with Bedouin villages and a small, green hill in the middle of it all. In Israel, however, one can never make assumptions or …

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You Just Never Know What’s Down There – the fascinating story of the Hospitaller citadel in Acco

There is a law in Israel that states that when you start digging (to build a house, to clear a field, to fix a plumbing problem) and you come upon strange looking artifacts or stones (which happens VERY often), you must contact the Antiquities Authority immediately. They arrive and start a salvage archaeological dig… because …

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The Jewel in the Negev Crown

As I mentioned before,  Lonely Planet, the world famous travel magazine, picked the Negev as the second most desirable world region to visit for 2013, not only for its sheer beauty, but also for the variety of interesting places, fascinating history, diverse people and the many adventures and quiet meditative moments one can experience here. And now, after …

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They should have spelled it ‘Mamsheet’…

Funny how some Hebrew names just do not sound well in English. Take  for example the boy’s name Dror,  or the girl’s name Osnat, beautiful names in Hebrew, but in English? No.   Such is the fate of an amazing place in the northern Negev called Mamshit. Let’s get one thing straight, it should have …

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Truly Extraordinary

When in Israel for the first time, or the second, or fifth, one tends to visit the same ol’ places: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Safed, Caesaria… and there is nothing wrong with that. Great places, wonderful experiences. However, I  invite you to begin exploring a truly extraordinary region, a desert  unique in its beauty, its …

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On being part of a UNESCO biosphere…

My friend and colleague Ihab is a funny guy, very smart, but most of all, he is a knowledgeable, proud member of the Druze faith and I find him absolutely fascinating. The other day our Tour Guide class was exploring Mount Carmel, the mountain famous for hosting the city of Haifa on its ridge.  We toured the …

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