Florentin in Tel Aviv

9 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Harvey Sapir/cc-by-2.5

© Harvey Sapir/cc-by-2.5

Florentin is a neighborhood in the southern part of Tel Aviv, Israel, named for Solomon Florentin, a Greek Jew who purchased the land in the late 1920s. Development of the area was spurred by its proximity to the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway.   read more…

The Palestinian Museum in Birzeit

29 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  8 minutes

The Palestinian Museum © I Love Falastin/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palestinian Museum © I Love Falastin/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palestinian Museum is a flagship project of the Welfare Association, a non-profit organization for developing humanitarian projects in Palestine. Representing the history and aspirations of the Palestinian people, the museum aims to discuss the past, present, and future of Palestine. The Museum in Birzeit (25 km north of Jerusalem) opened on 18 May 2016, despite not having any exhibits. The inaugural exhibition “Jerusalem Lives” was opened on 26 August 2017. On 29 August 2019, the museum received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.   read more…

Ramat Gan in Israel

7 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  6 minutes

Diamond Exchange Center from Azrieli Center © flickr.com - Ted Eytan/cc-by-sa-2.0

Diamond Exchange Center from Azrieli Center © flickr.com – Ted Eytan/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ramat Gan is a city in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, located east of the municipality of Tel Aviv and part of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. It is home to one of the world’s major diamond exchanges, and many high-tech industries. Ramat Gan was established in 1921 as a moshav shitufi, a communal farming settlement. In 2022 it had a population of 171,000.   read more…

Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth

3 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Catholic Mass in the Grotto of the Annunciation (lower church) © Berthold Werner

Catholic Mass in the Grotto of the Annunciation (lower church) © Berthold Werner

The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes also referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a Catholic church in Nazareth, in northern Israel. It was established over what Catholic tradition holds to be the site of the house of the Virgin Mary, and where the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, Jesus – an event known as the Annunciation.   read more…

Jenin in the West Bank

22 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Almonroth/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Almonroth/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jenin is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate of the State of Palestine and is a major center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, Jenin had a population of approximately 40,000 people, whilst the Jenin refugee camp had a population of 10,000. Jenin is under the administration of the Palestinian National Authority (as part of Area A of the West Bank). As in other areas of Palestine, the living conditions of the population have deteriorated significantly since the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in 2000. It suffers from the closure of the areas, many buildings are destroyed, unemployment is high (about 80%).   read more…

Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv

8 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Gideon.shapira/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Gideon.shapira/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Ben-Gurion House is a historic house museum in Tel Aviv, which served as the family home of pre-State Zionist leader and then first Defense and Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, between 1931 and 1953. Until his death in 1973 it continued serving as an additional residence, along with two others, one private – “Ben-Gurion’s hut” at Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev (known as his desert home), and the official residence as Prime Minister of Israel during his multiple terms as head of government. The latter, known as Julius Jacobs House, is located in Rehavia, West Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion House is located at 17, Ben-Gurion Boulevard in northern Tel Aviv.   read more…

Ariel in Palestine

22 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ariel University Center © Ori~

Ariel University Center © Ori~

Ariel is an urban Israeli settlement organized as a city council in the central West Bank, Palestine, part of the Israeli-occupied territories, approximately situated between 17 kilometres (11 mi) and 22 kilometres (14 mi) east of the Green Line, and 34 kilometres (21 mi) west of the Jordan River, Jordan‘s western border. Ariel is adjacent to the Palestinian National Authority town of Salfit and southwest of Nablus. It is approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Petah Tikva, and 42 kilometres (26 mi) east of Tel Aviv to which it is connected by the Highway 5 and 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Jerusalem, to which it is connected by Highway 60. Ariel was first established in 1978 and its population was 20,540 in 2019, composed of veteran and young Israelis, English-speaking immigrants, and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, with an additional influx of above 10,000 students from Ariel University. It is the fourth largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, after Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit, and Ma’ale Adumim. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. Ariel’s jurisdiction spans 14,677 dunams (14.677 km²; 5.667 sq mi), and borders the Palestinian towns and villages Salfit, Marda and Iskaka. According to B’Tselem, within Ariel’s municipal area there are several enclaves of privately owned Palestinian land, whose owners are not allowed access to them.   read more…

Port of Haifa

15 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Port of Haifa © flickr.com - Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

Port of Haifa © flickr.com – Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

The Port of Haifa is the largest of Israel‘s three major international seaports, the others being the Port of Ashdod, and the Port of Eilat. It has a natural deep-water harbor, which operates all year long, and serves both passenger and merchant ships. It is one of the largest ports in the eastern Mediterranean in terms of freight volume and handles about 30 million tons of cargo per year (not including Israel Shipyards’ port). The port employs over 1,000 people, rising to 5,000 when cruise ships dock in Haifa. The Port of Haifa lies to the north of Haifa‘s downtown quarter on the Mediterranean, and stretches to some three kilometres along the city’s central shore with activities ranging from military, industrial and commercial next to a nowadays-smaller passenger cruising facility.   read more…

Nakba Day

15 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  13 minutes

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Nakba (lit.: “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs. The term is also used to describe the ongoing persecution, displacement, and occupation of the Palestinians, both in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. The foundational events of the Nakba took place during and shortly after the 1947–1949 Palestine war, including 78% of Mandatory Palestine being declared as Israel, the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians, the related depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages and subsequent geographical erasure, the denial of the Palestinian right of return, the creation of permanent Palestinian refugees and the “shattering of Palestinian society”. The most important long-term implications of the Nakba for the Palestinian people were the loss of their homeland, the fragmentation and marginalization of their national community, and their transformation into a stateless people.   read more…

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