Negev in Israel

25 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Arad © Neukoln/cc-by-sa-3.0

Arad © Neukoln/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The region’s largest city and administrative capital is Beersheba, in the north. At its southern end is the Gulf of Aqaba and the resort city of Eilat. It contains several development towns, including Dimona (Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center), Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as a number of small Bedouin cities, including Rahat and Tel as-Sabi and Lakyah. There are also several kibbutzim, including Revivim and Sde Boker; the latter became the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, after his retirement from politics.   read more…

Nazareth, home town of Jesus

1 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Grotto of Annunciation © Ramessos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Grotto of Annunciation © Ramessos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nazareth is the largest city in the Northern District of Israel. Nazareth is known as “the Arab capital of Israel”. Nazareth Illit (lit. “Upper Nazareth”), declared a separate city in June 1974, is built alongside old Nazareth. In the New Testament, the town is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events. With the exception of the Old City, the two Nazareths are architecturally uninspired, as are most of the other development towns of Israel, too. In March 2010, the Israeli government approved a $3 million plan to develop Nazareth’s tourism industry. New businesses receive start-up grants of up to 30 percent of their initial investment from the Ministry of Tourism.   read more…

Al-Karak in Jordan

5 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean

Al-Karak and Kerak Castle © Berthold Werner/cc-by-3.0

Al-Karak and Kerak Castle © Berthold Werner/cc-by-3.0

Al-Karak, known in the Kingdom of Jerusalem as Kerak, is a city in Jordan known for its Crusader castle, the Kerak Castle. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria. Al-Karak is the capital city of the Karak Governorate. Al-Karak lies 140 kilometres (87 mi) to the south of Amman on the ancient King’s Highway. It is situated on a hilltop about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded on three sides by a valley. Al-Karak has a view of the Dead Sea. A city of about 32,000 people has been built up around the castle and it has buildings from the 19th-century Ottoman period. The town is built on a triangular plateau, with the castle at its narrow southern tip.   read more…

Jesus Trail in Israel

24 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Walking the Jesus Trail near Nazareth © Zeromancer44/cc-by-sa-3.0

Walking the Jesus Trail near Nazareth © Zeromancer44/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Jesus Trail is a 65 km (40 mi) hiking and pilgrimage route in the Galilee region of Israel that traces the route Jesus may have walked, connecting many sites from his life and ministry. The main part of the trail begins in Nazareth and passes through Sepphoris, Cana (Kafr Kanna), the Horns of Hattin, Mount Arbel Cliffs, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Tabgha, and the Mount of Beatitudes. An alternate return route passes by Tiberias, the Jordan River, Mount Tabor, and Mount Precipice. The Jesus Trail runs within the 1967 border.   read more…

Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv

13 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries, Union for the Mediterranean

© Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

© Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

The Yitzhak Rabin Center is a library and research center in Tel Aviv, Israel, built in memory of assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.   read more…

Expo Tel Aviv

18 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Dr. Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

© Dr. Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

Expo Tel Aviv (formerly the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center and later the Tel Aviv Convention Center, although commonly referred to locally as Exhibition Gardens and also as the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds) is a site located on Rokach Boulevard in northern Tel Aviv. It serves as a venue for a variety of events, including concerts, exhibitions, trade fairs and conferences.   read more…

Mahane Yehuda Market in West Jerusalem

8 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Sir kiss

© Sir kiss

Mahane Yehuda Market (Shuk Mahane Yehuda), often referred to as “The Shuk“, is a marketplace (originally open-air, but now partially covered) in West Jerusalem. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market’s more than 250 vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; and housewares, textiles, and Judaica.   read more…

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre

6 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Maurice07/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Maurice07/cc-by-sa-3.0

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre, also known as Şişli Kültür ve Ticaret Merkezi (Şişli Culture and Trade Centre) is a modern shopping mall located on the Büyükdere Avenue in the Şişli district of Istanbul. Opened on 15 October 2005, Istanbul Cevahir was the largest shopping mall in Europe in terms of gross leasable area between 2005 and 2011, and is one of the largest in the world.   read more…

Union for the Mediterranean: Bon voyage!

12 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

Union for the Mediterranean © AndrewRT/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East (the western and middle part of the Middle East & North Africa region (MENA)) and Southeast Europe. It was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries’ socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities—regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries. The region has 756 million inhabitants and is scenic, architecturally and culturally very diverse. Cities, lakes, mountains, beaches and national parks offer everything that promises fun, recreation and perfect vacations. The cultural offers are numerous. In addition to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, there are numerous galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. Of course, there are plenty of shopping and entertainment possibilities. However, holiday pleasure is not untroubled in all countries. At present, Syria and Libya in general, Mauritania (Sahara and Sahel) and Lebanon (North Lebanon and the border regions to Syria and Israel), Palestine (Gaza Strip) should be partly avoided. In all other countries of the Levant and North Africa, increased caution, vigilance and prudence are recommended. At the end of each country portrait is a link to the U.S. Department of State, in order to be able to find out about the current security situation on the ground.   read more…

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