My first impressions of Israel

There would only be a handful of places that can evoke as many emotions as Israel does. Its breathtaking landscapes, cultural history as old as tales can go, the eerie stillness of the deserted landscapes and the far north, the ancient streets of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and the cultural kaleidoscope that the cities are, and…

Inside ancient Jaffa

It’s a balmy evening on Jaffa’s sea-front and I’m in a busy restaurant overlooking the ocean and a jumble of small fishing boats out for their daily catch. The table is spread with a feast of salads, and on the side is pita bread with the most loved Israeli recipe hummus. On the promenade in…

Masada: A fortress of myth

In the midst of that almost Martian landscape emerges the fortress of Masada, like a mirage in the Judean desert. A barren landscape, the Dead Sea in the distance, and perched on the top of a mountain, a centuries-old fortress holding tales of a fall of a Judea empire and rise of a Roman one.

The gay abandon of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is young, hip, liberal, and a city always bombilating with energy. The high octane vibe of the city is always, almost tangible. And as the day sets over the Mediterranean coast, the walkway of Tel Aviv pulsates with its famous residents, and the start-up city jumps and jives as the music from the…

Haifa and its many ideas

Haifa, the sun-splashed metropolis, some half an hour from the historic city of Akko, has a hip side to itself which waits to be discovered. Perched between two important destinations of the biblical significance, Nazareth and Akko, Haifa rarely figures as a tourist destination and is treated more as a stop-over. Until recently, Haifa was…

Within the walls of Jerusalem

Before Columbus, they say, Jerusalem was thought of as the center of Earth. Today, the treasured, sacred lands of Jerusalem, where the three monotheistic religions found their roots, still remains the center, albeit of multicultural dialogues and global diplomacy. The fabled walls of the holy land enclose a tangle of sacred buildings, a colourful bazaar,…