To enter Egypt using the Taba border crossing you need to get an Egyptian visa at the Consulate in Eilat.
This usually is quite easy with no problems. Same day service or at most 24 hours is the worst that I have heard.
At the Taba border crossing itself you can get only a Sinai visa.
People with a USA passport get a free visa at any Israel border crossing.
There are usually no complications crossing the Israel Egypt border, not even for Israelis or Egyptians.
Fondest memory: The hills of Judea.
Zvi Hillman was our guide for the VT Jerusalem 2008 meet and I had a chance to talk with him in between and afterwards. This is one informed and interesting gentleman. He was for a time the vice-director of the Israel Museum (the largest in Israel) and also lectured at several universities, including one we visited, the BYU (Brigham Young University) where we saw he was well received. During our visits to the places we visited he was totally informed, also about off the wall questions. He was also very flexible on the tour, if you finished early, it was on to the next spot, or if you wanted to spend more time, we would just change the schedule, all with the knowledge that we were seeing it like WE desired.
Fondest memory: His contacts are:
The Arabs of Abu Ghosh, it seems, have always had a flair for business. Back in the olden days, the Abu Ghoshs were a powerful Bedouin family that guarded the road from Ramleh to the gates of Jerusalem. Pilgrims who passed through had to pay a toll. In the mid-19th century, both the Turkish government and the monasteries in Jerusalem decided it was worth their while to pay the Abu Ghosh clan an annual fee.
For years, the main highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ran through Abu Ghosh. The inhabitants of the village have always maintained good relations with the Jews, and despite outside pressures, they have remained loyal to the state. That has also been good for business.
Arab villages are not exactly pristine, but the stone houses, perched every which way on the hills, surrounded by patches of Sabra cactus, do exude a kind of picturesque, biblical look that city-dwellers crave. The local eateries are thus very popular with Jerusalemites. On Friday afternoons and Saturdays, the narrow lanes of the village are clogged with cars.
Another calling card is the Abu Ghosh Music Festival, which attracts large crowds in the spring and fall. Musical ensembles and choirs from all over the world perform in Abu Ghosh, taking advantage of the wonderful acoustics in the church on the hilltop, Church Notre Dame d’Arche d’Alliance (Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant). According to Chronicles 13:5-8, this is the site of Kiryat Ye’arim, where the Ark of the Covenant stood for two years before King David took it to Jerusalem.
Ibrahim Jawdat represents the village’s connection to money in modern times. Jawdat, a native of Abu Ghosh, forked out $20 while living in Chicago, and won $22 million in the Illinois State Lottery. Returning to the village in 1992, he established a scholarship fund for university students – both Jewish and Arab - and opened a restaurant.
Favorite thing: There are many small places around Jerusalem that you can visit, wherever you go there will be something to see and to check for. There are places as Motza (Jewish), Abu Gosh (Arab) and Yad Ha Shmona (Finnish), which are just few examples of how global the culture is in this region.
Favorite thing: Jerusalem cosists of mainly three different areas. The historical part is called Old City that exists within the ancient wall. New City is outside the wall located in the western part of the city. New City is more modern and gives off the atmosphere of a Western city. The third part of Jerusalem is East Jerusalem puplated mostly by Palestinians.
Enclosed by the historical wall is the Old City, the holy part of the world. The Old City is divided into four quarters: The Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Muslim Quarter. Some parts of the Old City is quiet and serene. Other parts could be bustled with lively market scenes.
Fondest memory: I just never get tired of walking through the narrow alleys. There is a speical air in the Old City that enthralls people.
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