Bethlehem Favorites

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    Palestinian Cuisine

    by machomikemd Written Sep 28, 2013
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    Favorite thing: Palestinian Cuisine is similar to Jordanian and Other Cuisines in the Levant like lebanese and turkish as Palestine was under several groups of conquerors and each type contributed to the cuisine and like in other middle eastern countries, a meal will begin with the typical Pita Bread and assortd Mezze (small servings of vegetables and creamy dips) composed of tahini, tabbouleh and more. then the meats like kofta or kebabs or shawarmas and even seafood dishes and follwed by a sweet dessert and then arabic tea.

    All of the dishes here are Halal.

    Fondest memory: Palestinian Cuisine is similar to other cuisines of the Levant.

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    Bethlehem

    by machomikemd Written Sep 28, 2013
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    Favorite thing: Bethlehem is part of Palestine! a lot of christians around the world still doesn't now this as they tend to think that the City of David is still Part Of Israel. Bethlehem has different meanings from Arabic and Hebrew, it is called the house of meat in Arabic and House of Bread in Hebrew. Bethlehem has a rich history besides being the birthplace of Jesus Christ as the town sits at the crossroads of history. The town is actually higher than Jerusalem and is situated about 7 kilometers south of Jerusalem, of which the district of Har Homa in Jerusalem is the Nearest Area to Bethlehem.. The town lies among the nooks and crannies of the Judean mountains.

    Fondest memory: according to wikipedia:

    Geography[edit]

    Bethlehem stands at an elevation of about 775 meters (2,543 ft) above sea level, 30 meters (98 ft) higher than nearby Jerusalem.[45] Bethlehem is situated on the southern portion in the Judean Mountains.

    The city is located 73 kilometers (45 mi) northeast of Gaza and the Mediterranean Sea, 75 kilometers (47 mi) west of Amman, Jordan, 59 kilometers (37 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv, Israel and 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) south of Jerusalem.[46] Nearby cities and towns include Beit Safafa and Jerusalem to the north, Beit Jala to the northwest, Husan to the west, al-Khadr and Artas to the southwest, and Beit Sahour to the east. Beit Jala and the latter form an agglomeration with Bethlehem and the Aida and Azza refugee camps are located within the city limits.[47]

    In the center of Bethlehem is its old city. The old city consists of eight quarters, laid out in a mosaic style, forming the area around the Manger Square. The quarters include the Christian al-Najajreh, al-Farahiyeh, al-Anatreh, al-Tarajmeh, al-Qawawsa and Hreizat quarters and al-Fawaghreh — the only Muslim quarter.[48] Most of the Christian quarters are named after the Arab Ghassanid clans that settled there.[49] Al-Qawawsa Quarter was formed by Arab Christian emigrants from the nearby town of Tuqu' in the 18th century.[50] There is also a Syriac quarter outside of the old city,[48] whose inhabitants originate from Midyat and Ma'asarte in Turkey.[51] The total population of the old city is about 5,000.[48]

    Climate[edit]

    Bethlehem has a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and cold winters. Winter temperatures (mid-December to mid-March) can be cold and rainy. January is the coldest month, with temperatures ranging from 1 to 13 degree Celsius (33–55 °F). From May through September, the weather is warm and sunny. August is the hottest month, with a high of 30 degrees Celsius (81 °F).

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    Bethlehem and Palestine Soft Drinks (Sodas)

    by machomikemd Written Sep 28, 2013
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    Favorite thing: Hey, Bethlehem is a touristy town so expect it to have all the creature comforts that a tourist or a person on a religious pilgrimage needs and one of these are softdrinks (or sodas as called in the United States) and the international soft drink companies have branches here at Palestinian West Bank and you can buy soft drinks everywhere like in convenience stores or at snack stalls and at restaurants (and they accept US Dollars in Restaurants here) and prices vary, depending on where you bought it as ordering it in restaurants costs more. average price of a small aluminum can of Soft Drink (coke, fanta, pepsi cola and more) is at NIS 3 to 5 at convenience stores and NIS 6 to 10 (or US $ 3) at restaurants.

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    Bottled Water in Bethlehem

    by machomikemd Written Sep 28, 2013
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    Favorite thing: like in any other country, Palestine has several bottled water companies that sells assorted bottled and mineral and sparkling water for locals and tourists. you can buy bottled water everywhere in Bethlehem and they come in different sizes and prices, as local restaurants here don't serve tap water, you must order bottled water or bring your own bottled water. a small 500 ml PET bottle of bottled water will cost NIS 2 at convenience stores and regular stalls and up to NIS 5 at restaurants. the larger 1 to 2 liter bottled water at NIS 7 to 12, depending on where you bought it. Restaurants in Bethlehem also accept Jordanian Dinar (JD) or US Dollars as payment for bottled water but give change in Israeli shekels or Jordanian dinars.

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    ATM's in Bethlehem

    by machomikemd Written Sep 27, 2013
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    Favorite thing: even is Palestine is still not a nation state, it has a number of Automated Teller Machines and Banks which are mostly from Middle East Banking Instituions with branches at Palestine and here in Bethlehem, there is a number of ATM machines from the banks branches at Manger Street and at the Bethlehem Mall and arount the Manger Square area that accepts International ATM consortiums like Cirrus, Maestro, Plus, Discover, etc. and they charge an international withdrawal fee of NIS 10 per transaction (whatever amount you withdraw) besides the banking charge that your local bank will charge you for the atm withdrawal.

    the banks will dispense New Israeli Shekels (NIS) as palestine does not have it's opwn currency yet.

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    Discount Coupons

    by machomikemd Written Sep 27, 2013
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    Favorite thing: to counteract the negative perceptions that the tour companies herd their pilgrims into apporved souvenir shops in bethlehem as to have a big commision, many of the approved souvenir shops give the christian pilgrims and walk in tourists going to their store discount coupons which you can use when buying assorted secular and religious items and artworks at their shops and the coupons offer from 5% to up to 20% discount on all items you purchased, depending on the store policy.

    Fondest memory: these stores even have iron grills and gate to keep away the nosy and pesky street sellers and touts. plus they give you free cup of lemon juice or arabic coffee and even have free wifi for the guests.

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    Dual Accepted Currencies: New Israeli Shekel (NIS)

    by machomikemd Written Sep 21, 2013
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    Favorite thing: Like what i've said, Palestine is a fledgeling Nation State and is still divided into Hamas Controlled Gaza Strip and the PLO Controlled West Bank and since it is not yet a recognized state, It has dual currencies which are accepted at the West Bank Areas, the Jordanian Dinar (JD) and the New Israeli Shekel (NIS) while in Gaza, they Accept the Egyptian Pound (LE) and the New Israeli Shekel (NIS).

    As most of the Tourists and Christian Pilgrims Going to Bethlehem are coming from Jerusalem rather than from Jordan, The New Israeli Shekel is more often used in Bethlehem although again Palestininians in the West Bank accepts both currencies and uses both currencies as mode of cash payments.

    The New Israeli Shekel (NIS) is divided into of 100 agorot (cents) and is composes of 1, 2, 5, 10 shekel coins (agorot) and 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekel paper money. The Israeli new shekel has been in use since 1 January 1986 when it replaced the Old Israeli shekel that was in usage between 24 February 1980 and 31 December 1985.

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    Dual Accepted Currencies: Jordanian Dinar (JD)

    by machomikemd Written Sep 20, 2013
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    Favorite thing: Palestine is a fledgleing Nation State and is still divided into Hamas Controlled Gaza Strip and the PLO Controlled West Bank and since it is not yet a recognized state, It has dual currencies which are accepted at the West Bank Areas, the Jordanian Dinar (JD) and the New Israeli Shekel (NIS).

    the Jordanian Dinar is the main Currency of Jordan and one of the Dual Currency of the Palestinian Parts of the West Bank. The current exhange rate of 1 Jordan Dinar (JD) is pegged at 1.40 US Dollar (US $). The dinar is divided into 10 dirham, 100 qirsh (also called piastres) or 1000 fils. The Banknotes are 1 dinar, 5 dinar, 10 dinar, 20 dinar and 50 dinar denominations and the coins are ½, 1 qirsh, 2½, 5, 10 piastres, ¼, ½, 1 dinar denominations.

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    Tourist Information

    by jacobzoethout Written Oct 23, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bethlehem Peace Centre

    Favorite thing: There is a tourist information office in the Bethlehem Peace Centre on Manger Square. A Swedish and Palestinian flag is hanging outside. They speak English, are helpfull, and hand out a map and brochure of the town.There is also a museum in the building.

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