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Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Birmingham, United...
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Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Hello All,

I plan to travel to Israel - Tel Aviv/Jerusulem/Dead Sea region in April. I need some advice. I am coming to visit for a week with my wife and stay in Tel Aviv couple days/ Jerusulem couple days and Dead Sea region couple days.

We are bith British Muslims and I was thinking that we might be treated unfairly and not respected as an individual.

I was wondering what places would people recommend me to stay at which is cost effective and not too expenssive. Also if there are any particular places that can be recommended to visit while we are here that would be fab!

Is there any places that people can recommend visiting please :)

Thanks All!

Jerusalem, Israel
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1. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Hello lifesatest!

First, congratulations for your first anniversary!

I have to say, you have a distorted image of Israel.

Israel is a free democracy. Israelis are very open and welcoming. 17% of the Israeli population are muslim.

You would be treated fairly and respectfully just like any other visitors.

You may expect some questions to be asked at the immigration booth at the airport in Israel before they let you in, but nothing more, just like British immigration asks incoming tourists at Heathrow.

Just come open minded, I think you will see for yourself.

First, check that your dates in April does not fall on Jewish holiday (this may affect your plans):

goisrael.com/tourism_eng/…20dates.aspx

Your plan is just fine. Take the first 2 day to enjoy Tel Aviv & the adjacent old city of Jaffa. Walk Tel Aviv's med-sea promenade and visit the "HaTachana" compund.

Later on, book the remaining days in Jerusalem. The Dead Sea is easy to get to from Jerusalem as a day trip.

In Jerusalem, tour the old city. Visti the temple mount (Haram al-Sharif) and adjacent al-aqsa mosque. If you are interested in seeing the sites of the other 2 Abrahamic religions - the western wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are a must.

You can explore the new city - Jaffa street and Ben Yehuda street.

You may want to visit the Israel Museum. The Islamic art museum in Jerusalem is also a good place to visit ( http://www.islamicart.co.il/en/ )

Mamilla pedestrian mall, just outside Jaffa gate of the old city is a great place to stroll at the evenings.

Rent a car to get to the Dead Sea, visit Masada and float on the waters at the beach.

There are a lot of options for budget accomodations. It depends on your how much is your budget per night. You can look at websites like Booking.com to get options and then ask here which hotel is better (by name).

Israel
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2. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Amos got you off to a good start. You really have nothjng to worry about. Many Muslims come to visit Israel every year, if you search the forum you will find discussions and feedback about this.

If you givw us an idea of your budget (in numbers, dollars, etc) we can make suggestions of the best places to stay.

One thing is sure, you will have a great time.

Mazal tov (congratulations) on your anniversary.

Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

I am very much looking forward to spending my anniversary here in Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities :) Thank you guys for the information.

I do have another worry which is I wouldnt want to have a Israeli stamp on my passport as I know theres muslim countries that I would like to visit in the next couple of years. I.e. Egypt, Bangladesh & Saudi Arabia. This would cause a massive problem if I have an Israeli stamp on mine and my misses passport as we would not be allowed in to the country.

Hope to hear back.

Edited: 27 February 2013, 14:55
israel
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4. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Just ask the border control not to stamp your passport.

Israel
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5. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

To expand on Shoshi's answer - before you hand over your passports, request that they not be stamped. There is a provision for this - you may be asked why you are making this request - just answer calmly. You should have no problems.

BTW - Egypt will not deny you entry with an Israeli stamp, neither will Jordan - all the rest of the Muslim countries will not allow you in.

Birmingham, United...
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6. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Thanks Shoshi & Oreets greately appreciate your help and advice.

NYC/Israel
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7. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

IN terms of the passport stamp. Last time I entered--mid January they did NOT stamp my passport. Instead I got a small VISA with the first page of my passport duplicated. ( and my passport has dozens of Israeli stamps in it) This seems to be something new. When I had entered 3 weeks earlier I DID get the stamp. When I leave in a few days, I am going to see if I can get any information about what is going on re: passport stamps. If so--I'll report back.

I also wanted to expand on Amos's comments that you will be asked security questions. As Muslims you may be asked additional questions. ( hopefully you understand why) Security asks questions and repeats questions and some of the questions seem non-sensical. They are monitoring how you respond as well as what you say. Cool, calm and respectful means they will quickly pass you on. If you get annoyed, show attitude or worse--they will keep on asking. BTW last year a friend came to Israel for the first time in 40 years. It was the first time this Jewish middle-aged women had done such a large trip on her own. She was very very nervous ( by her own admission) Security picked up on this and she did get extra questions and it took a little longer. BUT--she just went with the flow and entered, no problems. You can too.

Birmingham, United...
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8. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

most if not all of the replies here are from non muslims. i can tell you for a fact that you will be treated unfairly and inhumanely at the borders for no other reason than the fact that you are a muslim. i know many people that go to Palestine and are only granted entry after several hours of interrogation. one brother was at the border for 11 hours before being granted entry. this included a 2 hour interrogation. another brother said similar but he was made to wait 7 hours.

honestly, for an anniversary I would advise you to go somewhere else. its just not worth the hassle, unless you have your heart set on praying at the Aqsa.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

adam2pac- more second hand stories with only a very limited background. There are lots of reasons people get questioned but if you are coming just as a tourist, there should be no problem. People who come to stir up trouble or become politically active or work without a visa can expect long questioning and maybe not to be let in. Canada does the same thing by the way as does Britain. My husband has been treated pretty shoddily at British customs. This couple has the opportunity for a lovely visit and anniversary in Israel. They are choosing a very standard tourist trip.

You can check the forums from reports from Moslem families who said their fears were unwarranted. They are first hand reports from Moslems who visit Israel.

Edited: 25 March 2013, 04:02
NYC/Israel
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10. Re: Muslim Couple - 1 Year Anniversary! (First time)

Have to agree with what Annmejoshme just wrote. Loads and loads of stories, none first person. If you are coming to spend your anniversary and that is the only reason you are coming you will have no problems. While I live part time in Israel I usually spend a week at the Dan Panorama, in Jerusalem--that is my vacation. The Dan is a mainstream hotel chain. On more than one occasion there have been Muslim guests--and they were treated beautifully--frequently conversing with the Muslim staff in Arabic. There are Muslims all over Israel. They are in the same stores, buses, malls, restaurants and trains as Jews are. No body bothers them. --

Please come and please after you return to Britian, come back and tell us how it went!