Holyland; despite Long War in Israel No Single Tourist Has Been Hurt

Manila Bulletin, September 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Holyland; despite Long War in Israel No Single Tourist Has Been Hurt


RAnd with that sense of familiarity and closeness to the heart, I continued to unravel the beauty of the Holy Land. Eva Yaron, my efficient and expeditious tour guide, brought me to Yad Vashem in Mount Herzel. The place boasts of the new museum complex that features the holocaust history. The museum presents the story of the holocaust from a Jewish perspective, with the individual stories highlighted in the unfolding historical narrative. Using more than 2,500 authentic artifacts including testimonies, photographs, film clips, works of art, and even music collected by Yad Vashem over the last 50 years, the museum weaves more than 90 personal accounts into the thematic and historic narrative, thus telling the story of the holocaust through the voice of the individual.

My trip would have not been complete without a visit to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, where I met Brig. Gen. Ephrain Sneh, who heads the Labor Party contingent in the legislature. Gen. Sneh further enlightened me on the stable political and security situation in the country.

Finally, I also had the chance to visit Jerusalem, Israel's capital and perhaps the holiest of cities in the world as it is the focal point of three great religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Four thousand years have passed since King David conquered it and 2,000 years since Jesus walked its narrow passageways, Jerusalem remains an enchanting city, gloriously situated in its mountainous throne, merging daily life with spirituality.

Jerusalem still has a lot to offer tourists from all over the world. They are yet to encounter many unique sights, both ancient and modern. Fascinating sights include the ruins from the First and Second Temple periods, Byzantine churches, Crusader fortresses, Mameluk buildings, houses of the renovated Jewish neighborhood, mosques, synagogues, places of Torah study, and more.

Indeed, Jerusalem is unique, offering something special to every tourist, guaranteeing a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It has a rich and amazing history that continuously evolves, coupled with breathtaking views that make it perhaps the most fascinating city in the world.

Indeed, the story of Jerusalem has many interpretations for various people that the city habitually brings about different meanings in every individual. Truly, it is like a good book open to subjective analysis. For instance, some people regard Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall, with its smart shops and cafA[c]s, as the city center while others consider the Old City Market that extends from the Jaffa Gate towards the Western Wall and the Temple Mount as the real center. …

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