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Safe for a jew to travel to Lebanon/Syria?

DanielVH

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  • Added on: July 2nd, 2005
Hey guys

To introduce myself: I'm an 18yo aussie male. I'm orthodox Jewish from a religious family (although not particularly religious myself). However, I don't really look Jewish particularly as my father is a converted Christian.

So, I'm wondering if it would be possible/safe for me to travel to Lebanon and/or Syria next year? I'm really interested in these countries and would also like to see the whole war over Israel from another perspective. Would I have to hide my religion and lie about it if anyone asked? And if people found out I was Jewish, would there be any consequences?

I would most likely be travelling solo.

Thanks a lot

Daniel

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  • Added on: July 2nd, 2005
Well, Saudi Arabia won't admit Jews, so scratch one country from your list.

The rest of them all differ a little from each other. If you don't wear your yamulke, sport Tefillin, wear a shawl, or insist on Kashrut food, you can probably travel all over without much trouble.

The good news is that most Halal food is in fact Kosher because they follow most of the same rules.

In fact, you'll find that there are many similarities in worship style between the ultra-orthodox jews and Islam. That's not to say that the content is the same.

I bet, however, if you travel to Palestine, you'll have to be a lot more careful, since they probably look carefully for Jews.

I really want to hear about your odyssey when you make it.
Good luck!
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Endless-Summer

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  • Added on: July 2nd, 2005
I haven't traveled to Syria, but I just got back from Lebanon and I've traveled to other countries in the Middle East. There's a lot of really bitter hatred for Israel, especially among Syrians and Lebanese. However, that anger doesn't translate to hating Jews. If you support most of Israel's policies, you probably should keep that to yourself. But don't have any fear of telling people that you're Jewish. I think most people will recognize you an Aussie first, and a Jew second.

There's another thread here entitled 'Traveling the Middle East with a Jewish Surname.' It's got a little flamey and got locked, but it might give you some good information.
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  • Added on: July 3rd, 2005
For what it's worth: Consider Turkey. A secular country with heaps to do, it also happens to be where groovy Aussie and Israeli backpackers go in droves. Plus, it's cheap.

DanielVH

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  • Added on: July 3rd, 2005
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Ehrlich:
For what it's worth: Consider Turkey. A secular country with heaps to do, it also happens to be where groovy Aussie and Israeli backpackers go in droves. Plus, it's cheap.


Yeah, I'm going there as well as part of my RTW trip. (Home->NZ->South America->Europe->Middle East->SE Asia->Home

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  • Added on: July 3rd, 2005
Is this RTW overland or just RTW? Because if I were you, I would grab a cheap flight from IST "over the hump" to India or Bangkok.

DanielVH

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  • Added on: July 3rd, 2005
quote:
Originally posted by Joe Ehrlich:
Is this RTW overland or just RTW? Because if I were you, I would grab a cheap flight from IST "over the hump" to India or Bangkok.


Parts will be overland. Parts will be flight.

Will fly from Perth to Auckland, then travel around new zealand. Fly from Auckland to Santiago. Fly out from either Buenos Aires or Rio. To London. Overland through Europe ending Greece. Fly to Istanbul. Fly to Middle East (trying to decide what to do with my middle east part atm). Fly to Bangkok. Fly to Perth

Zopa

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  • Added on: July 4th, 2005
i looooooove the sound of your flight path. (hows that for a come on?) could you give me an idea of how much that cost? (sorry to be tacky, but i would like to fly nz-south america routes on a possible rtw) thanks, zopa
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Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: July 5th, 2005
Why not make Persia(Iran) part of your itinerary from istanbul, since Iran directly borders Istanbul? It is, after all, one of the oldest empires in the world.
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

DanielVH

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  • Added on: July 7th, 2005
quote:
Originally posted by Zopa:
i looooooove the sound of your flight path. (hows that for a come on?) could you give me an idea of how much that cost? (sorry to be tacky, but i would like to fly nz-south america routes on a possible rtw) thanks, zopa


Well, I would probably be buying a RTW ticket which would cost around $2000 Australian (US$1500) excluding taxes.

Then for the actual trip expenses including overland travel, food, accomodation, "doing-stuff money" etc I havn't got an exact budget planned out, but I will have about AUD$35000 (US$26000) with the aim of spending less than that.

Basically, I'll travel for as long as the money lasts hoping to limit myself to AUD$20000 (US$15000).

And to Tortuga_traveller: Yeah, Iran looks like a cool place to visit. What's the safety situation there?

Daniel

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: July 9th, 2005
I haven't been there, though my brit friend found the people friendly as a rule, with no trouble.

They're a bit Anti-amrican govrenment wise, as you know. If you get a visa(usually one month) you can extend it in a major city, I'm told. Must get visa from country of origin. Not sure if Israelis have even the slightest chance.

Other people have said their embassies CAN take the money and refuse the visa, so don't count on it at this particular moment. Still, if you can, it would be priceless. Don't wear exterior signs of being Jewish, and you'll probably have no trouble at all.
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

Papaya

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  • Added on: July 10th, 2005
I've got a friend who is Jewish living and working in Jeddah so it seems it's not impossible.

World Traveller

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  • Added on: March 1st, 2006
I do not think many in the region care about your religion. If you carry an Israeli passport, then they will have a cow.

Aussie passport, you will be fine. I bet no one will even ask you your religion, because the majority think Australians are Christians.

As for bypassing Lebanon to go to Turkey, were droves of Jews and Aussie kids go, i disagree. Go for it, enjoy yourself, use your head and avoid talking politics or religion. That can be said just about anywhere.

World Traveller

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  • Added on: March 1st, 2006
Well, Saudi Arabia won't admit Jews, so scratch one country from your list.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tortuga, how would they know he is Jewish if he is using an Aussie passport?

Viaggero

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  • Added on: March 2nd, 2006
I looked into working in Saudi several times but didn't go through with it. However, all prospective employers tell you that you must first 'be approved' by the Saudis - they don't have to tell you why.

quote:
Tortuga, how would they know he is Jewish if he is using an Aussie passport?


To any of us who pay attention, many nationalities and ethnic groups have names unique or common to those groups. If the Saudis know these names, they won't let Cohens, Levines, Lipschitz, Rothschilds etc. in even with an Aussie passport if they don't want Jews entering.


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