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Touring Israel
By Shira Reich, Scholastic Student Reporter


Masada, an ex-fortress on the Dead Sea.
(Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
There are a thousand reasons to visit Israel. The best reason, I believe, is that you won't find another place with such a combination of history and modern life.

There aren't many places where you can go within minutes from a bazaar to an amusement park, from ancient excavations to modern art museums, from a holy place to a discotheque.

Almost everywhere, you can see a fascinating mix of people: religious and unreligious, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Circassian (among others).

The most special sight for me are the Kibbutzim. These are small farming communities where people live a simple life. They remind me the American Amish, although they are more modern. They work for the community and in return get a house, food, and basic needs.

As a country with many children, you can find in Israel a huge variety of attractions, some of them more "serious" (but not boring) activities such as following the footsteps of Jesus (Nazareth, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee), Muhammad, and King David (East Jerusalem). Some are less serious, such as dancing at a discotheque (with special parties for teenagers), enjoying the beaches, and shopping in open markets where you can find international, local and Asian goods, with price bargaining, shouts and colorful characters and merchandise.

You can find the Israeli mix even in the food. From the familiar fast foods to more local—and to my opinion more tasty—foods such as falafel (fried balls of chick peas and vegetables in pita bread).

So what are you waiting for? Come to Israel and have fun.