Israel, Be'er Sheva and Rahat
Where a New Dawn calls home. Get to know our surroundings before you come!
Israel is a small, stable, prosperous yet diverse Middle Eastern country. It has a long coastline on the eastern Mediterranean Sea and a small window on the Red Sea. It is a Jewish Democracy with the three major monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all having historical ties to the region. Israel contains a vibrant modern history and culture, based in part on the diverse, immigrant origins of its inhabitants. As a result of the vast mix of culture, Russian, French, Spanish, Amharic and Yiddish are also spoken by a significant minority of Israelis in addition to the official languages of Hebrew and Arabic. English in many ways acts as second language. Israeli cuisine is as diverse as the population which makes it a rich gastronomic country. Food here is generally of a very high standard, and with immigrants from around the world means that almost every genre and type of food is available. Don’t miss out on staples like Hummus, Fallafal and Shawarma while you’re here, though!
Founded in the 10th century BCE, Be’er Sheva is known as the capital of the Negev Desert, and is one of Israel’s fastest growing cities. Be’er Sheva is located at the northern tip of the Negev Desert and is an hour’s train ride from downtown Tel Aviv. Many of Be’er Sheva’s residents are immigrants from Arab countries, Ethiopia, the Former Soviet Union. Be’er Sheva also boasts Israel’s largest population of Jews from India. Be’er Sheva is close to several nearby Bedouin communities and hosts a colorful open air Bedouin marketplace each Thursday. Finally, Be’er Sheva is home to Ben Gurion University, which has a large student population and a vibrant culture for young adults. Almost 20% of residents of Be’er Sheva are between the ages of 20-29!
Rahat is the largest Bedouin city in Israel with a population of 70,000 inhabitants. It is a modern city with all the amenities. Located in the center of town is the Bedouin market as well as a large cultural center. Arabic is the spoken language of the city and can be seen on the signs and buildings but people understand and speak Hebrew and English as well. Tasting the Shwarma and falafel are a must in Rahat, as are the chicken and rice and the desert knaffe.