University of Haifa International School Student Blog
I am going to make you all laugh. I started this post late Tuesday night because I had some extra time and thought “Hey, why not?” I was almost finished with my post when I decided to finish the post the following day. Inferably, I hit “Save” before shutting down my laptop. After I bought my iced coffee this morning, I decided to go back to add, edit, and revise my post. Well, I was unaware that my previous post did not save because I had not changed the status on my posts to “Draft.” With that said, I have to rewrite my entire post…Bear with your girl.
Before I go in depth about my travels and adventures in Haifa, Israel, I would like to discuss my thoughts. Haifa is a unique city. The city rests upon a gorgeous landscapes filled with hills, which extend out to the Mediterranean Sea, but Haifa’s uniqueness goes beyond its aesthetics. Thus far, I have seen that Haifa is a rather integrated city. What do I mean by – integrated? From my observations, I have noticed many Israeli Jews and many Arabs, who seem to live harmoniously amongst each other. There is interaction amongst both ethnicities, and I find this interaction quite liberating. After the recent conflict this summer, I was unsure as to what I was going to expect in Israel. I did not know if the tensions would be prevalent amongst the Israeli Jews and the Arabs. Before my departure, I expected the worst – I expected that there could be sudden outbursts between both ethnicities. I expected both ethnicities to be outwardly fighting with each other. All in all, you can say that I expected the worst. However, my expectations have not become a part of my reality. Throughout my time in Haifa, I have realized that the city’s culture is an amalgamation of both Israeli Jews and the Arabs. This combination of ethnicities makes the city a vivacious place – A city filled with hospitality, warmth, and friendliness. You can speak to locals with either Hebrew or Arabic without hesitation. You can have a conversation with an Israeli Jew and an Arab simultaneously. All in all, I think the Haifa residents deserve a great deal of credit – for they can live in unison with one another in an amicable manner.
En route to Haifa, Israel
As I walked off the plane, I immediately felt the crisp, warm air. I thought to myself – “Wow, I cannot believe that Israel is temporary home for the next three months.” I headed straight to the bagged claim and then into customs check. I met up with my resident director, and we headed to Haifa. When we arrived in Haifa, we checked in to a welcoming hostel called the Port Inn. During this time, I met the other members of my study abroad group. We spent our evening at a local restaurant (await for my upcoming post about the healthy and nutritious variety in Israel) and participated in Haifa nightlife. We spent the next two days traveling throughout Haifa. My favorite part of those days was exploring Carmel Center and Carmel Beach. On that same night, we went to the Haifa Film Festival and explored more of the illustrious city.
The following day, we departed for the hills of Jish and participated in a
light intense hike through Masada. Oh…and we were invited crashed an Arab wedding. Surprisingly, the people were very friendly to us and welcome us, party crashers, with open arms. The daytime festivities concluded with a trip to Rosh-Hanikra – an area which borders Lebanon. We learned about the legend of the caves of Rosh-Hanikra and traveled deep into the beautiful grottos.
We spent our night at the Clil Guest House and spent the evening in Galilee. The next morning, my study-abroad group headed to Haifa University…