(State of Israel, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل, Medīnat Yisrā'el, Dawlat Isrāʼīl)
- Location: Western Asia
- Capital: Jerusalem
- Language(s): Hebrew, Arabic
- Population: 7,750,450
- Total Area: 21,200 sq km
- Currency: Shekel
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Although quite recent, wines have become quite popular in the country. In fact, there are kosher wines too.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 2.87 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Coffee
Forget all the conflict, Israel is a beautiful land. You need to visit the spectacular sites in the country before you can really appreciate the splendor and radiance of the holy land. The State of Israel was formed in 1948 and is a unique state in that it can be described as the only Jewish state on the planet. A land of incredible beauty, Israel has the following countries as neighbors: Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. Parts of Israel are the so-called occupied territories (the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank from Jordan). In the entire Middle East, Israel is the most developed nation.
As hinted earlier, Jews are the most predominant group in the country while just around a fifth of the population are Arabs. It is imperative at this juncture to state that not all the Jews residing in Israel were born there. A significant number migrated from Europe, the former Soviet Union, the United States and even African nations like Ethiopia. Expectedly, the most widely spoken languages in the country are Hebrew and Arabic. Among the immigrant population, Russian and Amharic (especially among Ethiopian Jews) are spoken. For religion, Israel can be described as a melting point for some of the world’s great religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. There is also a significant population of those who profess the Baha’i faith.
As stated earlier, Israel is a land of unparalleled beauty. One of the places that you need to visit is the Dead Sea. This scenic sea is the lowest point in the world, and is known for its being extremely salty. However, one thing that really fascinated with the Dead Sea is that you can float on it without sinking. You can also try the beaches along the Mediterranean Sea where you can sink your feet in fine sand and enjoy the fresh and unpolluted air of the sea. For those who love religious sites, the city of Nazareth (where Jesus Christ lived) is a fantastic place. As a matter of fact, Israel has numerous religious sites and the only problem you may have is where to go as you have many options.
Once you are in Israel, you need to get used to kosher food, and this is a meal that has been prepared in line with the laws of Judaism, and that means no pork. However, this does not in anyway diminish the delicious taste of the foods. One Jewish meal that I will like to take again is a kind of pancake called blintze. You also need to try out the boreka, a pastry full of vegetables and cheese or knafeh which is also made from cheese.
Coffee is widely consumed and you can also get minted tea at almost all the restaurants. For the lovers of wines, Israel has more than enough to offer you.
One of the most easily noticed feature of the Israeli culture is the emphasis on physical fitness and good living. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that sporting activities are quite popular in the country. Football, basketball and chess are some of the most popular sports in Israel.
- Israel is the only predominantly Jewish nation on earth.
- Some Israelis are actually Arab Muslims.
- Arabic is an official language in Israel.
- Israel has the highest standards of living in the region despite being one of the tiniest.
- Israel is home to some of the most sophisticated science laboratories and medical centers in the world.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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