June 2013
Stephen Rubin

Banner Icon MIDDLE EAST HISTORY From unique Mamluk designs to the best hummus in the Old City, Stephen Rubin takes us on a tour of the area surrounding the iconic Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

There is nothing better than starting a day in Jerusalem at the Dome of the Rock  / Temple Mount / Al Aqsa Compound / Solomon’s Temple / al-Haram-ash-Sharif (Arabic) / Har Habayit (Hebrew) or whatever you want to call the disputed holy site and location where security-policy wonks would probably give favorable odds to anyone wanting to make a bet on where World War III will erupt.


Stephen Rubin

Here’s what you should do in Ramla:

Set aside about six to eight hours, which include multiple coffee stops and post hummus relaxation.

You can get a map with all places on interest on the city’s website:


Most of the sites in Ramla can be reached by walking from place to place.  If you decide to use public transportation or a cab, you will never be more than a few minutes away from your next destination.

Go on the website of the municipality (http://www.ramla.muni.il) to get updates about opening-closing times.  You will need to schedule your visit in advance for the following sites: Al-Omari Mosque, the White Mosque and White Tower, the Karaite Synagogue and the Franciscan Church of Joseph of Arimathea. More

Stephen Rubin

If you’ve been to Israel before, we know you’ve experienced religion and politics in Jerusalem, hangovers on the beach in Tel Aviv, floating while reading a newspaper on the Dead Sea and getting lost in the confusing cityscape of Haifa.

There’s also a good possibility you’ve enjoyed an afternoon of Protest Tourism – or Occupation Tourism, as uniquely coined by activists operating in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

So, at this point, we’re assuming your back for round 2, and eventually rounds 3,4,5 and 6! Your next trip is the perfect time for a stop in Ramla.

Located in the Ayalon valley on the way from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and resting between the Coastal Plain and Judean Lowlands, Ramla offers an excellent look at multicultural coexistence in a land wobbling on tightrope of ethnic, religious, and political enigmas. More