Dome of the Rock?

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Mar 11th, 2006, 09:18 AM
  #1
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Dome of the Rock?

We are looking into a tour (SmarTours) to Israel in Oct or Nov '06, and it does not include the Dome. Is it possible to visit on outr own?
Weather ?
Thanks for your help - these boards a rebetter than the guide books!
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Mar 11th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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africnow
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The Dome of the Rock can be visited by non-Muslims on most weekday mornings (not Fridays). You must bring your passport/ID with you.

If you are a Muslim then there is a separate entrance and you can visit at any time. You need proof of your religion in that case.

The regular tourist entrance is via the same gate that leads to the Western Wall. There are both public buses and taxis to the area. If you are in the Old City area anyway, it is a nice walk through the shuk (market place).

October is still warm, but highly changable with the possibility of sand storms. November is cool, jacket/sweater weather. There is a chance of rain - hopefully!

Do be aware of Yom Kippur: 1 - 2 October and the Sukkot holiday 6 - 8 October. On those dates there is no public transportation and all shops and restaurants are closed. Only your own tour bus will take you places that you can see in the non-Jewish areas.

Welcome and Enjoy!
 
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Mar 15th, 2006, 08:27 AM
  #3
 
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When we visited last year, we were able to walk around the outside of the Dome of the Rock, but were told we were not able to enter at all. Has that changed?
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Mar 16th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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africnow
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Explanations:

1. You cannot go into the Mosque itself unless you are Muslim.

2. You can visit the square in front of the Mosques and walk around that area *usually*.

3. Visits by non-Muslim tourists is permitted on week day mornings only.

4. No visits except for Muslims on Fridays.

5. All of the above may be changed at any time for reasons of security and w/o previous notice.

Hope that makes things a bit more clear.
 
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Mar 16th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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This is not indented to be a smarty-pants question, but how does one go about providing "proof of your religion?"
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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The "proof of religion". I was told onmce that for certain places you need to bring an approving letter from a recognized mosque. OR, that before going on a trip, you had to send this letter and your passport to 'someplace' and get a special stamp in the passport.

I asked about this on a Usenet group when discussing the Hajj and going to Mecca. Non-Muslims are not not allowed to go to Mecca and Medina. In fact it is hard to even get to Saudi Arabia at all if you are non-Muslim. I was told at the entrance for Mecca and Medina they check your passport for the special stamp.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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By the way, certain stricty Muslim countries will not allow you in if there is a stamp for Israel in your passport... I imagine unless you went there, you are a certified Muslim aand you went there to see the Dome of the Rock.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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africnow
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Oh dear Pandora's box.

Yes, some extreme Islamic countries and some others will not permit you to enter with an Israeli visa in your passport. This includes also Syria and Lebanon because there is still a state of war between them and Israel. Some countries will "wink" at an Israeli stamp, most notably Dubai in the UAE.

Israel is familiar with the problem. If at immigration you request that they don't stamp your passport because you want to visit any of these countries, 99% of the time that request will be respected. Of course there is that other 1% when you hit a contrary immigration agent...

Re proof of religion. Either you must have a letter from your Imam or be a citizen of an Islamic country. They also ask you questions to test your knowledge of Islam. Some historians and others with the knowledge and the connections have been known to get in even though they themselves are not Muslims. It is not as strict as trying to visit Medina or Mecca.
 
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Mar 26th, 2006, 04:34 PM
  #9
 
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If you are carrying around a Bible, leave it at the hotel before going to the Temple Mount. My husband had his confiscated when they searched his bag. They don't want anyone offended up there. It's not a big deal- just a warning.
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Mar 28th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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I was in Israel recently....have been home less than a week. A week ago yesterday the group I was with (a Christian group) was treated to an excellent tour of the Temple Mount, (THANKS AGAIN, SUZANNE!) but, we were not allowed into the Dome of the Rock etc.

Kathy
Paragon, Indiana, USA
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