Tours to Middle East

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Mar 22nd, 2004, 09:04 AM
  #1
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Tours to Middle East

I am thinking of taking a trip to the Middle East next year after I sit for my state's bar exam. I am having a hard time though finding any online tour groups that go to the three places I would like to see (Jordan, Israel & Egypt). If anyone knows of any, please share.

Also, I am a blond-hair, blue-eyed American female, are there any safety problems I should be aware of or would I be ok as long as I'm traveling with a tour group?

Thanks!
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 02:35 PM
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sandi
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kelly991 - what does blong-hair, blue eyes have to do with anything, let alone being female? Certainly won't make much difference in Israel, and surprisingly we saw lots of Egyptian and even Jordanian women as "blonds" - no more need be said.

As to safety, well, that is very personal, and while Israel shouldn't be a problem, realize that the other two are Muslim countries and certain modesty of dress have to be considered. No you won't have to cover up in a "burka", but no abbreviated clothing and have a head covering in all three countries for visits to mosques, synagogues and maybe even churches. A single women might get hassled somewhat (overly friendly, not negatively) in Jordan or Egypt, but if you arrange your sightseeing with a guide/driver it shouldn't be a concern. And, as in any strange/different/new environment, take normal precautions to know where you're going, be aware who is around you, etc. etc. - common sense.

As to group tours you might want to check:
www.isram.com (located in NYC)
www.gate1.com (located in Penna)

both companies do tours to all three countries. They might have a trip that includes all three, but it's more likely if they do, something might be left out if you're trying to work in a 2-week time-frame.

Check their sites, see what they offer, and contact them personally. You might have to do 3-packages combined into 1, but it can be done.

All three countries are interesting with amazing sights, friendly and warm people.
 
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 03:12 PM
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I wondered about the issue of looking more of Northern European heritage - whether that would make a difference. Then I realized that concept was silly - even if I had dark hair, darker skin - there was no way anyone would mistake me for a native of a Middle Eastern country. My daughter (age 11 at time of our trip) drew some attention from school girls since she has curly blond hair - but no connection to hassle factor. I believe that with appropriate dress and a certain "don't hassle me" air, it is only a minor issue, at most. Far more annoying are pushy vendors.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 02:37 AM
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when we traveled in egypt and jordan in 2002 many of the locals approached us to see up close and touch my 5 year old daughters curly blond hair. the people we experienced were very friendly.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:34 AM
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As a blonde haired, blue-eyed American female living in the Middle East, I can tell you that you'll certainly attract some stares, especially in Egypt. As long as you don't draw attention to yourself by wearing less than modest clothing, you'll be fine.

Have a great trip.
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Mar 25th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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I believe Egyptian Connection does these three countries. You can view their site at www.egyptontheweb.com
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Mar 25th, 2004, 11:14 PM
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I'm blond-hair, blue eyes female and was in Jordan in Sept 2001 as a 24 yr old travelling with a friend (also female who is Chinese). We attracted a fair amount of attention among cab drivers and hotel front desk people. In Petra, I started wearing a hat which greatly reduced the number of offers for free camel or donkey rides... You'll get some attention, but just play it safe.

And sandi -- it did stick out in Jordan, but perhaps we got a few more "overly friendly" gestures because we were travelling independently.

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Mar 26th, 2004, 05:16 AM
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sandi
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ozwild -

We also traveled independently, me the brunnete, my friend the blond - noticed, yes, but no "over friendly" comments or actions.
 
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Mar 26th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Jordan, blonde hair, blue eyes, problem? How can that be, if the late King Hussein can marry one?

http://www.noor.gov.jo/my_album.htm
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