Travel between ME countries

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Jul 19th, 2005, 01:13 PM
  #1
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Travel between ME countries

I am going on a 10 day Israeli Holy Land tour and then would like to extend my trip by another 10 days to have a look around Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. I understand there is difficulty going to Syria and Lebanon having been in Israel. Any suggestions as to how I might do this? Is this doable? Steve
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Jul 19th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Steve:
Just got back from Israel/Jordan and met an American couple that had been working in Syria. They said people cannot travel into Syria with Israeli stamps on their passports. I think it states this in one of the travel guides as well (Fodor's? Rough Guide?) To get around this you could ask that your passport be stamped on a separate piece of paper or carry a duplicate passport. Either way it is tricky and it would make me nervous. In our experience the Israelis at the borders were not friendly and asked in an aggressive way several times: why do you want to go to Jordan? They gave us a bit of a hard time for travelling over to Jordan for an over night. The Jordanians were much more relaxed about the border crossings. Whatever you do, plan for the unexpected. For example, when we entered customs there was no one there but a bus came in behind us and the driver walked right in in front of us with 30 passports. All we could do was wait.
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Jul 20th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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Steve,
I just got back from a two week trip to Israel/Jordan, and although you won't have issues w/getting into Jordan or Egypt, there's no way you'll get into Syria and Lebanon after Israel. One of my friends who was doing land crossings into Israel said that some people were successful at getting a stamp on a separate piece of paper, but others were not. I was initially planning to try to get them to do the same at the aiport, but I had had a number of issues already with Israeli (or more specifically, El Al) security that I didn't feel comfortable asking them to not stamp my passport. (apparently they are very suspicious of women traveling alone...first time I've had that experience!)
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Jul 24th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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Naturally, considering the political situation in the Mideast, and ESPECIALLY the tension created with terrorism, you have to understand the extra security measures.

Traveling from Israel to Cairo you should take a flight. It's short, and inexpensive. There are also flights between Israel and Amman.

To Syria and Lebanon, you can only get thru Cairo or Jordan.

Yes, you can ask the Israelis that your passport be NOT stamped. I don't know of any problems, even though, yes, they may ask you some questions, naturally.
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Aug 12th, 2005, 07:20 AM
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Israelis are used to not stamping the passports, you just have to ask. As to them giving people a hard time, they ask questions given the security neccesities of being Israel. Just be cordial and answer the questions without resenting the fact that they have to be asked because that is their daily security reality. Don't expect them to have the same style of communication as Americans. It's the Syrian & Lebanese governments who create the need for this roundabout means of travelling between countries without record. Either way, I understand that all you have to do is ask the Israeli for a separate form which you return when you leave & to not stamp. It should be fine.
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