Ramallah’s Clubs Attract Young, Diverse Crowd, West Bank, Israel

THE open-air deck pulsed with the rhythmic dancing of hundreds of young people, their hands raised toward the pine trees above them, needles sparkling yellow, red and blue in the disco lights. Couples watched from the sides by bonfires, huddling against the breezes billowing in from the valley below the club.
Amira Bernadette Dibdy, lead singer of CultureShoc, called out to the crowd in a mix of Arabic and English. The band was Snowbar’s live Thursday performance, a ritual that has made the club the hottest spot in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the West Bank. Though Yasser Arafat’s floodlit tomb loomed nearby, no one was talking about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at Snowbar. They were too focused on the music.
The barrier walls here are certainly intimidating, and Ramallah doesn’t have the holy mystique of Bethlehem, but this city on the West Bank has become a destination for thousands of young North Americans, Europeans and offspring of the Palestinian elite. Some work for locally based non-governmental organizations or new businesses; others are visiting. Many of the hot spots are set in restored Ottoman buildings, streamlined Art Deco houses that date from the British mandate, or atop new high-rises. Some residents say the scene is an undiscovered challenge to what JerusalemTel Aviv and AmmanJordan — each a few miles but a psychological world away — offer young people in the Middle East.
John Saadeh, 24, a Palestinian-American from San Francisco, moved to Ramallah last year after his parents opened a pizzeria near Ramallah’s historic Old City. He likes the night life, he said, because “everybody knows everybody out here. You’re like a celebrity. It’s very easy to meet people.”
Veronica Grant, a Jewish American from North Carolina, also 24, lives in Ramallah but commutes to graduate school at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. “I wanted to experience the Palestinian side, because I grew up with the Jewish side,” she said. “I find Ramallah one of the more liberal places in the Middle East, even more than Amman.”
Part of the appeal for these young travelers is the sophisticated culture embodied by night spots like Orjuwan, an Italian-Palestinian fusion restaurant and bar opened in November by three young members of a prominent West Bank family: Sari Sakakini; his brother, Salim; and sister, Katia. The restaurant has a couch-strewn patio, a wine bar under a vaulted Ottoman ceiling and a dining room with a view of the Old City.
“We wanted to make five-star…

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About brexians

Demetrios Georgalas (A Surviving Globalization Consultant) was born in 1961 in Bern and grew up in Athens. In1985, graduated from Surrey University with a Tourism Management BSc (Hons). In 1998, graduated from LMTB under Freie Universitat Berlin, with a Diploma Lasers in Medicine. His professional career was started in the private sector and at the same time he created his first consulting company D+G Consultants Inc. Worked for major multinationals in Greece and abroad (FMCGs / Pharmaceuticals / Tourism). Demetrios Georgalas, having established also Travelling 2 Greece a destination management company, while with the D+G Consultants working in the areas of BTL and special marketing projects. He is activated except from Greece in the Balkans and in Turkey, consulting his clientele with new innovative proposals. Apart from his enterprising activities, he dabbles at blogging, travelling and cooking while he is married and has two children. In conclusion Demetrios Georgalas is an Athenian, Greek, Agnostic, Traveller, & Liberal he likes sci-fi, photography, blogging, travelling and cooking and if you like fascism or any kind of dogma, keep out! Δημήτρης Κ. Γεωργαλάς Γεννήθηκε στην Αθήνα το 1961, σπούδασε Τουριστική Διαχείριση στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και κατέχει μεταπτυχιακό τίτλο στην Βιοτεχνολογία. Έχει εργαστεί σε μεγάλα τουριστικά γραφεία του εσωτερικού, και σε πολυεθνικές σε Ελλάδα και Εξωτερικό, στο χώρο των φαρμάκων, των ιατρικών μηχανημάτων και των FMCG’s. Από το 2001 είναι ελεύθερος επαγγελματίας, με δραστηριότητα στην διαχείριση προορισμού, τον θεματικό τουρισμό και τις ειδικές ενέργειες marketing. Είναι παντρεμένος και πατέρας δυο παιδιών, διδάσκει ειδικά θέματα εξωτερικού εμπορίου και κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, σε επιχειρήσεις και οργανισμούς. Ασχολείται ενεργά με το διαδίκτυο από το 1993 με άμεση εμπλοκή στα κοινωνικά δίκτυα και στο «ιστολογείν». Φανατικός ταξιδευτής, ερασιτέχνης φωτογράφος, μαχόμενος αγνωστικός και φιλελεύθερος. Όραμά του μια Ευρωπαϊκή Ελλάδα. https://brexians.wordpress.com
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