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*~*~*~*~ La Femme*~*~*~*~*~

Hi! I will definitely let you know when we make plans to travel to Jordan. I met a woman from Jordan, and she said Petra, Red Sea, and the Dead Sea. We will probably do a long weekend trip out of it. Where else have you traveled in the Middle East? Have you spent some time here? I know you were talking about Eid, and other things, so I was just curious :-)
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Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
My Doha Adventures

Re: *~*~*~*~ La Femme*~*~*~*~*~

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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
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    edited December 2011
    Oooh, pretty title :)I agree with all her suggestions, although I sort of think the Red Sea is a little better on the Egyptian side.  The ferry from Jordan to Egypt on the sea is TERRIBLE, though- I can give you more details if you want.  If you're going in Jordan, Aqaba is good for snorkeling and such, and they have the BEST pistachios I've ever had.  I highly highly highly suggest you go to Wadi Rum if you can- stay in a Bedouin camp and go four-wheeling in the desert for at least a day.  (I made the mistake of doing this in August last year- cooler months are recommended!)  Other than that, Madaba and Amman are also worth seeing in my opinion.  I never made it to the desert palaces in the eastern part of the country, but I've heard those are great too.  Petra is mind-blowingly cool, give it at least two days if possible.  You can do the Dead Sea in a day easily.  Other stuff to do if you can- Mt. Nebo while you're at the Dead Sea, and Karak Castle and Jerash especially if you're near Amman.I've also been to Egypt and Israel in the Middle East.  I never lived there, just traveled at length.  We were in India for the end of Ramadan and Eid two years ago- not the Middle East exactly, but they were definitely celebrating!  It was also the Durga festival while we were there, and it was fun craziness all around.
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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
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    edited December 2011
    I would also like to add that I am ridiculously jealous that you get to live in Doha :)  I've had lots of friends visit Qatar and just rave about it.I guess I also was on the Asian side of Turkey, which is technically the Middle East.  Another must-see country if you get time to visit!
    7.17.10

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    edited December 2011
    My DH is obsessed with Lawrence of Arabia, so I forgot about Acquaba and Wadi Rum! We definitely want to go there too! You can stay at a Beduoin camp? That sounds neat! We are going on a desert safari here in Doha next month that will include some dune bashing. I am nervous but excited. It should be fun! Good to know about the Red Sea from the Egypt side. That is on our travel list also, so we will go when we are there! Oh fun! How was Israel? DH and I would love to go, but I don't think we would be allowed back in Qatar once we have an Israel stamp on our passport! I am saving all this info! And I have your email, so when we really starting planning details, I will email you! Thanks!
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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    edited December 2011
    You should come visit! Doha has been a lot of fun so far, and there is so much we have not even tried yet! Turkey is also on the travel list! Dave's parents have been and said it was gorgeous. Plus, I just read an article on slate that said they do not observe Ramadan as strictly as other Muslim countries, and they serve food and alcohol during the day! So I told DH we should just live in Turkey next year during Ramadan, lol!
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
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    edited December 2011
    Turkey is definitely way less strict about Ramadan and other rules, in Istanbul especially.  It is beautiful and inexpensive and just totally awesome.  There is so much to see and the country has a lot of different geographical/climate areas- parts of the shore are as pretty and fun as the Greek isles, while Cappadocia is wild and chillier and rural.Lawrence of Arabia is great :)  You'll have fun on the dunes, don't be nervous!  It's not as scary in actuality as it is when you think about it beforehand.  I wish I could come visit!  I have no idea when we'll be back in the area- maybe next fall?Israel was awesome- the history and all the different religious sites are pretty incredible.  It was a very high-security time when we were there, though, so it made some people really nervous.  I actually didn't even get an Israeli stamp on my passport when I went- they're used to doing that for those who live in or are traveling back to Muslim countries, but it definitely can be a concern.
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    reannalynnereannalynne member
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    edited December 2011
    I wanted to go to turkey for a honeymoon, but FI already is afraid to fly and apparently he is afraid we will die in the middle east. He posted this on twitter that evening that I brought it up: ""Let's go to Turkey" she says. "They're not dangerous, right?" Let's see who borders Turkey. Syria, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Georgia. LET'S GO!"the lets go was sarcasm.
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    edited December 2011
    Turkey sounds great! I am getting excited! We will see about Israel....it just depends. We might have to get a different passport so we can go :-P Dave is going to attempt to go to Saudi Arabia with some guy friends. I am a little jealous - but it would be very difficult for me to go! We also want to check out Bahrain! There is just so much to see here in the ME! It would be fun if you came to visit, we could show you all our favorite (non-American) places!
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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    edited December 2011
    The Middle East gets such a bad rap :-( My mom was terrified of us moving to Doha, but quite honestly, it is one of the safest places to be. There is a low crime rate! I think Turkey is also pretty safe! Sorry you did not get to go for your HM :-(
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
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    edited December 2011
    Reanna, I can relate to the fear of flying- I do it a lot but am still scared to the point of panic attacks.  It's really tough.  I have a routine that I do every time I fly that helps- do Sudoku, bring a comfort item with me, listen to the same calming music, etc.  That plus Xanax, lots of Xanax ;)  My mom feels the same way about me traveling to a lot of the places I've been, especially when I'm climbing or something- have to call her twice a day, she's glued to the news the whole time and is a nervous wreck until I come home.Wow, Saudi Arabia is one place I have no desire to visit.  I wouldn't go either if I were you.  I am super interested to hear what he has to say about it- please update us when he goes!  I'll definitely definitely let you know if we're able to come over while you're still there!  Bahrain would be awesome.  I'm also intrigued by Dubai.
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    edited December 2011
    Dubai would be fun for shopping and eating! It is a short plane ride away for us, so that will be a good weekend trip! Saudi Arabia is supposed to be beautiful, but it is just not a good place for women to be. I will let you know if he goes!
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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    reannalynnereannalynne member
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    edited December 2011
    FI has never flown and if he can help it, never will.  That will eventually change, or I will be going on a lot of vacations with friends instead of him in the future. Anytime that I fly, I have to call him every time I land. (that gets hard if i have a 15 min layover and have to get to another gate!)
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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
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    edited December 2011
    Oh my, I wish I could weekend in Dubai :)  I've got a few friends living there; if you go, let me know if you want contact info for some young Americans in the area.Reanna, I am the same way!  I make FI do it too, and I always him, my mom, and my dad right before we take off and as soon as I land.
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    edited December 2011
    R- Hopefully your FI will get over his fear. My DH hates to fly, but he wants to travel, so he takes the Xanax and gets through the flight. Maybe a short flight like the NYC flight you might take would be the best way to start him on flying!
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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    edited December 2011
    Jenny, I am just coming in to say DH's company has an office in Saudi Arabia. And I was told that, if you go as an expat, it is strongly recommended not to bring your wife.There are a few American citizens from his company who do live there with their wives in, I guess, what is sort of an "American compound" for lack of a better word. I have heard that if your wife has a doctor's appointment or needs to take the kids somewhere, the husband has to leave work, come get them, accompany them, and then go back to work. Therefore, most women stay here and the DH goes alone. (I think it is hard for the American wives to give up a lot of the freedoms/privileges we enjoy and go to SA). I've also heard it is very boring over there for the expats because it is a closed society, no community events, no alcohol, etc. Is it difficult for you to go there even for a visit though? Is Dubai, UAE more strict than Doha, Qatar? I only ask because a friend of a friend of a friend (one of those situations) was one of the expats arrested in Dubai last year for having sex with another expat (unmarried). Don't know all the details, but it made the national news.
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    edited December 2011
    Saudi Arabia is definitely not a great place for women. I cannot imagine living there - it would be quite difficult. As a woman, I could visit, but I could not drive, and I would have to be completely covered, including my hair and possibly my face. We actually have not looked into it at all, because I have just decided I will not be going. I think Dubai is one of the more relaxed Islam countries in the Middle East - however, I think they have zero tolerance on a few things, and sex between unmarried people is one of them. If you are not married, you cannot live together here. I think that is something to remember about the Middle East. There are some really great places to live, but you still have to follow a few rules that the Muslims abide by.
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    Dave & Jennifer 10.18.08
    My Doha Adventures
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