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  • Ramallah offers an eclectic view of the West Bank

    2010-06-10

    The West Bank may not be the first choice for many vacationers, but those people haven't heard of Ramallah. Playing second fiddle to cities like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, Ramallah is in fact considered the capital of the Palestinian side of the West Bank.

    That may set off alarm bells in more safety-conscious traveler's heads, but Ramallah is largely divorced from the political tensions in the region, according to the New York Times. Instead, the city is known locally for its vibrant nightlife and young professional crowd.

    At Snowbar, for instance, guests are warmed in a rooftop club by actual bonfires. Businesses stay open late as the entire city comes out to play, and the sophisticated culture allows for things like Italian-Palestinian fusion restaurants.

    Veronica Grant, a Jewish-American graduate student living in the city told the news source that she finds "Ramallah [to be] one of the more liberal places in the Middle East, even more than Amman."

    Residents say that the city keeps out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, and locals are welcoming to Westerners, who now make up most of the population because of the wealth of jobs in the city.

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