The Strange Tale of the First Arab Journalist to Visit Israel After the ’67 War

Among those disembarking the Scandanavian Airlines flight on July 23 1967 in Tel Aviv, was a thin, bearded man in his 30s named Waguih Ghali. Like the other passengers, he walked into Lod airport—and stopped at the passport control counter. “You mean,” the clerk said, double checking that he had heard correctly, “that you are Egyptian?”

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Visual Moment | A Forgotten Ottoman Way Station

The Ottomans ruled what is now Israel for 400 years, and during that time they made some iconic contributions to the man-made landscape. Sultan Suleiman I (a.k.a. Suleiman the Magnificent) completed the current walls of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1541. The Jaffa Clocktower, finished in 1903, was built to celebrate the silver jubilee of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Over time, innumerable Ottoman buildings have been lost, replaced by those of British or Israeli design, just as they in turn had replaced those of the Crusaders, Mamluks, Byzantines, Romans, Hasmoneans, Greeks, ancient Israelites, Babylonians, Assyrians and Philistines.

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The Week Before the Six-Day War

I arrived in Jerusalem as a reporter five days before the war. When I asked directions in English of a woman on the street near the King David Hotel, she looked at me sharply and said, “Haven’t you gone home yet?” When I said I had just arrived, she nodded and pointed out my destination. The King David itself, I would learn, had gone overnight from 86 percent occupancy to one percent.

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