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Old 08-26-2009, 09:35 PM
 
46 posts, read 53,375 times
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Recently I have been fascinated by Islam and in the future I want to visit muslim countries (iran, egypt, morocco, saudi arabia, syria).

Are they safe places?
Are they cheap?
What about the culture?

I am asking it in a nutshell how was it for anyone who have been in these places?
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Westchester, NY (suburbs of NYC)
34 posts, read 97,909 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by HUNlogol View Post
Recently I have been fascinated by Islam and in the future I want to visit muslim countries (iran, egypt, morocco, saudi arabia, syria).

Are they safe places?
Are they cheap?
What about the culture?

I am asking it in a nutshell how was it for anyone who have been in these places?

My sister-in-law (French-Polish) has visited Egypt and Morocco and plans to go to Damascus, Syria soon. She loved Cairo and Giza. Marrakech, Fez and Essouira were very nice, too. All countries you listed are safe, affordable (if you don't want luxury hotels), and very welcoming--charming people, especially once you get away from the tourist traps, where merchants are sometimes too assertive. Search other threads for these countries, to get a sense. And definitely pick up a recently published guide book (library/bookstore)--check out LonelyPlanet.com. Learn some courteous phrases and basic customs. Consider hiring a university student as a day guide/tour guide--they're young, know trendy spots, are well-educated and often speak English well.

Obviously, when travelling ANYWHERE, be sensible--don't go to desolate places or shantytowns, keep daily spending money in your pockets, and wear a money belt (passport, plane tix,...) under your garments.

BTW, Iran is not Arab (it's Persian), and they don't speak Arabic (they speak Farsi/Persian). Important distinction.

Last edited by jaytr; 08-27-2009 at 07:59 AM..
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
321 posts, read 911,693 times
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I've been to Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

Morocco and Tunisia are still turned in the direction of Europe, Egypt is divided between turning to Europe and turning to the Middle East. All of the other countries despise the Saudis for giving Islam a bad name and for acting 'holier than thou' in their religious practices while seeking out alcohol and sex whenever they travel to any other country. (I've been to Saudi Arabia a dozen times and work with a lot of Saudis, so I can confirm that it is pretty accurate -- Saudis in Paris ask our managers for directions to the mosque and then they ask the chauffeur for directions to the prostitutes.)

Such a strange culture, so you should absolutely go and see it for yourself!
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:03 PM
 
710 posts, read 3,220,160 times
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Been to Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai, Iraq.

You'll not be able to get into Saudi as a tourist. Iran might be tough, but doable if you're American w/a guide. I see Egypt as much more secular than the other places you've mentioned - easily visitable, and North Africa on the whole is more French and totally different from Wahabi Islamist countries.

Funny though, as Kerouc mentioned; British Airways from Riyadh stocks a lot of liquor
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,663 posts, read 8,743,170 times
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My husband has been to Morocco several times, he really loved it. It's not very expensive there.
He's also been to Jordan once, he said it was one of the greatest places he's ever been. He had friends who lived there as expatriates at the time, and they really loved it here.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:23 PM
 
30 posts, read 37,517 times
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Start from Morocco, from traveler point of view, real treasure .
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:45 PM
 
Location: DuPont, WA
541 posts, read 2,052,933 times
Reputation: 643
My 19 year old daughter just returned from Morocco. She was selected by the State Department for a critical language program for the summer (she is an international studies major with an emphasis in Middle Eastern studies and minor in Arabic).

Anyway, she absolutely LOVED Morocco and says she would like to return again some day. She says it is really inexpensive there and the people were really nice. One thing she noticed, though, most of the Arabic-speaking people there, once they found out she was American, would try to speak English to her as a means to improve their skills, lol. She had to ask them over and over to please speak to her in Arabic.

The bulk of her time was spent in Tangiers, but she traveled around to many other places around the country as well.

Best wishes!
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:27 AM
 
100 posts, read 148,963 times
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Hi Do not be afraid this countries are safty I have many friends in egypt nd saudi arabia nd in algerian they are very Generous nd Nice ............
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Bergen, Norway
221 posts, read 506,040 times
Reputation: 140
just dont try to start anything.

youre a tourist in their country - respect their culture.

this doesnt mean that you have to walk around in a burkha (though i can imagine this would be smart in some countries/areas).

ive only visited morocco and turkey, and theyre probably the most western islamic countries.. i dont think i would be scared of walking around there at night, just beware of the sellers.. and dont get agressive with them no matter how annoying they are.
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:17 PM
 
13,507 posts, read 16,663,953 times
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Turkey is a great place to get your feet wet, unless you are only interested in countries that are Muslim and Arab. Istanbul is intoxicating, and the imperial mosques are incredible - almost beyond belief. If you can afford it, hire a local guide...someone who loves his country and his culture.
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