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 In pictures: Mid-East nightlife

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Warrefok
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PostSubject: In pictures: Mid-East nightlife   Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:09 am

In pictures: Mid-East nightlife
Tel Aviv vs Ramallah

After dark

Tel Aviv is Israel's nightlife capital.

With a large, young population of residents and tourists, the city has a multitude of bars, clubs and theatres, many of which stay open until dawn.

Tel Aviv is also a mainly secular city, drawing visitors after sunset on the Sabbath when places to go in more religious cities close.
On the street

Like its Israeli counterpart, the West Bank city of Ramallah, some 60km (37 miles) east, also has a high proportion of young people, but a much more limited nightlife.

"We just walk and hang around," said 16-year-old Aref Jadala (centre).

"There aren't many places to go and it's a bit expensive - prices are like in Europe."
Beach life

The city’s beaches are a popular place to socialise at night and cafes dot the shoreline.

"I like the beach at night," said Sergei Kupreenko, 30. "The views, the sound of the sea - it's a place to come and relax."
Only cinema

One place which draws Palestinians every night is the al-Kasaba cinema - the only cinema in the West Bank and Gaza.

It has two screens, currently showing Egyptian films - a comedy and a thriller.

But for some people, a single cinema is not enough.

"Nightlife in Ramallah is not good," said Osama Kilanu. "There are no clubs and not enough bars, although it's much better now than it used to be."
Movie nights

At Tel Aviv’s Azrielli Centre an eight-screen shows mainstream Western and Israeli films.

The plaza – a complex of three skyscrapers – also houses the city’s largest shopping centre.
Coffee and cards

In the Eiffel cafe, young men sit round tables, drinking coffee and smoking nargillah - water pipes.

This is a men only cafe, although there are others in Ramallah where men and women mix.

"It's nice to be among guys sometimes," said 20-year-old Naser Sabri. "We come here to talk and hang out with friends."
The Old Port

One of the liveliest areas of Tel Aviv after dusk is the Old Port, a redeveloped harbour in the north of the city packed with restaurants and nightclubs.

The wooden-decked promenade, lit up at night and with views out to the sea, is a popular draw.
Birthday party

At Ramallah's Zen bar, young people meet for a birthday celebration. It's the only European-style bar in the city, with modern decor, mood lighting and Western music. Some nights, musicians play live, which draws big crowds.

"It the best place to come at night," said Suha. "It's the only place with this kind of atmosphere and alcohol."
At the bar

At the end of the day, Tel Aviv's young unwind at the city's of bars.

Most venues are guarded by armed doormen because of the threat of suicide bombings.
Eating out

At Almonds pub and restaurant, families and friends eat, drink and play pool.

Music videos play out on plasma TVs on the walls and the atmosphere is relaxed - distracting minds from the reality of the hardships of daily life in Ramallah.

Text by Raffi Berg. Tel Aviv pictures by Noam Sharon (ATP). Ramallah pictures by Jamal Aruri


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