Writer to publish Korea travel guide in Hebrew
By Philip Iglauer
The Israeli Embassy in Korea and the government here hosted an Israeli journalist for a one-month sojourn during the summer of last year to make a Korea travel book for Hebrew readers in Israel.
He plans to publish the Hebrew-language travel guide in Israel soon.
The Korean Overseas Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), with the help of the Korean embassy in Israel and the Israeli embassy here, invited Ma'ariv journalist Ilan Bahar to travel from one end of Korea to the other visiting both fun tourist sites and important political landmarks, and meeting ordinary and interesting people along the way.
Bahar said he was extremely impressed with what he found.
“I knew about Korea only theory. The reality was even larger and more impressive,” said Bahar, a senior reporter for daily Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv.
“Korea’s ability to combine modern life and progress in technology with its rich heritage and history is a cause for admiration. Those who know how to build a bridge between the present and his history and heritage can walk with confidence in the present. These people will ensure their future and the future of their children,” he said.
Bahar arrived in Korea on Sept. 1 for the one-month trip to collect materials for the travel book.
The number of visitors from Israel is negligible, according to one travel agent specializing in Korean visits to Christian holy sites in Israel, adding that travel resources in Hebrew could contribute to increasing the number of Israeli visitors here.
“A year ago I was looking for material to deepen my knowledge about South Korea, and I was surprised to discover that there is very few resources,” Bahar said, through an email interview in November. Bahar had returned to his home in Israel in October.
He said he saw many comparisons between Korea and his home country during his summer-time trip here.
“[Israel and South Korea] have cruel neighbors who do not respect human rights,” he said. “The two nations, know that a free country is not granted. Freedom is the supreme value for which we fight. Our two nations know their future depends entirely on themselves. We both learn from our history not to be naive. We know that sometimes interests in the modern world can be, unfortunately, more important than humanitarian values.”
“We know that the world can be cynical and very brutal. The two nations are no longer willing to gamble on their future and safety.”