27 Chapters
Medium 9780253001238

1 Island Tourism

George Gmelch Indiana University Press ePub


Tourism is travel dedicated to pleasure. Although the Oxford English Dictionary dates the term's first appearance in print to 1811, the concept of traveling for leisure dates back several thousand years to the ancient Greeks and later the Romans, whose elites traveled to exotic places around the Mediterranean. The Romans used the Isle of Capri as a holiday destination in what may be the earliest example of island tourism.

Some scholars argue that most early travel was unrelated to leisure; rather, it was aimed at satisfying other needs, such as pursuing opportunities for trade and commerce or seeking spiritual relief in making pilgrimages to sacred sites.1 Perhaps. But there can be little doubt that for many early travelers, such as Greeks and Romans visiting thermal baths, there was often a large element of leisure associated with the trip. We must not fall into the trap of believing that travelers always have a single motive. Even my academic colleagues manage to do some sight-seeing while on trips to attend professional conferences.

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7 Conclusion: Pilgrimage, Performance, and the Suspension of Disbelief

Jackie Feldman Indiana University Press ePub

JERUSALEM. MIDNIGHT, AUGUST 2014. Another round of fighting between Israel and Gaza. I sit typing on my terrace, opposite the Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher. The rocket warning sirens blare; someone in Sur Baher fires off a string of firecrackers, I assume as a sign of solidarity. I wish the rocket would fall on his head. Two weeks ago, my neighbors marched to the edge of the Palestinian village, waving huge Israeli flags and shouting “Death to the Arabs.” On the hillside opposite, Palestinian youths have burned tires each evening in protest against Israeli actions in Gaza. Bumper stickers on cars in my street proclaimed God’s blessing on the Israeli army in defeating their enemies. Hamas rockets continued to fall on Sderot and Ashkelon. Israeli fear and loathing of Arabs bubbled up to new levels, as some voices encouraged the Israeli army to smash their heads and level Gaza to the ground. The Friday muezzin sermons, blasting from the loudspeakers across the wadi sounded angrier than ever.

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Medium 9780253019523

8 Reclamation and a Vision of the Future

Barbara Kreiger Indiana University Press ePub

The complex and disturbing conflicts that have spread in the Middle East are identified by obvious issues of intransigence and militancy. Like a plague or a recurrent nightmare, hostility rules the land. In the Lower Jordan River Valley, where Israel, the Palestinian people, and the Kingdom of Jordan come together, the dispute has been sadly resistant to solutions for decades, and yet at that very geographical junction there are developments that may alleviate the despair. This is not to minimize intricacies and intractability: the situation is anything but simple, anything but static, and has several dimensions to it, some of which are at odds. Still, the very volatility of the circumstances, as well as the common threat that everyone recognizes, may encourage unparalleled productive responses.

Unlike the solution, the problem is straightforward: There is simply not enough fresh, potable water to sustain the growing populations of the Kingdom of Jordan, Palestine, and Israel; and the strain on Jordan has been magnified in the last few years by the arrival of two million refugees from Syria and Iraq. Aquifers are stressed, the Jordan River system is defunct, and the need keeps growing. The insufficient quantity of fresh water is at issue, but fair proportioning is also a key element. Israel controls the major aquifer that runs under the occupied West Bank, which means that Palestinians are dependent on Israel’s will. The Joint Water Committee, the water sharing mechanism formed under the Oslo Agreement, governs apportionment but is insubstantial. Palestinians do not receive a share commensurate with their needs, even though Israel has recently become virtually water independent. Desalination of Mediterranean water was long thought of as the panacea, but the cost had been prohibitive. In recent years the technology has improved to such a degree that Israel now runs five desalination plants on the Mediterranean coast and produces more fresh water than it needs, highlighting the question of reasonable distribution.

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Medium 9780253020611

Northern Indiana

Nunemaker, Jessica Indiana University Press ePub

Bremen Train Depot, Bremen.

Bremen, otherwise known as the Mint City, was once the leading international supplier of mint oil. Used in gum, toothpaste, and even perfume (among other products), Bremen mint traveled the world. Although mint producer Sprig ‘O Mint is no longer, and the property is now the site of a golf course, one other mint manufacturer remains. Operating since 1908 under the name of M. Brown & Sons, it has since merged with Lebermuth, Inc. The family is still involved.

With such impressive historical credentials, and an 1882 water tower, it may be surprising to note that Bremen isn’t exactly a huge town, holding just under five thousand residents now—but it sure is bustling. The downtown strip carries a variety of shops and a few restaurants. But to really see Bremen jumping, schedule a visit during the week of July 4 during the annual Firemen’s Festival. Join twenty thousand others for festival fun like carnival rides, crafts, food, parade, and even fireworks. It’s a huge deal in the area.

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5 The Beach

George Gmelch Indiana University Press ePub


It is the clichéd sun, sand, and sea that still draw the most visitors to the Caribbean, though there is increasing interest in alternatives to the beach, such as adventure and heritage tourism. Few places have been more inspirational in our leisure life than the beach, note Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker in The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth (1998). These sandy stretches capture our imaginations with more directness, and in the industrialized world, beaches have served as places of retreat and relaxation.

The beach is a playground. The opportunities for recreation range from the active (swimming or snorkeling in the warm turquoise sea, diving the coral reefs, parasailing, water-skiing, and jet-skiing) to the passive (relaxing in a lounge chair, reading, sunbathing, and people-watching). The possibilities of romance and sex are also part of the allure. Barbados's travel brochures, like those for most tropical destinations, portray the island's beaches as sites for sexual adventures. The brochures feature color photographs of bikini-clad bronzed women lying on the sand or frolicking in the sea or beautiful, anatomically perfect couples holding hands while strolling on the beach at sunset or gazing at night into the velvety horizon, drinks in hand (Lencek and Bosker 1998). The language of the brochures appeals to our fantasies; they talk of “romantic interludes” and “tropical escapades” (Chambers 2000).

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