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Haifa is Israel's third largest city, the capital of northern Israel and gateway to the Galilee, and home to over a quarter of a million residents. Its outstanding record of coexistence among its diverse population of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahá'is, Druze and Ahmadis is a model of cultural and religious pluralism and harmony.

The City is built on the fertile slopes of Mount Carmel, whose name in Hebrew means vineyard, and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. This mountain is the greenest part of Israel and its richest in water, vegetation, animals and natural landscapes.  Local and visiting hikers and bicyclists enjoy the trails and vistas of the 21-acre Carmel National Park. At the base of the mountain, The City's wide strand of tawny shore provides access to outdoor swimming, diving, surfing and sailing year-round. Moreover, Haifa provides an ideal spot for windsurfing. In 1996, The City hosted the World Windsurfing Championships.

The City's natural setting of mountain and bay has led some world travelers to compare modern Haifa's urban beauty to that of San Francisco and Wellington, New Zealand. This is best appreciated by taking The City's Scenic Drive; visiting the vantage points offered by the Bird's-Eye Lookout on the 30th floor of the University of Haifa's Eshkol Tower at the top of Mount Carmel and the Louis Promenade in central Carmel; descending the 200 steps of the Bahá'i Gardens' 19 landscaped terraces, which are sculpted into Mount Carmel's northwestern slopes; or riding the airborne gondolas of The City's charming Cable Car from its mountaintop station beside Stella Maris Monastery to its seaside station beside the Bat Galim Promenade.

Animal lovers may visit the Carmel National Park's Hai-Bar Nature Reserve, where such wildlife as fallow deer, roe deer, eagles and vultures once native to the area's Mediterranean scrub forest have been reintroduced, and the Haifa Educational Zoo, located in central Carmel's tranquil Gan HaEm (Mother's Park). It is delightful to reach the zoo by riding Haifa's funicular, the Carmelit, whose single track, two trains and six stations make it among the world's smallest subways.    

Haifa is also an academic center featuring two great universities – the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Haifa -- and four teacher-training colleges. Its cultural life is served by museums, theaters, concert halls, sports and recreation venues, restaurants, shopping malls and fine hotels. It is home to the annual Haifa International Film Festival (est. 1983), the largest and most important celebration of cinema in Israel. In spectator sports, fans may choose from league-leading soccer clubs and professional basketball teams.

A hard-working city, Haifa is at the forefront of the Israeli and international high-tech R&D and manufacturing industries, and thus at the forefront of Israel's future. Amdocs, Elbit, Intel, Microsoft, Philips and many other cutting-edge companies are located in the Matam high-tech industrial park at the southern entrance to The City; IBM has an office atop Mount Carmel on the University of Haifa campus. The City's broad natural harbor serves as Israel's main seaport for incoming and outgoing cargo. Petrochemical industries, oil refineries processing 66 million barrels of crude annually, and ammonia storage facilities are concentrated in the Haifa Bay area. Tourism is nevertheless Haifa's number one economic resource due to The City's rich beauty and history. You are cordially invited to visit us and see for yourself!

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