Take Action: Boycott Wikimania 2011

Haifa (حَيْفَا) is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 264,900.

Haifa has a mixed population of Jews and Arabs. It is also home to the Bahá’í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is built on the slopes of the majestic Mount Carmel and along the beautiful Mediterranean beach of the Haifa Bay, which gave the city its name in ancient times (‘Haifa’ – or ‘Hof Yafé’ in modern Hebrew – means ‘pretty beach’). Haifa has a history dating back to Biblical times (The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE)).

In the year 2011, Haifa will celebrate its jubilee – 250 years since the establishment of the new city. In 1761 Dhaher al-Omar, Bedouin ruler of Acre and the Galilee, destroyed the old city of Haifa and rebuilt the town in a new location, surrounding it with a wall. This event is marked as the beginning of the town’s modern era.

Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. It is located about 90 km north of Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv and is the major regional center of northern Israel. Two respected academic institutions, the University of Haifa and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, are located in Haifa,

The city hosts dozens of cultural and artistic festivals every year, festivals which celebrates the diversity of the city’s inhabitants and the peaceful coexistence between the members of the various religions who live in it. The proposed venue is the Haifa Auditorium which has been hosting the Haifa International Film Festival for the past 26 years.

The wonderful Mediterranean coasts – which are among the best in Israel, and its proximity to various religious, cultural and historical sites make the city a center of tourism in the north of Israel.

* Country: Israel
* City proposed: Haifa
* Venue: The Haifa Auditorium and the Hecht Building
* Proposed dates: Wednesday – Sunday, August 4-7, 2011; Hacking days take place on August 2nd and 3rd
* Contact persons: Deror Avi

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