* Israeli President, Shimon Peres, welcomed the new Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors in Israel earlier this week. The Egyptian ambassador, Atef Salem, is the first ambassador sent by the new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi. At his welcoming meeting with Peres, Salem announced he bears with him a message of peace, and shares great respect for Israel. The Jordanian ambassador, Walid Obeidat, was sent by Jordan after over two years of no Jordanian representation in Israel. President Peres welcomed the new ambassadors to Israel and expressed his hope for peace in the Middle East.
* The end to the not-so-great Israeli service-awareness reputation? The prestigious Vatel International Business School of Hospitality Management opened an Israeli branch last weekend. The school, originated in France, opened its Israeli branch in Tel-Aviv, and has already started operating a couple of classes. Studies in Vatel take three years, and include theoretical studies as well as training at hotels in Israel. In the course of studying, the students will learn how to perform all hotel jobs: from waitressing through reception to management roles. The alumni are expected to rank high in management jobs in Israeli hotels. The Vatel school is known for the tools it provides to a better service awareness, hospitality and management in hotels worldwide.
* Not only Israelis. New research reveals Americans also fell in love with Tel-Aviv, the non-formal Israeli capital, and one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world. BAV Consulting recently published its quarterly survey, presenting what people feel about various brands. According to the survey, filled out by 13,000 Americans, the brand Tel-Aviv is more attractive then Audi, or Prada, and as attractive as Twitter, Apple and You Tube. The company also checked the statuses of different countries in the public eye, and Israel was ranked 6th of 33 countries participating in the survey. Always good news.
* A first of its kind atlas of the human brain, created by a team of researchers worldwide, was unveiled last week. This atlas, detailing and mapping the microstructure of the living brain, is considered a large contribution to future research of the brain. The researchers who are behind this grand project come from 12 universities worldwide and were led by Prof. Yanic Assaf, chair of the neurobiology department at Tel Aviv University's Sagol School of Neurobiology. Within the framework of the research, the team assembled a comprehensive collection of maps characterizing the components of the living brain. Before the completion of this project (named: CONNECT), brain maps were graphed by dissecting the organ of a cadaver and subjecting it to microscopic analysis. Using an MRI to track the flow of water in the brain, a bio-physical model was constructed. The objective was to examine the movement of water molecules, as presented in 3-D images, to have a better understanding of the structure of the brain.
* If you happened to watch Homeland's season opening a couple of weeks ago, you couldn't miss Carrie and Saul walking down the streets of Beirut, Lebanon. But this "Beirut" is not what you think it is. Yes, my friends, the new star of the Emmy award winning series is no other than beautiful Yafo. The news about Homeland filming in Israel is kind of old, and the fans of the show probably already know of this little "secret". But if you take a closer look, you could see some hints revealing the true nature of city. In a few shots, Israeli traffic signs appear in the background. Hebrew letters also appear on stores and on walls, which is something I doubt you'll see in the real Beirut...It wasn't he appearing of Hebrew letters, however, that caused a commotion around the season opening. What really bothered officials in Lebanon was the presentation of Beirut as a city roaming with terrorists. Lebanon's minister of tourism, Fady Abboud, announced he is considering taking legal action and sue the Emmy award winning series.