"About Myself, My Home, My Country, My Travels..." iblatt's Profile

Introducing Myself

My name is Ilan (which means "tree" in Hebrew). I live in Raanana, a nice town in the Sharon valley on the coastal plain of Israel.

I was born in Israel. My parents were born in Europe, and immigrated to Israel in the 1930s (my father from Germany, my mother from Lithuania), and so they personally were spared the horrors of World War II, unlike many members of their families who perished in the Holocaust.
I spent the first part of my childhood in Jerusalem, and later grew up in Tel-Aviv. After graduating from high school I did my 3 years of army service, like most everyone in my country.

I studied medicine in the Tel-Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, did my residency in neurology in Tel-Aviv, and then a 2-year fellowship in epilepsy and EEG in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am working as a neurologist and epileptolgist in the Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, near Tel-Aviv. I like my work and it keeps me busy, not leaving me too much spare time... The photo shows me (second from right) with colleagues in the video-EEG monitoring unit in my hospital.

My Family

I am happily married to Phillipa, who came to Israel from Ireland, and through her I developed some Irish roots as well, or maybe I'd better say that I grew some shamrock leaves around my Israeli sabra (=cactus) core.

Our two charming daughters, Ofrah and Sharon, are grown up now. Ofrah is doing her MSc in chemistry in Jerusalem, and Sharon has started her undergraduate studies in communications in Tel-Aviv.

My family is the most important thing to me. I come from a small family (many perished in the Holocaust), and I am an only son. I think this has made me appreciate the significance of having a family, spending quality time with my immediate family, and trying to trace my roots, get to know and keep in touch with the more distant relatives in different parts of the world.

Traveling in Israel

Ever since I was a child I've always loved to travel in Israel, my home country. This has always been a prime hobby of mine.
I love the Mediterranean landscapes and vegetation... The Judean Hills with the intoxicating pine tree scent in the air... The Galilee with trails winding through natural forest and the ruins of a Crusader castle down to a cool stream... A beach walk in the sand, next to some Roman ruins... Driving fast across the Negev desert, feeling the hot wind on my face, among ancient Nabbtaean ruins along the Perfume Road, near sheep and camels and Bedouin tents, then snorkeling among chorals and colorful fish in the Red Sea...

I simply adore hiking in the Israeli hills and wadis (valleys), in the deserts and along the flowing water of streams (not so many of those in Israel, unfortunately!).
Getting to know the country and to love its landscapes through my own feet, aching sometimes after a hard climb in the Judean desert, sweating under the summer sun, then relaxing under a waterfall in an oasis...

Visiting the past in ancient archeological sites where Hebrews, Phillistines, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans and many others have left their mark...
Walking in the footsteps of those who settled and built our country in the recent 150 years: visionaries, farmers, scholars, warriors, Jewish immigrants from all corners of the world...

Meeting diverse religious, ethnic and cultural communities all over the country: Jews, Christians of every denomination: Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Copts, Ethiopians... Moslems, Druze, Bahaii, Karaaites, Samaritans, Circassians... Monasteries and places of pilgrimage, Kabbalistic yeshivas, busy and colorful markets, bedouin tents, modern cities...
There is no country like Israel in the world!

The photo shows me near Beit-Guvrin, in the foothills of the Judean Mountains. I can only feel at home in the hills and plains of my homeland, Israel, but my Singapore T-shirt is the introduction to the next chapter: It's so wonderful to travel abroad and see the world!

Traveling Abroad

When I was a kid in Israel most people did not have much chance to travel abroad. Traveling by land to neighboring countries was impossible; air travel was expensive and heavily taxed.
My first time to travel abroad was at the age of 16 (!), a high school youth delegation to Europe, getting a taste of Italy, France and Switzerland. I must have caught a bug during that trip, because since then I've become addicted to traveling and seeing as much of the world as I can!

Always Dreaming about the Next Destination...

  • Intro Updated Dec 22, 2009
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Real Name
Ilan Blatt
Ra`ananna, Israel
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Dec 29, 2006

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