Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel – after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – with a population of 283,640 in 2018. The city of Haifa forms part of the Haifa metropolitan area, the second- or third-most populous metropolitan area in Israel, it is home to the Baháʼí World Centre, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Baháʼí pilgrims. Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the settlement has a history spanning more than 3,000 years; the earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age. In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center. Over the millennia, the Haifa area has changed hands: being conquered and ruled by the Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hasmoneans, Byzantines, Crusaders and the British. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Haifa Municipality has governed the city; as of 2016, the city is a major seaport located on Israel's Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa covering 63.7 square kilometres.

It is the major regional center of northern Israel. According to researcher Jonathan Kis-Lev, Haifa is considered a relative haven for coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Two respected academic institutions, the University of Haifa and the Technion, are located in Haifa, in addition to the largest K–12 school in Israel, the Hebrew Reali School; the city plays an important role in Israel's economy. It is home to Matam, one of the largest high-tech parks in the country. Haifa Bay is a center of petroleum refining and chemical processing. Haifa functioned as the western terminus of an oil pipeline from Iraq via Jordan; the ultimate origin of the name Haifa remains unclear. One theory holds; some Christians believe. Another theory holds it could be derived from the Hebrew verb root חפה, meaning to cover or shield, i.e. Mount Carmel covers Haifa. Other spellings in English included Caipha, Caiffa and Khaifa; the earliest named settlement within the area of modern-day Haifa was a city known as Sycaminum.

The remains of the ancient town can be found in a coastal tell, or archaeological mound, known in Hebrew as Tel Shikmona, meaning "mound of the Ficus sycomorus", in Arabic as Tell el-Semak or Tell es-Samak, meaning "mound of the sumak trees", names that preserved and transformed the ancient name, by which the town is mentioned once in the Mishnah for the wild fruits that grow around it. The name Efa first appears during Roman rule, some time after the end of the 1st century, when a Roman fortress and small Jewish settlement were established not far from Tel Shikmona. Haifa is mentioned more than 100 times in the Talmud, a work central to Judaism. Hefa or Hepha in Eusebius of Caesarea's 4th-century work, Onomasticon, is said to be another name for Sycaminus; this synonymizing of the names is explained by Moshe Sharon, who writes that the twin ancient settlements, which he calls Haifa-Sycaminon expanded into one another, becoming a twin city known by the Greek names Sycaminon or Sycaminos Polis.

References to this city end with the Byzantine period. Around the 6th century, Porphyreon or Porphyrea is mentioned in the writings of William of Tyre, while it lies within the area covered by modern Haifa, it was a settlement situated south of Haifa-Sycaminon. Following the Arab conquest in the 7th century, Haifa was used to refer to a site established on Tel Shikmona upon what were the ruins of Sycaminon. Haifa is mentioned by the mid-11th-century Persian chronicler Nasir Khusraw, the 12th- and 13th-century Arab chroniclers, Muhammad al-Idrisi and Yaqut al-Hamawi; the Crusaders, who captured Haifa in the 12th century, call it Caiphas, believe its name related to Cephas, the Aramaic name of Simon Peter. Eusebius is said to have referred to Hefa as Caiaphas civitas, Benjamin of Tudela, the 12th-century Jewish traveller and chronicler, is said to have attributed the city's founding to Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest at the time of Jesus. Haifa al-'Atiqa is another name used by some locals to refer to Tell es-Samak, when it was the site of Haifa while a hamlet of 250 residents, before it was moved in 1764-5 to the site from which the modern city emerged.

In 1764-5 Zahir al-Umar moved the village to a new site 1.5 miles to the east, which he fortified. The new village, the nucleus of modern Haifa, was first called al-imara al-jadida by some, but others residing there called it Haifa al-Jadida at first, simply Haifa. In the early 20th century, Haifa al'Atiqa was repopulated with many Arab Christians in an overall neighborhood in which many Middle Eastern Jews were established inhabitants, as Haifa expanded outward from its new location. A town known today, it was a fishing village. Mount Carmel and the Kishon River are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. A grotto on the top of Mount Carmel is known as the "Cave of Elijah", traditionally linked to the Prophet Elijah and his apprentice, Elisha. In Arabic, the highest peak of the Carmel range is called the Muhraka, or "place of burning," harking back to the bu

Volleyball at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's European qualification

The European qualification for the 2008 Men's Olympic Volleyball Tournament was held from 1 September 2007 to 13 January 2008. Dates: 1–9 September 2007 All times are local. In case of an aggregate score tie, teams play a Golden Set to determine the winner; the Qualification Tournament hosts Turkey, the three 2007 World Cup participants and the next-best ranked team from the 2007 European Championship which are not yet qualified directly qualified for the Qualification Tournament. Venue: Arena Savaria, Hungary Dates: 28 November – 2 December 2007 All times are Central European Time. Venue: Arena D'Évora, Évora, Portugal Dates: 28 November – 2 December 2007 All times are Western European Time. Venue: PalaCatania, Italy Dates: 28 November – 2 December 2007 All times are Central European Time. Russia and Bulgaria qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics via the 2007 World Cup and are replaced by the top two second ranked teams. Venue: Halkapınar Sport Hall, İzmir, Turkey Dates: 7–13 January 2008 All times are Eastern European Time.

Official website

Rosa 'Duchess of Cornwall'

Rosa'Duchess of Cornwall' is an orange blend rose cultivar bred by Hans Jürgen Evers from Rosen Tantau in Germany and introduced in 2005. The nostalgic hybrid tea rose is known as'Music Hall' in France, as'Chippendale' in Germany. According to Robert Markley, it is one of Tantau's most successful roses; the name'Duchess of Cornwall' was chosen in the UK in honour of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate her wedding to the Prince of Wales. She received it during a tour at BBC Gardeners' World Live at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in June 2005; the German cultivar name'Chippendale' alludes to the ornate English Rococo style called Chippendale. The rose is described as a double apricot flower, it has an old fashioned, quartered bloom form with up to 100 petals, a light, spicy fragrance. The colour is weather reaching from deep orange to soft pink; the buds open to medium-sized flowers with a diameter of 8 to 10 centimetres, are well suited as cut flowers and appear abundantly in flushes throughout the season.

The vigorous, upright shrub reaches a height of 0.7 to 1.2 m, has dark and glossy foliage, starts its flowering season early. Tantau recommends the plantation in small groups, but the shrub can be grown solitary or in containers. In 2012, it was granted the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. At the rose show in the Rosarium Uetersen in 2013, the cultivar won a bronze medal in the category Most Beautiful Rose