Originally Posted by Mark Manley
Having travelled to many parts of the world including some considered dangerous, usually by people who have never been there, I would say the two most important things you can take for your own protection are a confident handshake and a winning smile. The other advice that has been given here about not looking conspicuously well off and being aware of your surroundings are also good advice but self defence and survival training are possibly a little over the top.
Incidently a friend of mine who has probably travelled to more countries than any other solo female motorcycle traveller has only been mugged once, outside her own front door at home.
The greatest risk you will face in the Middle East is caffine poisoning from all of that Islamic hospitality.
I doubt that I thought this up all by myself, but I quote it often. 'If you look like a victim, chances are you'll become one.' Man is by nature a predator so he'll go for the easy ones that look weak and confused.
SO and I were in East Jerusalem, more specifically in the Arab quarter, and we were having a bit of a tiff. Three or four Arab guys approached and one of them asked in an aggressive manner if there was a 'problem', that was to say, 'Can I help you with your male friend?' Such a chivalrous prick. I looked him in the eye and smiled, then told him to mind his own fucking business while still staring at him. End of story.