An delegation of academics from Ireland spent a week in Palestine, visiting the universities of Bethlehem, Birzeit, and Al Najah and meeting with their Palestinian counterparts at these institutions .
An international group of hikers completed a walk along the northern segment of the Palestinian Heritage Trail in Palestine. They group began their journey in Nablus, exploring the old city before staying overnight with local families in the village of Awarta.
Siraj Center hosted a delegation of artists from America, organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA. The delegation painted murals in the towns of Hebron, Nablus and Jenin, in solidarity with the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.
I did a four day walk on the Abraham Path this April, starting in Nablus and ending in Taybeh with a side trip to Bethlehem at the end.
I absolutely would recommend it.
Many first-century realities that shaped Jesus’ life and ministry continue to shape the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. In addition to exploring the holy stones – the historic places and sites that have defined the three monotheistic faiths – pilgrims will engage the Living Stones: Jews, Muslims and Christians living in the land.
Led by experienced hosts Jeff & Janet Wright and a professional guide, explore the holy sites of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth; visit the divided city of Hebron; hike in the Judean wilderness; commune along the shore of the Sea of Galilee; harvest olive trees at Tent of Nations. Visit Global Ministry partners at Sabeel, B’Tselem, Kairos Palestine, Rawdat el Zahur School, East Jerusalem YW and YMCAs, the Quaker Meeting in Ramallah and more.
We’re confident about the safety of this tour. Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to Israel every year. Our tour host, Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies (www.sirajcenter.org) – winner of numerous awards for responsible travel – is especially knowledgeable at all times about the situation on the ground. Past participants are available to visit about their experience of the pilgrimage and their sense of feeling safe in spite of what they had read in the media.
At Siraj, our vision has been and continues to be to enhance the image of Palestine as a safe destination for responsible experiential tourism, and not only as a pilgrimage destination, by increasing the number of conscientious visitors coming to Palestine. As part of the Palestinian Rapprochement Center, our aspirations also involve impacting both local hosts and visitors through intercultural exchanges and life-enriching experiences at the grassroots level, as well as increasing economic benefits to people living in rural communities.
We aim to widen the range of beneficiaries of the local rural communities involved in the tourism product through our environmentally friendly tourism packages, such as the Palestinian Heritage Trail (https://paltrails.ps/), Walk Palestine (www.walkpalestine.com), Jerusalem Wilderness and Bike Palestine (www.bikepalestine.com). We will carry on by offering further development trainings, empowering those in marginalized positions, such as women, to realize the value and importance of their own capacity, thus reaching their full potential in hosting and offering their best range of services to their guests, through home stays, food catering and handicrafts. Ownership of the tourism product is of utmost importance for Siraj.
To reach our goals, we will continue to partner with marginalized local and Bedouin communities, offering responsible and ethical local guide and hospitality trainings, leading to community empowerment, and showcasing the natural beauty of Palestine and its people.
The Siraj Team
PCR is preparing for its annual event –The Shepherds Nights Festival- taking place in Beit Sahour December, 23th – 25th. Local musical bands, dancing and theatrical groups are to perform during the festival. A tent will be set up to keep the audience warm and dry.
A group of both Arabs and Americans consisting of 14 people arrived from the US, and were hosted by Christian and Muslim Palestinian families. They’ve experienced the nature of life of Palestinians besides sharing the culture and related issues.
Siraj has brought attention to the issues of addressing and implementing responsible tourism policies by local tourism providers. Therefore, we have organized community trainings, where locals are being empowered by inclusion in the decision-making process to take ownership of the project which has resulted in achieving economic, social and environmental aspirations of both local residents and visitors.
For its fifth consecutive year, Siraj Center organized the Palestinian Summer Celebration, where participants were hosted by Palestinian families. Most of the participants spent one month experiencing nature in Palestine, taking cooking and Arabic language courses, and doing volunteer work.