Thursday, 31 May 2018 06:52

AdventureNEXT May 2018 Fam Tour

In early May 2018, Siraj was pleased to host a familiarization tour for AdventureNEXT, a leader in the adventure travel and tourism sector.  AdventureNEXT specializes in developing up and coming destinations, and with Palestine being noted as the fastest emerging tourist destination in 2017, Adventure Next is doing its part to help develop our market.  Siraj worked with the AdventureNEXT team to provide a compact four-day familiarization tour of Palestine; showing some of the best and most unique components of our experiential tours.   We are looking forward to our friends with AdventureNEXT returning back to Palestine and providing a whole new network of tourists with an opportunity to truly experience Palestine as few are able to!

Thursday, 31 May 2018 06:49

MAP Cycle Palestine 2018

In the month of April 2018, Siraj hosted the Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) Cycling TourMAP is a London-based charity and awareness-raising organization that works all across the Holy Land, Lebanon and elsewhere, working to alleviate some of the worse medical difficulties within Palestinian communities.  Nearly 30 MAP staff members, volunteers and supporters came for a fundraising cycling tour of Palestine, traveling from Jenin to Jerusalem, as well as Bethlehem and Hebron.  Besides being a worthy endeavor, the program offered its participants a chance to better acquaint themselves with the West Bank and Jerusalem in a way that would not be possible through a tour bus.  

On a post on their Facebook page, MAP had this to say about their experience: “Congratulations to all and a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took part in the ride and to those who have supported them along the way. The money raised comes at a critical time and will help MAP continue our work for the health and dignity of those Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees.”

Siraj was honored to have organized the charity cycle, and encourages our UK friends to keep supporting the good work of MAP.

Fuer wen ist das Camp gedacht?

Das Programm ist fuer junge, palaestinensische Frauen und Maenner in der Diaspora, im Alter von 16-25 Jahren.

 

Wie viel kostet es?

Die Teilnahme kostet $ 590 USD.

 

Was ist in dem Preis enthalten?

In dem Preis sind alle Uebernachtungen (eine in Jerusalem, drei in Bethlehem und 5 in Pfadfinderlagern). Ebenfalls sind alle Mahlzeiten enthalten, ausser an den Freizeittagen.

 

Was sollte ich mitbringen?

Du solltest einen Schlafsack fuer die Uebernachtungen in den Pfadfinderlagern mitbringen. Denk bitte an eine Kopfbedeckung und Kleidung, die passend zu dem sehr warmen Wetter ist (Sommerkleidung). Mittel gegen Mueckenstiche sind zu empfehlen. Solltest Du Medikamente nehmen, bringe diese bitte in ausreichender Menge mit.

 

Was erwartet mich im Pfadfinderlager?

Das Pfadfinderlager ist in Beit Sahour, nahe Bethlehem. Du wirst in Zelten schlafen, denk daran deinen Schlafsack mitzunehmen.EswerdenDuschmoeglichkeitenvorhandensein.

 

Wie warden wir uns treffen?

An Deinem Ankunftstag (13. Juni) solltst Du mit einem Sammeltaxi nach Jerusalem zu unserem Treffen kommen. In allen Staedten gibt es viele Wechselstuben, bei denen Du ohne Probleme Geld tauschen kannst.

 

Wie wird das Wetter zu der Zeit sein?

Das Wetter im Juni ist heiss und trocken. Die Tagestemperaturen koennen zwischen 25-35 Grad erreichen. Du solltest mindestens 3 Liter am Tag trinken, grade dann, wenn Du dich draussen bewegst. Achte also immer auf ausrichend Getraenke.

 

Welche Staedte werden wir besichtigen?

Du wirst Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus und Jericho besuchen. Und dazu wirst Du einige Doerfer sehen, wie Battir, und einige historische Staetten, wie Mar Saba.

Zusaetzliche Informationen

Du solltest eine Auslandskrankenversicherung haben, fuer den Notfall. Dein Reisepass muss mindestens noch 6 Monate gueltig sein. Infomiere Deine Kreditkartengesellschaft, dass Du in palaestinensische Gebiete reist. Allerdings kannst Du mit einer Maestro Karte ebefalls ueberall Geld abheben.

 

 

Siraj Center

Since 2005, Siraj has been achieving its vision of becoming one of the most prominent and innovative organizations driving the development of responsible tourism, and re-branding Palestine as a destination for experiential travel and person-to-person connectivity.

The following is a brief overview of accomplishments in our 12th consecutive year of operation.

2017 Tour Programs

27 groups came through Siraj in 2017, with approximately 600 individual participants taking part in our programs.  Late winter to early spring, then mid-autumn to early winter were the busiest times for our excursions, in part as these seasons are typically considered the peak of the hiking season.  Programs that were in operation included the Nativity Trail, Bike Palestine, our Weekly Walk initiatives, and experiential pilgrimages in the northern and southern districts of Palestine as part of the Abraham Path.

Two new programs were introduced; Thru Hike and Jothorona.   The Thru Hike program was created to meet the interest of a new type of hiking experience, while Jothorona is a new summer camp initiative aimed at Palestinians in the diaspora who seek to reconnect with their homeland.

Our primary market remains pilgrims and tourists from North America, the UK, Europe and Australia, with most group sizes fluctuating between 5 to 35 program participants.  Our most popular programs remain centered on a balance of physical exercise, cultural and religious experiential discovery.

2017 was a particularly successful year with hosting academic institutions and non-profit organizations, including a 120-person group from Harvard University as well as program from Westtown School, Swarthmore College, Bilda and MercyCorps.

Communications, Marketing and Development

2017 was a year of significant year for the development of communications, marketing and public relations for Siraj.  The Siraj website was rebuilt, with new text as well as a new layout.  The structure of the newsletter was updated from an informational to marketing format, and a new general brochure was produced, as well as our NEPTO (Network for Experiential Palestinian Tourism Organizations) website portal.

Conference and travel show attendance was quite strong, with Siraj being represented at the Vakantiebeurs Utrecht Travel Fair, Holiday Travel Prague, ITB Berlin, ATM Dubai (Arabian Travel Market), Adventure Next - Adventure Travel Trade Association, a development tour in New York and Chicago, World Travel Market in London, and the Izmir Travel Fair.   In November, Siraj was also pleased to host a familiarization trip for Australian experiential tour operators. 

In December 2017, a half-day staff development retreat was organized, with all staff in attendance.  Open discussions were held on present strengths, challenges and opportunities for the future, with staff being encouraged to discuss ideas.

 

Moving Forward into 2018

In 2017, Palestine was ranked as the fastest-growing tourism destination.  While significant obstacles due to the political situation, military occupation, infrastructure and service sector shortcomings both remain and intensify, Siraj believes that the potential for growth in experiential tourism has not yet been realized. Siraj is considering ways of how to improve the program experience of existing excursions, as well as an examination of what opportunities exist for new and innovative programs.   Most importantly, Siraj remains committed to maintaining a community-based perspective while serving the needs of pilgrims, tourists, adventurers and all those in solidarity with the people and land of Palestine who come from the world over to partake in the Siraj experience.

For more information about Siraj and its programs, please visit www.sirajcenter.org and/or contact Mayada Salsa, Operations and Social Media director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Holy Land Handcraft Society and Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies

Are planning the Third Fair- Trade Tour 2021

Day 01: 03 May 2021

Arrival to Tel Aviv Airport, take a shared taxi to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 02: 04 May 2021

After breakfast, tour in the old city of Jerusalem followed by lunch. Visit Sunbula, a member of WFTO.

Proceed to Jenin, visit Canaan, member of WFTO.

Dinner and overnight in Zababdeh village or in Jenin, Jenin district.

Day 03: 05 May 2021

After breakfast, proceed to Nablus. Lunch at Yafa cultural center at Balata refugee camp, followed by a visit to Jacobs well, have a tour in the old city of Nablus. Dinner and overnight in Jericho.

Day 04: 06 May 2021

After breakfast, visit Jericho city followed by a visit to Bedouin community in the Jorden valley. Proceed to Ramallah; visit the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), member of WFTO followed by lunch; visit the National Fair Trade Cooperation (Adel) in Ramallah. Proceed to Bethlehem .Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 05: 07 May 2021

After breakfast, visit the Holy Land Cooperative Society member of WFTO and a visit to Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans member of WTFO. Lunch in Hebron followed by a visit to Hebron glass factory. Tour of the old city of Hebron including Patriarchs Tombs -Ibrahimi mosque. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 06: 08 May 2021

Visit two of the Holy Land Handcraft Society Artisans workshop. Visit the Institute of community partnership/Bethlehem university member of WFTO. World Fair Trade celebration, lunch followed by a visit to the Nativity church and a tour of the old city of Bethlehem.

Day 07: 09 May 2021

Departure to the Airport.

 

 

To Visit HLHCS Website, click here

Registration Form click here

Palestinian Youth Diaspora Program

Who is the camp for?
The program is for young men and women in the Palestinian diaspora aged 16-25.

How much does it cost?
The total program costs $590.

What does it include?
The cost includes overnights (1 in Jerusalem, 3 in Bethlehem and 5 in a scout camp). It also includes all tours, and all meals except for on free days.

What do I need to bring?
You should bring a sleeping bag to use at the scout camp. Be sure to bring a hat and clothes suitable for very hot weather. Also bring mosquito repellent and all of your required medication.

What is the scout camp like?
The scout camp is in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. You will sleep in tents so be sure to bring your own sleeping bags. There will be shower facilities made available.

How will we meet?
On the day of your arrival (June 13th) you should transfer to Jerusalem via shared taxi for our meeting. In all cities there are plenty of ATMs with which you can change money.

What will the weather be like?
The weather in June will be hot and dry - likely between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius. You should be drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day, especially when we are outside hiking.

Which cities will we visit?
You will visit Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus and Jericho. You will also visit some villages, like Battir, and historical areas like Mar Saba.

Practical Information:
You should be sure you have health insurance that will cover you in Palestine. You should have a passport valid for at least six months. Be sure to alert your credit card company that you will be in the Palestinian Territories.

 

 

Located in the northern West Bank, Zababdeh is a majority Christian town - the only one of its kind in the West Bank - with about 4,000 residents. The mayor, by law, must be Christian. Manuel Musallem, a Fatah supporter and native of Birzeit, was the village priest of Zababdeh from 1974 until 1995, when he was posted as a parish priest in Gaza. During his tenure high quality educational facilities were developed that drew in young Muslim students from Jenin, 15 kilometers away.

Nazareth is the largest city in Israel’s northern district, home to about 76,000 inhabitants. Known as the “Arab Capital of Israel”, the city’s name in Arabic, An Nasira, means ‘Christians’, or, more literally, ‘those who follow Jesus of Nazareth’. Nazareth is a religiously diverse city, home to large numbers of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Nazareth is known as the city where Jesus lived as a child, and accordingly there are many attractions that draw pilgrims from around the world. The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is built on the site where it is said that the angel Gabriel came to Mary to inform her of her pregnancy, and Joseph’s Church is said to have been constructed on the site where Joseph’s carpentry shop once stood. Visitors can also enjoy Al Babour, a massive spice market, and a bustling bazaar in the middle of the city.

Overnight

Type of Accommodation

Hotel

Names

Villa Nazareth, Rosary Guest House, Galilee Hotel

Websites

www.villa-nazareth.co.il

Notes

In villages it is important that you are dressed modestly at all times: this means wearing loose, opaque clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Women should carry a lightweight scarf with which they can cover themselves when entering mosques or other holy sites.

Due to its diverse  religious population and urban environment, you will be able to find alcohol in Nazareth.

While well-stocked pharmacies are easily accessible in much of the West Bank, you might not be able to find some desired medicines in small villages. For this reason, we recommend that you bring with you high SPF sunscreen, aspirin or other pain relievers, antihistamine, disinfectant, insect repellent, antibiotics and intestinal antiseptics. You should also have a hat, water bottle, backpack and comfortable shoes with you at all times to ensure your health and comfort while walking.