During the first half of 2016, the Siraj Center in cooperation with the Palestinian Heritage Trail enabled 245 people to walk through rural Palestine, exploring its natural beauty, history, culture, cuisine and being welcomed by authentic Palestinian hospitality along the way.
The one-day and two-day weekly walks began in February until end of June 2016. The walkers had the choice of hiking different segments of the Palestinian Heritage Trail in Palestine. The Jerusalem Wilderness and the Reshayda Desert were among the first walks of the season. Another segment included Nebi Musa to Mar Saba, where walkers had the chance to visit ancient relegious sites. In the northern section, walkers discovered rural Palestine from Awarta, Duma, Aqraba, Nablus and Jenin.
The age categories of the trail walkers ranged from 18 to 74 years old. In addition to the local Palestinian walkers, there were international hikers who came from different countries such as China, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Jordan, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Australia, the United States, Canada, the U.K. , France, etc.
22nd – 25th May 2016
The twelve member delegation from Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University traveled for the first time to Palestine for a diverse educational experience. Students and staff were able to visit major cities, as well as rural villages in the West Bank, being welcomed by people from each local community, learning about the day-to-day lives and challenges faced.
9th - April 2016
Twenty-one British cyclists took part in Bike Palestine where they cycled approximately 200 km across the West Bank, starting from the northern city of Jenin cycling southwards through the ancient city of Sebastia, the old city of Nablus before reaching Taybeh. It wasn’t only hard cycling through dramatic landscapes, but also relaxing moments enjoying the easy rides in Bethlehem and Jericho, and even the unique experience of floating on the Dead Sea – the lowest point on Earth.
The Siraj Center arranged for a delegation of 18 high-school seniors and 6 staff from Westtown School, a Quaker boarding and day school near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, to travel through Palestine and Israel from 5th – 18th March 2016.
An international group of four hikers completed a four day hike along the northern part of the Palestinian Heritage Trail starting 21 till the 24\3\2016. They began their journey in Nablus, exploring the old city, the olive oil soap factory, the Greek Orthodox Church of Jacob’s Well and Tel Balata. They hiked southwards to the village of Awarta, where they enjoyed a traditional Palestinian meal, and stayed overnight with local families.
For a long time I have watched, usually on Arabic/English Television, the effects that the Israeli occupation is having on the people of Palestine.
When the opportunity arose to visit various parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, I knew that I would have to go as I had not seen travel arrangements like these before.
British cyclists take part in Siraj Cycle Ride across the West Bank to raise money for Palestinian medical projects
An intrepid group of British cyclists recently completed a five-day, 200km cycling challenge with Siraj Centre in support of UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).
The cyclists’ route took them from Nablus to Qalqilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, through the divided city of Hebron and onto historic East Jerusalem. On the way, they passed the Separation Wall, and visited MAP’s mobile clinic serving the threatened Bedouin communities of the Jordan Valley.
The participants from the A la Calle Group were given a Jerusalem Political Tour, and in Bethlehem a tour of Aida Refugee Camp and a visit to the Museum of Natural History in Bethlehem to witness how the occupation and building of illegal settlements affects the daily lives and environment of Palestine and its inhabitants.
In Bethlehem, Sister Paulette’s group prayed at the Nativity Church, walked through the Old City, met with the Anstas Family, members of the Holy Land Trust, and learned about Kairos Palestine. The participants had a tour near the settlement and Wall surrounding Bethlehem and the Aida Refugee Camp, where they also visited the inspiring Alrowad Theater.
From the Bridge crossing, the group was transferred to Jericho, where they visited the Mt. of Temptation, overlooking the Jordan Valley. In Bethlehem, they had a walking tour of the Old City, prayed at the Nativity Church, as well as at the Christmas Lutheran Church, where they enjoyed coffee and meeting Pastor Raheb and the congregation.