George Rishmawi is a Christian Palestinian activist from Beit Sahour near Bethlehem, Palestine, who believes in and works for peace using non-violent methods. He has wide experience of the situation of Palestinians living under occupation, and knows many of the people, organizations and NGOs campaigning locally and internationally.
In his capacity as Coordinator for the Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies (www.sirajcenter.org) which he co-founded in 2005, his advocacy activities include:
· organizing and leading international group tours of Israel/Palestine;
· organizing the Palestine Encounter program which brings International visitors to Palestine for first-hand experience of living with Palestinian families and working with Palestinian activists;
· acting as Executive Director of the Palestinian Heritage Trail, a programme which bring people from all faiths to walk along the Steps of Abraham Path between Jenin and Hebron and learn about Abrahamic values and traditions.
· expertise in more unusual tourism activities including cultural, political mission, and environmental hiking tours;
· representing the Center in international venues.
Rishmawi has undertaken speaking tours throughout Europe and the USA giving talks on various subjects related to the on-going Palestine-Israel situation. He has given training in non-violence to groups all over Palestine.
Rishmawi worked for two year as the Advocacy Officer for the Near East Council of Churches in Jerusalem specializing in water issues, including access to water and sanitation. He has also worked in the past for The Holy Land Trust, the Guiding Star Tour Agency, Jerusalem, and the Alternative Tourism Group, Bethlehem.
He is a board member of the Network of Christian Organizations in the Bethlehem area, a member of the World Council of Churches Palestinian-Israel Ecumenical Forum, and a Board of Trustees member of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People in Beit Sahour (www.pcr.ps). He was a co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement.
Rishmawi recently elected to the Executive Board of the Arab Orthodox Cultural Club in Beit Sahour.
He holds a Batchelors Degree in English from Birzeit University, Palestine. During his time there he was a Student Council Member and organized five international work camps and two camps for olive picking.