The tour started in Jerusalem, and covered both east and west Jerusalem. The participants visited cities within the Occupied West Bank. The first stop was meeting and having lunch with students at the Bethlehem University. This allowed for discussion with Palestinian students about their views, beliefs and personal aspirations.
On Day 4, the group was given a walking tour of the Old City of Nablus, followed by a short drive to Mt. Gerizim to visit the Samaritans who until today preserve their small community, customs and traditions.
On a different note, the next visit was to the Farra’ Refugee Camp. Cramped quarters, narrow streets, yet there was hope and hospitality among the residents. The highlight of Farra was the dinner with host Palestinian families. An intercultural exchange. The group learned about the difficulties that the refugees endure living in a refugee camp.
In Nazareth, our visitors met with representatives of the Ilam Media Center. After lunch, they had the opportunity to visit the awe-inspiring Basilica of the Annunciation. From there, the participants visited Saffouria, a village which was evacuated and later destroyed during the Nakbah in 1948. Beautiful landscape, ancient ruins.
Among the numerous visits, the group went to the Stella Maris Monastery at Mount Carmel, the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, the Negev desert where they met with the Negev Coexistence Forum, the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, the Presidential Compound and Yasser Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah, and finally the Handicapped Center for children in Beit Sahour.