Monday, 27 February 2012 01:18

ITB Berlin - March 7th - 10th, 2012

ImageSiraj Center

Participates in ITB Berlin- International Travel Fair

Hall 22.B/203 

The Executive Director of Siraj Center for Holy Land studies Micheal Awad, will represent Siraj in the International Travel Fair ITB in Berlin from March 7th- 10th 2012 .   Siraj will participate under the Umbrella of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.  The Siraj Center booth will be at the Stand of the Ministry Tourism Hall 22.B/203. 


ImageAn American delegation from Colorado led by Pastor Jeff Wright and his wife Janet visited Palestine. The delegation, which was twenty personnel, was comprised of pastors, former missionaries and retired people aged forty to eighty. The main purpose of their visit was to see the sacred sites of the monotheistic faiths, as well as to witness and learn about the conflict in the region. 

ImageAn American delegation composed of six students from the University of St. Ambrose in the U.S. visited Bethlehem region for one day. The delegation started their day with a visit to the Nativity Church and the Milk Grotto before walking through the old city as far as Bethlehem University.

ImageAn Italian delegation hiked along the Nativity trial and toured first, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee and later started the walk from the Jenin, Zababdeh, Nablus, Jericho, and Mar Saba monastery.
Monday, 13 February 2012 00:10

Tony Wheeler 04/12/2011 – 06/12/2011

ImageSiraj center has organized a visit and tour for a very highly accredited guest Mr. Tony Wheeler, Co- founder of Lonely Planet guide book. His visit which took place from December 4th -6th , 2011 included: Nablus, Zababdeh, Jerusalem wilderness, Rashydeh and Bethlehem.
ImageA Brazilian with "Abraham Path Initiative" consists of 14 people visited Palestine from December 19th – 21st , 2011. The group stayed overnight with the Bedouin families in Rashaydeh village in the Jerusalem Desert, they also enjoyed had a Bedouin night cultural music and food arranged for them. In the morning the group enjoyed a sun rise over the Dead Sea.
Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:43

Shepherd’s Nights Festival 2011

ImageSiraj Center also participated in Organization the Fourth Annual Shepherd’s Nights Festival from December 23rd- 25th annually. This year festival, hosted a number of local bands, dance troupes, and singers. Also like every year, the Festival hosted a special event for Children where Santa distributed free gifts for few hundred children. The Festival is co-organized by the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People and The YMCA.
Monday, 17 May 2010 03:01

First Ever API Summer Walk!

ImageFor the past three years, the Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil team (Abraham Path - Palestine) has been working to develop a walking trail following the journey of Abraham in Palestine. Today, we are excited to invite people from all over the world to join us in walking our first 40 km segment. Come discover the local culture and traditions, experience the spirit of welcoming and hospitality along the route, and witness the magnificent historical and archeological heritage of Palestine!

For More information please Clieck Here

Friday, 22 January 2010 03:47

BU Summer School 2010


                                                Bethlehem University International Summer School 2010

Image The summer school will offer international students, both from Europe, the United Sates and elsewhere, the opportunity to study in the Holy Land, to have a first hand knowledge of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the situation of human rights and responsibilities in Palestine/Israel. The semester will offer a life-long experience of the situation, through living with Palestinian families, visits to the Palestinian areas, meetings with human rights groups, encounters with religious and political personalities, and discussion with Palestinian students.

For More information please Clieck Here


Monday, 14 December 2009 14:13

Open Letter from Kairos Palestine


A group of Palestinian Christians representing a variety of churches and church-related organizations have issued an animated and prayerful call for an end to occupation of Palestine by Israel.

The call, issued at a 11 December meeting in Bethlehem, comes at a time when many Palestinians believe they have reached a dead end. It raises questions to the international community, political leaders in the region, and the churches worldwide about their contribution to the Palestinian people's pursuit of freedom. Even in the midst of "our catastrophe" the call is described as a word of faith, hope and love.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009 08:49

Research for Justice Tourism

Dear Friends ,
IF we May ask you to Open the Below Questioner File, and Fulfill it and send it back to us

The Questionnaire for Responsible Tourism

We Appreciate Your Efforts
Siraj Team

Friday, 03 July 2009 08:09

Meet Michel Awad

ImageA Beit Sahour native, Michel is a trilingual: while Arabic is his mother tongue, he learned German and English at Talitha Kumi School in Beit Jala.  Michel studied Travel Management in Bethlehem University and in 2004 became an instructor for travel management in Bethlehem University.  He is a cofounder of Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies, where he works as the executive director.   Michel is a board member of the Palestinian Society for Travel and Tourism Agents. He represented Siraj Center as a member in the Steering Committee for the Palestinian Initiative for Responsible Tourism (PIRT).  Through his participation in PIRT he helped write and develop the Palestinian Code of Conduct.  Michael also is an active member in a number of Palestinian community organizations.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007 15:38

Meet George Rishmawi

ImageGeorge 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 ( 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 ( 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.


Saturday, 24 November 2007 13:21

Videography Equipment Fundraising

Moving forward:

A group of Palestinian activists has been researching available Palestinian products and services that can be exported.  We are also assessing what we have and what we need in terms of  skills, knowledge, and infrastructure, as well as our potential for carrying out projects that have not been done in Palestine.  Once it is compiled, we will put all the data on a website that will serve as a catalogue for these products, services, and potentials. We have already found local volunteers and a host for this websiteat no cost.  What we need now is a pilot project. After much thought, we have decided that the pilot project will be a video production unit, because:

  1. Its first task can be to make a video that highlights Palestinian products and services, one we can use to jumpstart other projects.
  2. The production unit, once up and running, can be used at low cost to offer video production services to international advocacy groups, visiting international groups, etc. 

We are thus seeking support for this initial phase of the project, which will demonstrate our ability to plan and execute projects of the highest caliber, and generate other opportunities for production. Within six months, the website will be functional and will include not only a substantial database of products and services, but a link to the video promoting Palestinian products and services.  The video production unit would be the first unit to offer services immediately, and at competetive prices, to organizations and individuals. To do this we need equipment. We seek modest donations of money or equipment to get going:




Video Camera

Sony DSR-PD170 Camcorder



Regular Tripod



HDV/DVCAM Player/Recorder   HVR-M15E



Wireless Neck Mic (400 X 2)



Boom Mic



Sony / Mac with extra Monitor


Hard Drive

External Hard drive 500 GB



Tapes, Transportation, DVDs, etc


Sub Total



Thursday, 22 November 2007 16:01

The Parish of Beit Sahour

The Parish of Beit Sahour

The Greek Catholic Parish in Beit Sahour was established in 1891 in the time of the Patriarchal vicar in Jerusalem, Archbishop Fillip Malouk. Some Beit Sahourian families joined the Catholic Church, and the Patriarchate exerted efforts to build a church for them. St Michael Church was built in 1895, and father Khalil Abu Sada was the first priest to serve the Parish and the people of Beit Sahour. He was followed by father Elias Sida, and father Bulos Antaki (now the Patriarchal Vicar in Alexandria). 

The Parish increased in number, and begot its devoted son the Patriarchal Vicar, the late Archbishop Jubrael Abu Sada. He worked hard to serve his people and his town Beit Sahour. In 1955 he built the current church known as “Church of Shepherds’ Lady”. He also helped in building schools and clinics in all over the patriarchate. In Beit Sahour, a seminary (Seminary of Shepherds’ Lady) was built in 1958, and in 1965 Archbishop Jubrael Abu Sada laid the cornerstone of the Greek Catholic School. Archbishop Elarion Kaputchi continued its building. 

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With this prosperity in Beit Sahour, Archbishop Jubrael Abu Sada asked for the assistance of Basilian Salvatorian Order to help him in taking care of people and institutions of Beit Sahour. The attention and regard of Basilian Salvatorian Order played a great role in the development and progress of the Christian community.

Thursday, 22 November 2007 15:32

The Greek Catholic Patriarchate

Greek Catholic Patriarchate

In 1724, the Antioch Patriarchate split into two parts: Melkite Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox. The Orthodox part renounced the title “Melkite”, while the catholic part kept it. A movement of unity with the Holy See spread in all the Arab countries, especially in Lebanon and Syria. This movement extended to the north of Palestine, especially in the Galilee.

The Catholic part had to live underground, and to suffer from oppression due to its communion of faith with Rome. In the Turkish era, the Greek Catholic followed the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople. However, the Ottoman Sublime Porte did not recognize them as an independent legitimate body (the right of jurisdiction).

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With the increasing number of the Greek Catholic, they became in 1772 under the authority of the Patriarch of Antioch, who also carried the title “Patriarch of Alexandria". Therefore, the Greek Catholic Patriarch became the Patriarch of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and the entire east.

When talking about the Greek Catholic Church in the Holy Land, we should never forget to mention the Basilian Salvatorian order and the monks and priests of the Savior’s Abbey, who have been working for 300 years. The number of faithful fathers who served the Holy Land in Jerusalem has reached 141 priests including patriarchs and bishops. Palestine has granted “the Salvatorian Congregation” 96 priests.

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