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Tourist program with Palestinians

 

 

 

Palestine Link (Netherlands) and the Arab Educational Institute (AEI, Bethlehem)) wish you an inspiring Christmas and a healthy New Year!

Yet we want to add something to this wish – in case you plan to organize or accompany next year a traveling program to Israel, Palestine or the Holy Land.

Palestinian daily life seems to be a self-evident focus when tourists visit Palestine with all the present-day attention to the need for authentic experiences. Nonetheless it all too often happens that visitor programs do not pay any attention to Palestine’s people. Instead of encountering the “living stones”, traveling to the Holy Land easily becomes a journey along special, beautiful, or religious sites. By itself there is nothing wrong with this, but it usually happens in that case that the Palestinian population disappear completely from the tourist’s gaze.

In a variation to Dutch author Joris Luyendijk’s comment on western media coverage of Palestine and the Arab world, “They’re just like people,” we say, “They are real people.” We want to focus our Palestinian visitor program on common Palestinians and the context in which they live.

What is the program about?

Two elements come foreword in the Time for Palestine program of AEI and Palestine Link: the deep-seated problems and challenges which Palestinians face AND the cultural wealth of Palestine.

On the one hand we let common people tell their stories about the challenges they face and how in many situations they have to be incredibly resilient despite the all too restrictive influence they can bear on those situations. Palestine Link and AEI in Bethlehem presently work together on the establishment of a Wall Information Center in the Sumud Story House in Bethlehem (*). From May 2016 on you will be able to hear there more about the impact of the Wall and occupation on Palestinian life and how Palestinians attempt to resist and cope with that impact.

On the other hand we show the cultural richness of Palestine and Palestinians (which in its turn strengthens resilience or sumud). We do not speak about Culture with a capital C. Rather, think about popular culture, as you can discover it in eating habits, clothes, handicrafts, embroidery patterns, healthy herbs, inter-religious customs and stories, and the rhythm of life in the countryside. Women play an exceedingly important role in the mundane culture of life.  This culture offers a view into the roots and dignity of the Palestinian people, also in relation to the many special and historical places among which Palestinians happen to live.

What do we offer?

This is what you can expect: a people-directed, flexible and payable tourist program, with guides, facilitators and translators.

First option: a week-long program in which culture and strength of Palestinians is shown in many different contexts – in the Galilee, in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus and Jericho; in refugee camps, villages and the desert.

Second option: a two- or three-day program with Bethlehem as base. Small groups can register for a thematic day-long program which is presented directly by people out of their own home or neighborhood.

Third option: Tourists and visitors can visit the Wall Information Center, encounter there our helpful volunteers and take a walk along the Wall.

Of course we keep ourselves informed about the security situation. The safety of visitors is a priority. However, that does not mean that whole regions are automatically declared inaccessible.

Do you wish to learn more, without any obligation? Do not hesitate to submit your questions and write us on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with cc to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Rania Murra                                                  Ghada Zeidan

Director Arab Educational Institute           Director Palestine Link

 

AEI: www.aeicenter.org

Palestine Link: www.palestinelink.nl    

 

(*) The Wall Information Center is made possible by NAP 1325 Pilot Funds, Small Projects (Netherlands).

 

 


 

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