Rishmawi / Schlomka Speaking Tour 2008

Coordinated by
the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights Foundation (AAPAR)
For more information or to book a speaking engagement contact:
speakers@aaper.org or Tel: (202) 683-8438

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These two social entrepreneurs, a Palestinian and an Israeli, are veteran political activists and work in the alternative tourism sector. They will present an overview of their cooperation amid the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine. George and Fred will take you on an exploration of what it means to be a progressive entrepreneur in Israel and Palestine, and the value conflicts, political contradictions, and moral dilemmas that surface on a regular basis.

Their presentation will cover tourism in Palestine, and the Israeli monopoly over the vast majority of tourists who come to the Holy Land.  They will discuss the principals of doing business across the Green Line, including issues of normalization, boycott, and healthy economic development.

Through their work, George and Fred travel the length and breadth of the West Bank on a regular basis and are thoroughly familiar with the roads. Illustrated with some maps they will describe the two-tier road network being put in place by the Israelis, designed to segregate Arabs and Jews within the West Bank, while reducing the quality of life for Palestinians to prison-like conditions.

As representatives of alternative tourism, George and Fred will encourage audiences to visit the country and support their work. Maps, Videos, Literature, and Palestine products will be available at the events.

George Rishmawi is the Coordinator for the Siraj Center For Holy Land Studies. He organizes the Palestine Encounter programs which brings visitors to Palestine for first hand experience living with Palestinian families and working with Palestinian activists. He also has established the Travel and Encounter program and the Palestine Summer Encounter for the Holy Land Trust. He has expertise in cultural tours, political mission, and environmental hiking tours. George is a peace activist, cofounder of the International Solidarity Movement , a board member of the Network of the Christian Organizations in the Bethlehem area, and former board member of the Palestinian center for Rapprochement in Between People in Beit Sahour. George lives in the village of Beit Sahour, adjacent to Bethlehem.

Fred Schlomka, director of ToursInEnglish.com, organizes  cultural and political tours in Palestine and Israel. He conducts tours, consults with businesses and NGOs, is a partner in North Bridge Investments, and is active in the peace & justice movement. Fred is a former board member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the founder of Mosaic Communities, and a board member of the Traditional Karate Federation of Israel. In 2003 Fred was awarded a Social Entrepreneur Fellowship from the Echoing Green Foundation in New York for his work in advancing relationships between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. He has lectured on Israeli/Palestinian issues in Europe and the USA, and his articles have been published widely. Fred lives with his wife and two children in Kfar Saba near Tel Aviv.

Coordinated by the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights Foundation (AAPAR)
For more information or to book a speaking engagement contact:
speakers@aaper.org or Tel: (202) 683-8438

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