2015 Summer Camp

10 days / 9 nights
20th - 29th July, 2015

$1,690 (per person)
Includes accommodations, tours, most meals,
donation to the Yafa Center, Balata Refugee Camp

Hosted by Green Olive Partners, Palestinian families, and Balata Refugee Camp's Yafa Center for youth.

Have a summer experience like you never imagined. Learn about Palestinian culture. Experience the Occupation.

Help out at a summer camp for the children of refugees at Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus. You'll meet several Green Olive Partners, visit five Palestinian cities, historical and religious sites, meet Palestinians from all walks of life, and become enriched through volunteering with the children's programs at the Yafa Center.

The first few days will be a learning curve with briefings, touring, visits with local people, and evening events. Your overnight stays will be at a family home in Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem, and at the guest house of the Yafa Center in Nablus.

Day 1 - Monday - Greater Jerusalem and The Old City

9.15am. A representative of Green Olive will meet you at the Rimon Cafe, Damascus Gate, at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Your trip will start with a briefing with maps and alternative tour of Jerusalem's Old city, taking in the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Selpuchre in addition to seeing the Israeli settler homes that have been sprouting in the Muslim  Quarter.

You'll learn about the implications of Israeli encroachment into Muslim areas of the Old City and surrounding neighbourhoods.

After lunch you will go on the road for a tour of some of the suburban Jerusalem settlements, Palestinian neighborhoods, the Separation Barrier, and segregated roads. These will include Pizgat Ze'ev, Har Homa, Beit Hanina, and Anata.

You'll drive through Ma'ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the West bank (pop. 35,000).

Then off to Beit Sahour to meet your host family after a busy and intense first day.
Overnight in Beit Sahour

Day 2 - Tuesday - Bethlehem
Today you'll be with a Palestinian guide for an overview of Bethlehem. You'll see the settlement of Har Homa that you saw from the Jerusalem side of the Barrier yesterday. Today the view will be from the Palestinian side.

You'll visit the Aida Refugee Camp, and have a discussion with a representative of an organisation there. You'll see the Separation Barrier up close, and the famous Bansky Graffiti. You'll also meet Palestinians, and visit the Church of the Nativity.

In the evening you'll visit the Alternative Information Center (AIC) for their weekly discussion session about aspects of Palestinian life and the Occupation. There is a featured speaker from an Israeli or Palestinian organization then lots of round table discussion. The AIC promotes the rights of the Palestinian people, and is the only peace and justice organization that has a mixed staff and board of Palestinians and Israelis.
Overnight in Beit Sahour
Day 3 - Wednesday -  Nablus
You'll travel up the spine of the West Bank on route 60 seeing many small radical settlements and Palestinian villages. First stop will be the Samaritan village on Mount Grizim. The Samaritans are the remnants of the ancient israelite tribes of the north. They still practice an ancient form of the Hebrew religion.

Then down to the Old City with its beautiful labyrinth of buildings dating back to the Ottoman period. You'll visit the ancient Turkish baths and an olive oil soap factory. You will also visit sites of historical and religious interest such as Jacob’s Well; a deep well dug by Jacob and where Jesus once asked a Samaritan woman for a drink.

Then to Balata Refugee Camp where you'll meet the staff and the children at the Yafa Center, and be introduced to your activities for the following day.
Overnight in Nablus

Day 4 - Thursday - Children's Summer Camp
Today you'll be hosted at the Yafa Center of Balata Refugee camp, and begin your volunteer work.

You'll help out with the children's activities which include art projects, dance, and sport activities. You'll also participate in cooking a meal, learning about Palestinian culinary arts, and preparing something delicious for all to eat.

The Yaffa Center uses art, education, and sports to help the traumatised children of the Balata Camp.
Overnight in Nablus

Day 5 - Sebastiya & Jenin

Sebastia is 15 kilometers NE of Nablus and home to a number of important archaeological sites. The ancient site of Herod's city, Samaria-Sebaste, is located just above the built up area of the modern day village on the eastern slope of the hill, with spectacular views and some of the oldest olive trees in the West Bank, some dating back over 1,000 years

In Jenin the group will visit the Freedom Theater, made famous by the movie, 'Arna's Children', and learn about the work there with kids from the adjacent Refugee Camp. Using the arts as a model for social change, The Freedom Theatre has developed the only professional venue for theatre and arts in the north of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The aim of this project is to empower and give voice to the children of Jenin Refugee Camp through a unique programme of workshops and activities in theatre, supporting arts and multi-media, ranging in their emphasis from the largely therapeutic and healing, to the presentation of high-quality artistic products.

Overnight in Nablus

Day 6 - Saturday - Working at the Children's Summer Camp, at the Yafa Center of Balata

Overnight in Nablus

Day 7 - Sunday - Children's Summer Camp

Overnight in Nablus

Day 8 - Monday - Children's Summer Camp

Overnight in Nablus

Day 9 - Tuesday - Tour to Qalqiliya
Qalqiliya is a town of 45,000 people at the westernmost part of the West Bank, just 15 kilometers from the Mediterranean. You'll travel west from Nablus passing a variety of settlements and Palestinian villages.

In Qalqiliya you'll see the separation barrier up close, and the roar of the 6-lane Israeli highway just on the other side. The town is completely surrounded by the Separation Barrier and accessible though a single road. You'll have time to browse the market and visit the only zoo in the West Bank, made famous by Amelia Thomas and her book, "The Zoo on the Road to Nablus".

Overnight in Nablus

Day 10 - Wednesday - Free Day - Return to Jerusalem in the afternoon

Itinerary subject to change

  • Nablus Day Tour
    Visit the Samaritans and their holy temple on Mount Grizim. Hold a discussion with the Director of a youth organization in Balata Refugee camp. Explore the sights and sounds of the Old City of Nablus
  • Masada, Dead Sea & Southern West Bank
    An overview of the southern West Bank, the ancient Roman complex at Masada, a drive along the entire length of the Dead Sea, and an opportunity to dip in the healing sea waters.
  • Taybeh Village
    Come and explore Christian Palestine through the beautiful village of Taybeh located between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho.
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