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Holy Land Trust invites Palestinians immigrants living around the world to rediscover Palestine today through a Birthright Palestine Tour. Birthright Palestine is a new program uniquely designed to introduce the realities of present-day Palestine to Palestinians living in other parts of the world. This rare program sheds new light on the Palestine you hear about in the news, and allows you to rediscover the beauty and pride of Palestine amidst the hardships of the current conflict. You will have an opportunity to visit important cities from Palestinian history, learn about traditional Palestinian culture, discover the dynamics of the current conflict, and return to your historical village to reconnect with your roots.
This exceptional experience is organized through Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian not-for-profit organization in Bethlehem established in 1998. Holy Land Trust (HLT) seeks to empower the community through mobilizing its strengths and resources in order to address the challenges of the present and the future. This is done by working with the Palestinian community through developing nonviolent approaches which aim to end the Israeli occupation and by building a future that is founded on the principles of nonviolence, equality, justice, and peaceful coexistence.
We offer many invaluable experiences including opportunities to live with a Palestinian family, learn Arabic, and also understand Palestinian traditions and culture through our Alternative Tours. Your stay will last two weeks and must be scheduled before October 15, 2008. Come, rediscover Palestine, and rediscover your roots! Click here for more information.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival at Tel Aviv airport, a Holy Land Trust driver will transfer you to your hotel in Bethlehem.
Orientation, transfer to host families in Beit Sahour.
Day 2: Bethlehem
We will start our day by visiting the Lajee Center in Aida refugee camp, where we will tour the camp and view the wall. Next we will visit the Church of the Nativity, the traditional place of Jesus’ birth. In the afternoon, we will meet with Sami Awad, director of Holy Land Trust, to learn about his groundbreaking work in nonviolence training. At night we will have dinner at a Bedouin restaurant and enjoy a performance of folkloric Palestinian dance (Dabkeh )
Dinner and overnight with your host families
Day 3: Jerusalem
We will tour East & West Jerusalem with ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolition). Then we will visit the Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of The Rock, and end the day by meeting with BTSelem, an Israeli Human Rights organization.
Dinner and overnight with host family
Day 4 : Hebron
We will start our day with a Power Point presentation by the Hebron Rehabilitation Center to learn more about the political situation in Hebron. Next we will visit the Ibrahimi Mosque, the traditional site of the tomb of the Patriarchs, a site holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians. Then we will walk through the old city of Hebron to see the daily lives of Palestinians in this contentious city. On the way back to Bethlehem we will stop to see the famous glass blowing artisans of Hebron, save room in your suitcase for some of their beautiful wares!
Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 5 : Ramallah
We will visit Ramallah, the unofficial capital of Palestine. There we will meet with the Addamir Prisoners Rights Organization to learn about the experience of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. Next, we will meet with Amira Hass, the famous Israeli journalist. We will also meet with Al-Haq Human Rights Organization. Finally, we will visit Arafat’s Tomb and we will try to arrange a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of Palestine, if available .
Dinner and overnight in Ramallah.
Day 6 : Jericho
On this day we will visit the oldest city in the world and the lowest spot on earth where we will meet with Dr. Sami Mussalam, Governor of Jericho. Then we will visit the historical sites of Tel Jericho and Hisham’s Palace, and will end the day with a relaxing soak in the Dead Sea.
Dinner and Overnight in Bethlehem.
Day 7 : Tulkarem
We will start our day by meeting with a representative from Mahsom Watch, an Israeli human rights group. As we drive to Tulkarem we will meet a representative of the Stop The Wall Campaign. Together we will visit some farmers from whom land has been confiscated by the wall. We will also see the Israeli chemical factories that have been built on the Palestinian side of the wall .
Dinner and Overnight in Nazareth.
Day 8 : Nazareth , Haifa , Ein Hod
In Nazareth we will meet with the Arab Human Rights Organization. Then we will walk through the beautiful old city market, and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East. We will then travel to visit Haifa, and continue on to visit a destroyed Palestinian village. Our afternoon will conclude with a visit to Ein Hod, where we will meet with Mr. Abu Al-Haija to learn more about Palestinian unrecognized villages in Israel.
Dinner and overnight with host family .
Day 9 – Day 13 : Holy Land Trust will arrange several meetings and lectures about the following:
-Past peace agreements
-Families who have experienced home demolition
Holy Land Trust will arrange the following activities during the last 4 days:
-Dabkeh class (traditional dance)
-Viewing of documentaries and relevant films
-Meeting with relatives (Holy Land Trust will help you find your -relatives if you are not in contact with them)
-A farewell party with your host families in the style of a -traditional Palestinian wedding. You can put your new Dabkeh skills to work!
-Any other arrangements requested by the group.
Dates: The program will take place on December 5-19, 2008. We encourage participants to extend their stay to experience Christmas in the region and take full advantage of the opportunity to explore and learn here.
Costs : The cost for this program is $1195 per person. We offer a discount for groups larger than five.
The Price includes:
-Accommodation with host family
-Honorariums for speakers.
-Breakfast and dinner
-Tips for guide and driver
The Price does not include :
-Other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary
We will also schedule a processing session, where participants and local representatives will talk together about how they can continue to work together after participants leave Palestine. Participants will have chance to process what they have learned and experienced and discuss how they can continue to support the Palestinian cause.
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