2012 Travel Writing Competition Winners


From the judge, Sarah Irving.
I have to emphasise how difficult it was to choose between the top three entries in this competition. All were terrific pieces of writing, and deeply evocative of different aspects of how visitors witness Palestine and life for its people. On a personal level, I was also happy to see quality writing on Palestine coming from women! After much agonising, my decision was as follows:

1st Place
- $250 prize + one copy each of the Bradt Travel Guide to Israel and Palestine
Mapping Palestine - Alexandra Vaughan, USA
I loved the way Alexandra raised such a wide range of aspects of Palestine in a short piece ofwriting, whilst linking them into the wider international context with the fact that our images of Palestine are so skewed by the way that everyday media – such as Google – fail to represent the land properly. Alexandra balances the personal and the political deftly, and presents both the troubles that Palestine and Palestinian people face, and the beauty and optimism of Palestinian culture.
. . .
Read this entry

2nd Place - $50 prize
A Patient Heartbeat - Amira Aleem, India
Like Alexandra, Amira gave a great balance of the personal and political, portraying the trauma and indignity of checkpoints, and their impacts on Palestinian education, health and economy. With her emphasis on 'waiting', Amira gave a real feeling of anticipation and the suspension of normal rights and expectations that affects Palestinian life.
. . . Read this entry


3rd Place - $25 prize
Teargassed in the Holyland - Alice Rothchild, USA
Alice's powerful portrayal of the weekly protests against the Separation Wall at Bil'in gave a vivid sense of the violence to which Palestinian and international demonstrators are regularly subjected, but also the inspiring co-operation and solidarity which has made these protests famous around the world.
. . . Read this entry

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About The Judge: Sarah Irving


Sarah Irving is a British freelance writer and editor specialising in the Middle East, travel, and the arts. She first visited Palestine/Israel in 1996 and has worked in Palestine as a human rights observer, fair trade product buyer, tour guide, journalist and travel writer on regular occasions since 2001. She is the author of three books on Palestine, including the Bradt Guide to Palestine, the most widely-available English-language guidebook to the West Bank, Gaza and Palestinian communities within Israel. She believes deeply in the contribution that ordinary people meeting ordinary Palestinians and Israelis, and seeing the situation on the ground for themselves can make to the international movement for a just and lasting peace in the region. All the entries to the competition will be loaded onto the Green Olive web site for you to enjoy, as per our Terms and Conditions.

  • 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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