vrijdag 15 mei 2009

Traveling to Palestine

Palestine is a unique country from all perspectives; history, religions, cultures etc. What made this country so famous from old times until our day is its rich history related to the old human presence in this area as well as it is the home of the 3 monotheistic world religions; Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Not only that, but also because of the never ending wars that this country experienced and still experiences.

Why Travel to Palestine

Anyone with an interest in world history, spiritual history, archaeology, contemporary politics, or Middle Eastern culture will find themselves fascinated by Palestine. You can find the some of the following interest areas:

Pilgrimage and spirituality

Palestine is considered a sacred place by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as well as by other religious groups such as the Druze and Bahai. It is home to hundreds of holy sites, primary among them being the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem; the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds' Fields in Bethlehem/Beit Sahour; the Tomb of the Patriarchs or Haram al-Ibrahimi in Hebron; and many others.

Ancient history and archaeology

Palestine has always been a centre of political, cultural, social, and spiritual life. Around 3000 BCE, Semitic migrations to Palestine from the Arabian Peninsula began: the Amorites and the Canaanites were the first to migrate to Palestine; then came the Jebusites, the Aramites, the Moabites, the Ammorites and the Nabataeans. The Hebrews arrived in approximately 1020 BCE.

A testament to Palestine's ancient past, the country's archaeological history is incredibly rich and diverse. Innumerable excavated sites can be found throughout Palestine and a huge variety of artefacts have been discovered: ancient tools, pottery, sculptures, mosaics, drawings, cave dwellings, burial places, temples, shrines, castles, fortresses, and even entire cities.

Interested tourists can arrange to visit any number of archeological sites and museums.

Contemporary politics

Travelers interested in the history of the Zionist movement, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the current status of the conflict should consider this type of tour. They can involve meetings with Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, civil society groups, politicians, scholars, and victims of the conflict. They can also include visits to particular sites of interest, such as mixed Israeli/Palestinian communities, Israeli settlements, demolished Palestinian houses, communities under siege, and sites affected by the segregation wall.

Finally, trips can involve working with Israeli and Palestinian solidarity groups such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (www.icahd.org) and the International Solidarity Movement (www.palsolidarity.org).

Palestinian and Middle Eastern culture

Before the word became unfashionable, the Zionist movement defined itself as a colonial enterprise. Like all colonial movements, it developed a set of historical myths designed to de-legitimize the native people's claims to their lands, or even to deny their existence entirely.

In response to this onslaught emerged the Palestinian folklore movement, which sought to document and describe Palestine's unique culture in order to establish the age-old connection between Palestinians and their country. Palestinian folklorists collected all kinds of materials, from traditional dress to traditional folktales.

Interested tourists can arrange to visit folklore museums and to meet with Palestinian folklore experts.

The Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) is one ogranization that can help you to learn about history, religions, conflicts, culture, traditions etc. In this place, one can have a life experience that can never be found elsewhere.

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