The tourist guidebook: “Palestine & Palestinians” by the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) of Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, Palestine provides an in-depth, updated journey through the entire range of Palestinian culture: ancient and modern history, archaeology, religion, architecture and politics, including the daily realities of Israeli occupation. It describes places rooted in Palestinian memory: sites which bear witness to a history and identity created from contact with civilisations of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Europe and Arab Peninsula. It also presents the contemporary tragedy and struggle of a people seeking recognition of their rights and details of their ongoing search for an end to injustice through a viable peace and statehood.
A great variety of documentary material, biographies of culturally significant personalities, poems, popular songs and recommended reading list provide readers with opportunities to broaden their horizons, while many contacts provide a range of possibilities for talks or tours with specialists, or meetings with local people in their homes. The book offers practical information (transport, hotels, cafes, restaurants, museums, hiking routes, cultural centres, etc.) so you may plan your own multifaceted visit. As a guidebook, “Palestine & Palestinians” is a comprehensive guide to Palestine, including those parts of Israel where Palestinian culture and traditional hospitality still thrive.
“Palestine & Palestinians” presents a version of justice tourism to enhance the world’s increasing interest in the cause of the Palestinian people while providing tools to go beyond misleading stereotypes. The book sets out to facilitate visits to Palestine for tourists who wish to increase their understanding and even work with Palestinians and Israelis towards a just, viable peace. At the same time, it provides enough material for those readers who prefer to travel far and wide in the comfort of their own armchairs. Or it can simply be used as a reliable guidebook for regular visitors.
Available in English, Arabic, Spanish Italian and Russian
About Alternative Tourism Group (ATG)
ATG is a Palestinian NGO specializing in tours and pilgrimages that include critical examinations of the history, culture, and politics of the Holy Land. Established in 1995, ATG operates according to the tenets of "justice tourism", that is, tourism that holds as its central goals the creation of economic opportunities for the local community, positive cultural exchange between guest and host through one-on-one interaction, the protection of the environment, and political/historical education. ATG works to encourage all tourism operators to abandon exploitive mass tourism and to adopt practices that positively affect the host population. Through these methods, ATG seeks to promote a positive image of Palestine and its people and to contribute to establishment of a just peace in the area.
Kairos Palestine is a document which represents the Christian Palestinians’ word to the world about what is happening in Palestine. It is written at this time when we wanted to see the Glory of the grace of God in this land and in the sufferings of its people. In this spirit the document requests the international community to stand by the Palestinian people who have faced oppression, displacement and suffering for more than six decades. The suffering continues while the international community silently looks on at the occupying State, Israel. Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice and apartheid, urging them to work for a just peace in our region, calling on them to revisit theologies that justify crimes perpetrated against our people and the dispossession of the land.
The book, Kairos for Palestine is written by Rifat Odeh Kassis, one of the co-authors and general coordinator of Kairos Palestine. Rifat Odehh Kassis shares his insights and analysis on the document and the later established movement in this book.
About the author
Rifat Kassis is a Palestinian Christian was born in Beit Sahour, in the West Bank and is an active human rights and community activist. In 1992 he founded the Palestinian section of the international child rights organization, Defence for Children International (DCI) and in 2005 he was elected President of the international movement. In 1996 he left Palestine to work in Central Asia for several years, helping to develop the NGO sector there. In 2000 he came back to Palestine to become the Executive Director of the East Jerusalem YMCA and to run the YMCA/YWCA Joint Advocacy Desk. In 2005 he joined the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva to run the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). He is a cofounder of the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) He is active on the boards of several different international and local civil society organizations.