The Palestinian Heritage Trail is a 500 km walking route through the West Bank. The Canada Feminist Fund for the Palestinian Territories has provided funding to train Palestinian women to welcome hikers and show them womens centres in cities and villages on the Trail. Whether you are a hiker or not, and whether you visit or not, the videos produced by the Trail give a glimpse of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Watch here…
NOTE: This post was written about two weeks ago. a future post will deal with the recent shocking declaration by the Israel Defence Department naming six well known Palestinian organizations as “terrorist”organizations.
The Palestinian Heritage Trail extends from the village of Rummana northwest of Jenin to Beit Mirsim southwest of Hebron back to Artas in Bethlehem, The trail passes through more than 60 Palestinian cities, villages, and local communities where travelers can experience and enjoy authentic Palestinian Hospitality.
More than just a hiking trail, it is a means of meeting and making connections with local Palestinians and hikers from all over the world. You can explore Bedouin communities and experience traditional Palestinian dishes, which are one of Palestine’s most fundamental traditions. It also invites hikers to experience nature, change perspectives about the middle east and create friendships along the way.
Is it dangerous?
The official Global Affairs website “discourages” Canadians from visiting the West Bank claiming that Canadians should “avoid all non essential travel” and use “a high degree of caution”. It’s hard to know whether Global Affairs officials in Ottawa really think its dangerous to travel around the West Bank or if they are following along with Israel’s attempts to boycott and isolate Palestinians generally.
But the thousands of Canadians who have travelled there in the last decade know that any city in the West Bank is safer at night than Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa.
NO Canadian tourist has been killed or seriously injured in Palestine in recent memory.
Part of Canada’s funding went to producing a series of promotional videos for the Palestine Heritage Trail.
The Canada Feminist Fund in the Palestinian Territories was launched last year to focus on supporting projects that seek to foster gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through working with civil society and local partners in the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem).
“We have been preparing to host guests again in Palestine since January 2021 by training our local community on the health and safety protocols listed on the Palestinian tourism platform (www.jahzeen.ps.)”, says Michel Awad, Executive director of Siraj, one of the participating organizations.
“We got $50,000 in funding from the Canadian government for a program which includes training local women how to promote their local products and how to welcome guests in their homes. A small amount of this fund was to create videos to promote their communities. We hope to see, borders open again soon and we are ready.”
Whether you are a hiker or not, and whether you visit or not, these 20 short YouTube videos on the different segments of the trail give a glimpse of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Watch here… https://www.youtube.com/c/PalestinianHeritageTrail/videos
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.
Please feel free to share this post with your friends or with your hiking club.
More information on the trail at: https://phtrail.org/
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