News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 14:36:19 +0300 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Masar Ibrahim al Khalil Walks Masar Ibrahim al Khalil Walks

During the first half of 2016, the Siraj Center in cooperation with the Masar Ibrahim al Khalil enabled 245 people to walk through rural Palestine, exploring its natural beauty, history, culture, cuisine and being welcomed by authentic Palestinian hospitality along the way.

The one-day and two-day weekly walks began in February until end of June 2016. The walkers had the choice of hiking different segments of the Masar Ibrahim in Palestine. The Jerusalem Wilderness and the Reshayda Desert were among the first walks of the season. Another segment included Nebi Musa to Mar Saba, where walkers had the chance to visit ancient religious sites. In the northern section, walkers discovered rural Palestine from Awarta, Duma, Aqraba, Nablus and Jenin.

The age categories of the masar walkers ranged from 18 to 74 years old. In addition to the local Palestinian walkers, there were international hikers who came from different countries such as China, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Jordan, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Australia, the United States, Canada, the U.K. , France, etc.

]]> (Administrator) News Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:43:44 +0300
Wilfrid Laurier University Tour 2016

22nd – 25th May 2016

The twelve member delegation from Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University traveled for the first time to Palestine for a diverse educational experience.  Students and staff were able to visit major cities, as well as rural villages in the West Bank, being welcomed by people from each local community, learning about the day-to-day lives and challenges faced. 


The group took part in a 14 km hike through the northern highlands from Araba, Kferet to Burqin, where they walked through beautiful untouched rural landscape.  A visit to one of the oldest churches in the world, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George – the Church of Healing, and to the Canaan Fair Trade showed the delegates how Palestinians are working hard to preserve, conserve, protect and promote Palestinian products and their cultural heritage to the world.  The university students walked through the busy narrow streets of the Old City of Nablus.  They had the opportunity to meet Palestinian university students at Nablus’ Al Najah University, and also to visit the Freedom Theater in Jenin, to get to know about the work being done to inspire and empower youth through theater.

]]> (Mayada) Siraj News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 11:03:19 +0300
Bike Palestine 2016 Bike Palestine 2016

9th - April 2016

Twenty-one British cyclists took part in Bike Palestine where they cycled approximately 200 km across the West Bank, starting from the northern city of Jenin cycling southwards through the ancient city of Sebastia, the old city of Nablus before reaching Taybeh.  It wasn’t only hard cycling through dramatic landscapes, but also relaxing moments enjoying the easy rides in Bethlehem and Jericho, and even the unique experience of floating on the Dead Sea – the lowest point on Earth. 



The cyclists’ rode to the divided city of Hebron, as well as into the historic city of Jerusalem, where on each day were given cultural tours of the divided cities.  A farewell dinner party was enjoyed by all at the Grotto Restaurant in Beit Sahour.  We look forward to hosting the next Bike Palestine tour in the Fall 2016.

]]> (Mayada) Siraj News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:50:06 +0300
Harvard Group 2016 Harvard Group 2016

12th – 22/03/2016

A delegation of 116 participants from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government visited Palestine in order to enhance and deepen their understanding of the situation on the ground.


Supported by the Siraj Center, the Harvard group visited East Jerusalem, several towns in the West Bank as well as Nazareth, Haifa and Jaffa.

 During the educational visit, students and staff met with local organizations and civil society groups to learn more about grassroots activism in Palestine, and to discuss the challenges that people face in their daily lives. 

 The journey ended with a farewell dinner party in Ramallah.  We here at the Siraj Center look forward to welcoming more Harvard students in the near future!

]]> (Mayada) Siraj News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:44:35 +0300
Westtown School Trip 2016 Westtown School Trip 2016

The Siraj Center arranged for a delegation of 18 high-school seniors and 6 staff from Westtown School,  a Quaker boarding and day school near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, to travel through Palestine and Israel from 5th – 18th March 2016.


The purpose of their trip was to learn about the political and religious history of the area, and to experience first-hand a region that gets world attention and is important to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

The delegation from Westtown stayed with local Palestinian families, which allowed students and staff to get a real sense of everyday life and culture in the West Bank.  As a result, they established relationships between trip participants and citizens of Palestine and Israel.  Particular focus was on building personal and institutional relationships between Westtown and Ramallah Friends School.


Siraj’s efforts to bring the participants closer to people at the community level enabled the members of the group to deepen their familiarity with and understanding of community-level “grass-roots” work to promote nonviolent methods of addressing injustice and promoting peace and coexistence.

]]> (Mayada) Siraj News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:42:16 +0300
Masar Ibrahim Al khalil Northern Part

An international group of four hikers completed a four day hike along the northern part of the Masar Al Khalil starting 21 till the 24\3\2016. They began their journey in Nablus, exploring the old city, the olive oil soap factory, the Greek Orthodox Church of Jacob’s Well and Tel Balata.  They hiked southwards to the village of Awarta, where they enjoyed a traditional Palestinian meal, and stayed overnight with local families.

The following day they walked from Awarta to Duma.  A host family welcomed the four travelers with a home cooked meal and Palestinian hospitality. 

The last two days, they hiked across the hills to Kufr Malek, where they met leaders of the local women’s committee, who in turn had prepared lunch for the visitors. The group finished their exploration of rural Palestine with a final hike to Taybeh, where they had the chance to visit the ancient ruins of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, then a walking tour around the Old City, and finally a refreshing cold beer at the Taybeh brewery.

]]> (Mayada) Siraj News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:21:29 +0300
Rock Spring Pilgrimage Rock Spring Pilgrimage

Between the 12th – 23rd of February 2016, Pastor Jeff Wright led 14 members of the Rock Spring group on a pilgrimage and educational tour of the Holy Land.


The delegation, which was comprised of a diverse group coming from different parts of the U.S.A., was seeking both a spiritual and educational experience.  The group met with Christians, Jews and Muslims, who are working for a just and lasting political solution to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.  They traveled to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Jericho and more!  The members of the group had the opportunity to engage in dialogue and to hear different perspectives on the conflict.  Meetings were also arranged with local organizations to learn about their work, about the challenges they face, and about their hopes for the future.


Among the holy sites that the Rock Spring delegation visited were holy places in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Jerusalem and Hebron.  They also had a chance to hike through Wadi al Qelt, enjoying dramatic landscapes, before taking a cable car from Jericho up to visit the Mt. of Temptation.  To relax, they were able to float in the Dead Sea – the lowest point on Earth!  As a farewell, the Siraj Center arranged a cultural evening for the Rock Spring members.  They enjoyed traditional Palestinian food as well as music and Dabkah dancing.

]]> (Mayada) Siraj News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:14:30 +0300

For a long time I have watched, usually on Arabic/English Television, the effects that the Israeli occupation is having on the people of Palestine.


When the opportunity arose to visit various parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, I knew that I would have to go as I had not seen travel arrangements like these before.

While other members of the group may be able to give you a more comprehensive account of our trip, I would just like to to say that being there really brings home the struggle that the Palestinian people face on a daily basis.

I do realize that planning a trip like this would have its challenges, but I can say that with the combined efforts of Elaine and the Siraj Center we could not have asked for more. I know also that our group benefited greatly by the untiring efforts of drivers, guides, advisers and many other professionals too numerous to mention.

Let me finish by saying that it's trips like this that educate and inform.


Gerry Duffy
November 8th, 2015

]]> (Mayada) News Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:18:48 +0200
Medical Aid for Palestinians By: Richard Gray

British cyclists take part in Siraj Cycle Ride across the West Bank to raise money for Palestinian medical projects

An intrepid group of British cyclists recently completed a five-day, 200km cycling challenge with Siraj Centre in support of UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

The cyclists’ route took them from Nablus to Qalqilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, through the divided city of Hebron and onto historic East Jerusalem. On the way, they passed the Separation Wall, and visited MAP’s mobile clinic serving the threatened Bedouin communities of the Jordan Valley.

The diverse group, many of them visiting Palestine for the first time, included several doctors and a 72-year old retiree. Despite the gruelling physical challenge they have undertaken, some of the cyclists have vowed to embark on another ride in future.

Chris Taylor, one of the cyclists, said: “Doing this ride with MAP we raised a lot of money and awareness, but we also received a lot back as well. We came back fitter and with a compassion to help other people - something that maybe has got lost along the way with the structure of working life back here in the UK.”

Tain Joliffe, another of the cyclists, said: “I feel privileged to have been part of this challenge. It has inspired me to fight even harder for Palestine and its people.”

Alice Watts
Medical Aid for Palestinians

]]> (Mayada) News Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:18:05 +0200
A la Calle Group 2015

The participants from the  A la Calle Group were given a  Jerusalem Political Tour, and in Bethlehem a tour of Aida Refugee Camp and a visit to the Museum of Natural History in Bethlehem to witness how the occupation and building of illegal settlements affects the daily lives and environment of Palestine and its inhabitants.

 On another note, the group also learned about one ngo’s agricultural projects, and visited an elderly association, the Women's Action for Training & Rehabilitation and the Al-dameer (Prisoners Association).  While in Ramallah, the group visited the tomb of the late-President Yasser Arafat, as well as the Mahmud Derwish Museum.  In the northern West Bank, a visit to Jenin’s Freedom Theater showed the participants how youth are striving for a brighter future.  In Jericho, lunch was served at the Mt. of Temptation overlooking the Jordan Valley.  Later, they floated in the Dead Sea for relaxation to be ready for the following day’s hike along the Masar Ibrahim to the Greek Orthodox Desert Monastery of Mar Saba.  There was a drive to the Negev Desert to meet the Bedouin community of Al Araqib.  In Haifa, a meeting with the ngo Baladna where participants learned about how Palestinians outside the West Bank live and are treated within the Israeli society.


]]> (Mayada) News Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:17:26 +0200