Tag Archives: community tourism
The Beit al-Sham (Damascus House) guesthouse is a short journey from the Old City and from the modern, busy Rafidia area of town. It is based in a an elegant mid-20th century mansion house and has newly renovated rooms, a shared kitchen, gardens and outdoor seated areas, a cafe and wifi. The management can also help with arranging travel around the Nablus area and West Bank, and with volunteer placements via a local NGO with which the guesthouse is associated.
Just across the road from the pomp of the Intercontinental Hotel (and its closed casino) is Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, home to the only properly budget accommodation option in Jericho city. Sami Youth Hostel is a friendly, relaxed, if slightly chaotic place to stay, offering triple rooms at budget rates.
Contact: Sami Youth Hostel, Jerusalem-Jericho Road, Aqabat Jaber Camp, Jericho. Tel: 02 232 4220; 059 722 3727 or
052 792 3384.
Read about Sami Youth Hostel:
Ha’aretz (Note this article is old and written during a period of heightened Israeli military activity in the West Bank)
Jericho Committee for the Promotion of Tourism
An extremely popular family-run guesthouse in the picturesque village of Jifna, near Ramallah and very close to Bir Zeit. Includes a self-contained apartment with breakfast and wifi included, or they can accommodate larger groups in other parts of the house. On top of B&B they can provide full or half board meals and advise on local transport, things to do and see and other arrangements. Book early!
Phone: 02 281 1485 or 059 958 7476
Email: rkhouriya [at] yahoo.com
Brochure downloadable here.
Based in an educational centre for children with disabilities and run by the Moravian Church, Star Mountain offers a very different experience from the rather same-y mid-range tourist hotels or expensive 5* establishments of Ramallah city centre. It offers dormitory or chalet accommodation (with breakfasts and use of a shared kitchen) in a beautiful woodland setting, about 10 minutes by car/taxi from Ramallah. It also has wifi for guests during the day.
Address: Main St, Abu Qash, Ramallah
Telephone: 02 296 2705/6
Email: starmountaincenter [at] gmail.com
Website (German/Arabic): www.starmountain.org
Read about Star Mountain on:
- Green Prophet
- Virtual Tourist
- Star Mountain website (history)
See a Barenboim-Said Foundation workshop at Star Mountain on YouTube:
Tags: Abu Qash, B&B, Bradt Guide to Palestine, children, children with disabilities, community tourism, dormitories, Hostel, Moravian Church, Ramallah, rehabilitation, responsible travel, shared kitchen, Star Mountain, West Bank, wifi
‘Bedouin Hospitality’ is a responsible tourism project of the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages, an organisation which campaigns for the rights of Bedouin people living in the ‘unrecognised [by the State of Israel] villages’ of the Naqab (Israeli: Negev) desert. Bedouin Hospitality can arrange homestays in several different Bedouin villages and can tailor your stay to to visitors’ needs. For non-Arabic-speaking visitors there are English-speaking hosts, and some hosts can also provide full or half board, tours or talks on the situation for the Naqab Bedouin. Bedouin Hospitality can also arrange tours and meals without accommodation. As Bedouin Hospitality says:
“The Bedouin people are a historically nomadic Arab people who call the desert home and follow their flocks for sustenance. There are Bedouin in almost all Arab nations, and they are regarded as embodying the true essence of what it means to be Arab. In fact, throughout history it was customary for city-dwelling Arabs to send their children to the desert during the summers to live with a Bedouin tribe, so they could learn what it truly means to be Arab, an experience impossible in the city. They are also known for the eloquence of their language, and the culture of poetry recital among the Bedouin remains a staple of Bedouin identity.
In the modern world, however, the traditional Bedouin way of life is a threatened culture. In the Israeli state, the powers that be regard the Bedouin as an inconvenient relic of a forgotten past, and have taken measures to ensure that the Bedouin remain marginalized. There now exist 45 Bedouin villages in the Negev, the southern desert of Israel, where close to 80,000 people live without access to government-provided basic services such as water, electricity, and paved roads. The existence of these villages is the direct result of government attempts to destroy the traditional life of the Bedouin and settle them in cities.”
Email: yallylivnat [at] gmail.com
Phone: +972 54 748 7005 or +972 862 83043
Tags: accommodation, B&B, Bedouin, Bedouin Hospitality, Bradt Guide to Palestine, community tourism, full board, half board, hiking, home stay, homestay, Naqab, Negev, private rooms, responsible travel, tours, walking
Alsera is an ‘unrecognised’ Bedouin village in Naqab (known by the Israeli name of Negev). This means that its people are denied basic services, their homes stand under constant threat of demolition, their crops may be poisoned or damaged and their land is taken for new Israeli settlements. Despite this, Khalil Alamour, a teacher from the village who has represented his people and spoken about their plight at the UN, welcomes visitors into his home, where people can learn about the situation for the Bedouin of the Naqab and see how ordinary Bedouins live day-to-day, away from the stereotyped facilities of Israeli tourist sites in the Negev. Visitors need to note that this is a very traditional community where very modest dress must be worn and where unmarried members of different sexes may not share bedrooms.
Accommodation in Alsera can be booked in two ways. If you want to pay via credit or debit card, you can book via Green Olive Tours, an Israeli social enterprise which runs tours and provides accommodation in Palestine and Palestinian communities within Israel. Or you can get in touch via Bedouin Hospitality, a community tourism scheme run by the Regional Council of Unrecognized Bedouin Villages.
In January 2011 the Friends of the Earth – Middle East environment centre at Al-Auja, just north of the Jericho in the Jordan Valley, opened its new guesthouse. It has six single-sex dormitories and, as well as accommodation and food, the Al-Auja guesthouse offers classes in Palestinian cookery and handicrafts, bicycle hire and hikes in the Jordan Valley concentrating on the area’s biodiversity and history. All proceeds from the guesthouse are returned to the community in Al-Auja.
Phone: 02 231 0424
Email: fadi [at] foeme.org or info [at] foeme.org
Read about Al-Auja Environment Centre Guesthouse on:
- Green Prophet
Tags: accommodation, Al-Auja, B&B, bicycles, bike hire, community tourism, cookery, dormitories, ecotourism, education, environment, full board, guesthouse, half board, hiking, Hostel, Jericho, Jordan Valley, rural Palestine, settlers, shared kitchen, walking, water
El Beit Guesthouse in Beit Sahour, just outside Bethlehem, is a fundraising project of the Arab Women’s Union, an organisation which provides job creation and education programmes for women and care for the elderly. El Beit is the renovated and re-launched AWU hostel, which re-opened in 2010 with 15 spotless, comfortable double and triple rooms. There is wifi throughout, a friendly lounge area in the foyer and board can be B&B, half board or full board according to your needs. The website has an online reservation form but it’s not in real-time – they’ll get back to you to confirm availability. Cash, card or bank transfer payments possible.
Phone: 02 277 5857 or 059 856 3341
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read about El Beit on: