Tag Archives: hiking
‘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: tours, Bradt Guide to Palestine, private rooms, B&B, full board, half board, hiking, walking, Bedouin, homestay, home stay, Negev, Naqab, Bedouin Hospitality, responsible travel, community tourism, accommodation
The ancient ruins on the hilltop above Sebastia, a short drive from Nablus, are a popular destination for Israeli tour buses, but few of the groups on them ever stay long enough to venture into the small town below. In fact, the Israeli Tourism Ministry leaflets distributed for free at the archaeological site actively discourage them, pointing out that as ‘area A’ the village, unlike the ‘area C’ remains, is off-limits to Israeli citizens under Israeli law.
They’re missing a lot, because Sebastia is a beautiful little village, full of picturesque houses and stunning views. Some of the ancient buildings right in the centre of the village have been turned into an absolutely gorgeous little guesthouse, which combines the tumbledown stones of Byzantine-era walls with the clean, modern lines of some very nicely-done modern design. The rooms are simple, classy and contemporary, and very comfortable. Some real thought has gone into the running of the guesthouse – the soap in the bathrooms is made from local olive oil, breakfast is a locally-sourced spread of jam and fresh fruit from the orchards, village olive oil and za’atar, taboun bread and hummus (all served on a sunny terrace, if the weather suits). For guests wanting half- or full-board, hot meals can be fetched from local restaurants, or there is a shop in the village and a kitchen you can use. And the staff are delightful.
The guesthouse is an initiative of the Mosaic Centre (a community tourism organisation based in Jericho), the Franciscan Terra Sancta, and Sebastia Municipality. Other parts of the project include a tourist information centre on the village square (which can also teach mosaic-making classes and sells original and replica mosaics), and hikes around the village to sights such as the magams on nearby hills and the old Ottoman railway station.
Phone: 09 253 2545 (if you can’t get through, try the Mosaic Centre on 02 232 6342)
Email: Cultural_Centre2006 [at] yahoo.com
Tags: Bradt Guide to Palestine, guesthouse, private rooms, B&B, full board, half board, rural Palestine, ecotourism, hiking, walking, Sebastia, local food, mosaics, Mosaic Centre, Terra Sancta, Sebastia Municipality, Sebastya, Sebastiya, Ottoman, railway, Hejaz, archaeology, Nablus
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: Hostel, dormitories, shared kitchen, guesthouse, B&B, full board, half board, settlers, rural Palestine, Jordan Valley, Jericho, Al-Auja, ecotourism, environment, water, cookery, bike hire, bicycles, hiking, walking, education, community tourism, accommodation