24 September 2017, Sunday. Sebastia to Nablus

This walk begins from Sebastia which is 12 kms northwest of Nablus. Sebastia is home to a number of important archaeological sites. The ancient site of Samaria-Sebastia is located just above the built up area of the modern day village on the eastern slope of the hill. The ruins dominate the hillside and comprise remains from six successive cultures dating back 10,000 years: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine. Reaching to Nablus, which is located 49 kilometers north of Jerusalem, you will have the chance to try the famous Nabulsi Kenafeh, as well as its olive oil soap.  Nabulsi, meaning "from Nablus", is used to describe items such as handicrafts (e.g. Nabulsi soap) and food products (e.g. Nabulsi cheese) that are made in Nablus or in the traditional Nablus style. Nablus lies in a strategic position at a junction between two ancient commercial roads; one linking the Sharon coastal plain to the Jordan valley, the other linking Nablus to the Galilee in the north, and the biblical Judea to the south through the mountains. The city stands at an elevation of around 550 meters above sea level, in a narrow valley running roughly east-west between two mountains: Mount Ebal, the northern mountain, and Mount Gerizim, the southern mountain. Walking distance:         10.1 km Walking time:               2 - 3 hours Difficulty:                      Easy What to bring: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 2-3 liters of water and snacks/ Lunch for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera What is included: An experienced local hiking guide Transportation from the Jerusalem anahour and back

Saturday, 4th of November 2017 - Rummana to Burquin - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim

On this first day we will be meeting at the village council of Rummana, you will have a small welcoming ceremony by the local families after that a small debriefing about the program will be arranged by the guide. Rummana literally means pomegranates, and is approximately 17 km northwest of Jenin in the northern West Bank. This hike is one of the most amazingly challenging and extremely superb hikes in Palestine. You start walking through the ancient village on a hill slope and you come across traces of ancient remains, including cisterns and caves carved into rock. After that, you come across a village called Ta’ennek in the northwest of Jenin. There you will be welcomed and hosted by their village consulate and some local people. Ta’ennek is a very calm and quiet village that has a very simple way of living.  We continue walking towards Burqin, a small agricultural village. Walkers will have the chance to purchase fresh fruit, olive oil and other organic products locally produced.   Burqin hosts the Church of St. George, said to be one of the oldest in the world. Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Burqin Church Walking distance: 17 km Walking time: 5 - 7 hours Difficulty: Difficult Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Route  arranged by local families Not Included: Transportations from/to the starting and ending 

14 - 15 November 2017 Sea Level Community to Tel Al-Qamar, Thru Hike 2017

Day one: Sea Level to Kherbet Al-Merd This section of the trail begins at the desert sanctuary of Nabi Musa, dating to the 13th century. According to Islamic tradition the site is the final resting place of the prophet Moses; the site consists of the tomb and a mosque and a spacious compound built around them. After that the journey follows through large uninhabited areas, filled with beautiful panoramic vistas. The trail starts in a deep valley along old pilgrim routes. Then from the mountain which overlooks Jericho and the Dead Sea hikers can view beautiful landscapes below. Along the route hikers will meet Bedouins with their camels and sheep. At the end of this section of the trail awaits Khirbet al-Mird (Hyrcania in Greek), the mysterious fortress commonly attributed to the Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus, who is said to have built it toward the end of the second century BC. Walking distance: 15.10 KM Walking time: 5-6 hours Difficulty: Difficult Day 2: Kherbet Al-Merd to Tel al-Qamar The winding trail takes hikers down into the Kidron Valley full of various in size caves that in the Byzantine times were inhabited by monks. The spectacular Mar Saba Monastery and a few Byzantine wilderness monasteries are found here; the cluster was named after Saint Saba (439-532 CE), who settled in a cave opposite the site to live in complete seclusion. The area is a perfect spot to take a break and enjoy the view and the atmosphere. The trail then takes walkers through hills and valleys leading to the Tal al-Qamar area. Walking distance: 11.20 KM Walking time: 4-5 hours Difficulty: Difficult The price included: Two Lunches One-Overnight at Kherbet al-Merd Grotto One Dinner and one breakfast Not Included: Transportations from/to the starting and ending point Optional star-gazing activity at Tel Al-Qamar

Tuesday, 21st of November 2017 - Hebron to Dura - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim 2017

The Hebron to Dura day stage takes hikers from the busy streets of Hebron through agricultural fields surrounding the city and picturesque valleys rich in natural beauty and archeological sites. It begins in front of the Ibrahimi Mosque (Al-Haram al-Ibrahimi), the most important landmark in Hebron, where Ibrahim (Abraham), revered by three religious traditions,  was buried alongside his wife, his son, grandson, and their wives. The path leads further through the souqs and alleys of Old City of Hebron, one of the only cities in the world today with a perfectly preserved twelfth century Mamluk infrastructure. It also passes next to the Russian monastery, located in the suburbs of Hebron, containing Ibrahim's Oak. The legend says that at the foot of the tree, the prophet welcomed three strangers. After he had prepared them a meal and washed their feet, the three men revealed themselves to be angels who told him that his wife would give birth to a son. A shepherds’ path leads out of the city toward agricultural fields and natural areas covered with flora characteristic for Palestine’s central highlands climate region:   trees like Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina) and Palestine Oak (Quercus calliprinos), the aromatic wild thyme (za’atar) and during the springtime various kinds of colorful flowers. Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Hebron Walking distance: 12.40 km Walking time: 3-5 hours Difficulty: Easy to Moderate Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Hebron  Not Included: Transportations to the starting point and from the end point 

Wednesday, 22nd of November 2017 - Dura to As-Sura - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim

In Dura, hikers can start their day by visiting Dura Cooperative Association for Agricultural Production, where they can stamp their Hiker Passports and support the women’s cooperative by purchasing some aromatic herbs or sweet raisins or malban (dried grape juice rollups) - a tasty snack for the way. An-Nabi Nuh Shrine (the Shrine of Prophet Noah), an Ottoman building with a small dome and small arched courtyard, is also worth a visit. According to the local tradition, the Turkish soldiers arrived on the spot holding a map showing the burial site of Noah. Old residences located in the proximity to the shrine demonstrate the importance of Dura during the Ottoman period, which became the administrative center of the area (throne village). Several of these traditional houses are being restored. After leaving Dura the trail passes through scenic valleys covered with the abundant pine trees. Along the way, there are some hills to climb. The final part of this section leads up the hill to As-Sura, a small agricultural village in the Hebron Governorate. Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Dura   Walking distance: 11.2 km Walking time: 3-5 hours Difficulty: Easy Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Route  Not Included: Transportations to the starting point and from the end point 

Thursday, 23th of November 2017-As-Sura to Adh-Dhahriya - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim

After passing through the rural areas surrounding As-Sur, the path to Adh-Dhahriya, leads through evergreen pine forests. It continues towards Khirbet Rabud, the only major Late Bronze Age archaeological site in the mountains around Hebron. At the end of the 19th century the area was inhabited again. The inhabitants made use of the caves for protection, at first temporary and then permanent residences. However, the Ottoman village of Rabud has been left to decay since 1970’s. Yet the ruins  are some of the best preserved examples of vernacular  architecture in the mountains around Hebron. The new village of Raboud is built nearby. Later, a long portion of the trail passes through the picturesque Wadi Nar to reach Ad-Dhahriya. According to local tradition, Ad-Dhahriya  was founded in thirteenth century by the Mamluk ruler Al-Malik al-Dhahir Baibars, after whom the village was named. However, archaeological findings confirm that the site was inhabited before this time.  A well-conserved fortress from the Hellenistic or early Roman period is can also be found in the village. Nevertheless, Dhahriya’s historic core, with its narrow streets and small domed stone houses, is a well-preserved example of an architectural complex that dates to Ottoman times in Palestine. Before the houses were constructed, probably during the sixteenth or seventeenth century, the villagers used to live in caves that currently can be found beneath the old town.   Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Adh-Dhahriya   Walking distance: 13.5 km Walking time: 5 - 7 hours Difficulty: Difficult Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Route  Not Included: Transportations to the starting point and from the end point  

Friday, 24th of November 2017 - ADH-DHAHRIYA TO BEIT MIRSIM - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim

The final stage of Masar Ibrahim takes hikers on an interesting 19-kilometer hike between Adh-Dhahriya, located 23 kilometers southwest of Hebron, and Beit Mirsim, located 30 kilometers southwest of Hebron.   Six kilometers down the trail one can see the ruins of a Byzantine church, located about 300 meters east of the village of Anab al-Kabir (22 kilometers southwest of Hebron). The compound served as a main religious center for the neighboring locations and includes parts of mosaic floors and the remains of a wine press and an impressive grain mill.   The masar also passes through populated areas and just next to the primary school of Anab al-Kabir. If you hike on a workday, it is very possible that students on their way home from school will join you for some part of the trek.   After Anab al-Kabir, the trail turns back to the north, leading to the suburb area of Adh-Dhahriya, where small shops can be found – a great place to refill supplies of cold water for the rest of the day. The trek also passes next to an amusement park and garden where hikers can take a break and rest in a shady spot.   The final part of the trail leads through the picturesque Wadi Nufakh, a valley that becomes a river during the rainy season. The slopes of the valley are rich in various shrubs, including felty germander (Teucrium polium), in Arabic jedeh (الجعدة), which is widely used in popular medicine for treatment of stomach ailments. A small olive grove, ideal for taking rest in the shade, is located in the middle of the valley.   Before reaching the village of Al-Burj, famous for housing the remains of a Crusader-period fortified castle and a church, the trail passes just next to the Israeli separation barrier. The Wall is also later visible from Beit Mirsim, the final location on Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil. The village is rich in heritage and includes such historical sites as a Byzantine olive press and a shrine of the Prophet Handal (Maqam al-Nabi Handal). Close to the village lies Tell Beit Mirsim, an ancient archaeological site, dating approximately to the eighteenth century BC. The site is now located on the other side of the wall and is inaccessible from the West Bank. Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Burqin Church Walking distance: 19.8 km Walking time: 5 - 7 hours Difficulty: Difficult Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera   Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Route  Not Included: Transportations to the starting point and from the end point  

9 December 2017 Saturday Tel al-Qamar to Dar Salah - Culinary Experience

Come and join our first Culinary Tour on Masar Ibrahim, a long-distance cultural route in Palestine! Our morning trek of 2-3 hours will lead us across the serene landscapes of the Jerusalem Wilderness from the Tel al-Qamar (Hill of the Moon) area to Dar Salah village, located 6 km south of Bethlehem. On our way, we will climb some rocky hills but will also have some time to sit, close our eyes, and feel the relaxing atmosphere of the surrounding space.   In Dar Salah, our host will introduce us to a delicacy of the area - zarb, prepared in a special oven. All of us will join her in the preparation of the dish, which is a mix of tender chicken and various vegetables. While waiting for our meal to be cooked, we will learn how to make shrak, a large, paper-thin bread baked on a saj, a hot iron griddle resembling in shape an inverted wok. Besides that we will prepare tabouleh -  a fresh salad made of finely chopped tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, and burgul. We will also make lebaneh (thick sheep’s milk yogurt) balls with olive oil, for us to take away. The collaborative preparation of the meal will be a perfect occasion to learn more about Palestinian culture and everyday life in the area. The tour will be guided by an experienced community trekking guide. By taking part in the tour you are contributing to the rural Palestinian communities.   Difficulty Level: Moderate Walking distance: 6.5 KM, Walking time : around 2 hours      Remember to take: comfortable broken-in hiking shoes (new shoes are not recommended), at least 3 liters of water, sunscreen, glasses and a hat,  snack, ID or passport

24 November 2017, Friday. ADH-DHAHRIYA TO BEIT MIRSIM - Thru Walk Masar Ibrahim 2017

The final stage of Masar Ibrahim takes hikers on an interesting 19-kilometer hike between Adh-Dhahriya, located 23 kilometers southwest of Hebron, and Beit Mirsim, located 30 kilometers southwest of Hebron.   Six kilometers down the trail one can see the ruins of a Byzantine church, located about 300 meters east of the village of Anab al-Kabir (22 kilometers southwest of Hebron). The compound served as a main religious center for the neighboring locations and includes parts of mosaic floors and the remains of a wine press and an impressive grain mill.   The masar also passes through populated areas and just next to the primary school of Anab al-Kabir. If you hike on a workday, it is very possible that students on their way home from school will join you for some part of the trek.   After Anab al-Kabir, the trail turns back to the north, leading to the suburb area of Adh-Dhahriya, where small shops can be found – a great place to refill supplies of cold water for the rest of the day. The trek also passes next to an amusement park and garden where hikers can take a break and rest in a shady spot.   The final part of the trail leads through the picturesque Wadi Nufakh, a valley that becomes a river during the rainy season. The slopes of the valley are rich in various shrubs, including felty germander (Teucrium polium), in Arabic jedeh (الجعدة), which is widely used in popular medicine for treatment of stomach ailments. A small olive grove, ideal for taking rest in the shade, is located in the middle of the valley.   Before reaching the village of Al-Burj, famous for housing the remains of a Crusader-period fortified castle and a church, the trail passes just next to the Israeli separation barrier. The Wall is also later visible from Beit Mirsim, the final location on Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil. The village is rich in heritage and includes such historical sites as a Byzantine olive press and a shrine of the Prophet Handal (Maqam al-Nabi Handal). Close to the village lies Tell Beit Mirsim, an ancient archaeological site, dating approximately to the eighteenth century BC. The site is now located on the other side of the wall and is inaccessible from the West Bank. Masar Ibrahim Hikers stamp location : Burqin Church Walking distance: 19.8 km Walking time: 5 - 7 hours Difficulty: Difficult Recommendations: Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 4-5 liters of water and snacks for the hike Sunscreen and hat Your camera Included: An experienced local hiking guide Lunch in Route  Transportations from/to Jerusalem/ Bethlehem  
Siraj Center 3 December 2017, Sunday. Desert Full Moon Walk

3 December 2017, Sunday. Desert Full Moon Walk

Arab Al Rashayda village dates back to 1983 and its residents originate from the same region. The village name ‘Arab Al-Rashayda came in relation to Al-Rashayda tribe that exists in all parts of the Arab world, related to Rashid family. This hike is a unique opportunity to the walk in the desert of Reshayda, guided by the illuminating light of the breathtaking full moon.  You will be able to overnight in a Bedouin tent, and early in the morning, watch the beautiful sunrise with the Dead Sea in the foreground and the mountains of Jordan in the background. You will be transferred back from the sunrise point by vehicles. Length: 10 km Duration: 2-3 hours Category: Moderate – Difficult What to bring: Personal items/clothing for the overnight stay Lightweight walking boots Walking poles At least 2 liters of water and snacks for the walk Sunscreen and a hat Your camera What is included: An experienced local hiking guide Traditional dinner and breakfast with a Bedouin host family One overnight at the Bedouin tent in Reshayda Transportation from the Jerusalem/ Beit Sahour and back

FromUSD 120