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The Masar Ibrahim al Khalil offers travelers a rare opportunity to go beyond the headlines and the stereotypes, to get away from the ordinary Holy Land tours, and to explore for themselves the remarkable landscape, hospitable people and culture of Palestine, breathtaking landscape and ancient historical sites. The Masar (‘The Path’) provides a rare chance for visitors to be welcomed into ordinary Palestinian homes, to share a homemade traditional meal and listen to stories of traditions and customs, and to learn about the daily lives, concerns, and hopes of the people. Palestine is an extraordinary land. Take that first step to walk the Masar, and it is guaranteed that you will be rewarded with a life-enhancing experience.
More information: http://masaribrahim.ps/en/
FROM ARTAS TO TEQUA’
Start from Solomon’s Pools down to the village of Artas.
We walk south from Artas to the village of Tequa’.
Overnight as guests with families in the village.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 HOURS
TERRAIN: FOOTPATHS AND DIRT ROADS
OVERNIGHT: HOMESTAY IN TEQUA’
DOWN THE WADI JIHAR TO THE DESERTS OF RASHAYDEH
We leave the village on foot, descending into the spectacular Wadi Jihar. We emerge from the valley at a place called Rashaydeh, where we spend the night with a Bedouin family.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 6 HOURS
TERRAIN: ROCKY DESERT TRACKS
OVERNIGHT: HOMESTAY WITH BEDOUIN FAMILY IN RASHAYDEH
DESERT SUNRISE IN RASHAYDEH AND HIKE TO BENI NAIM
Hike up to Beni Naim, reaching the farming country around Beni Naim in the evening, where we are welcomed as guests of a local family.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 7 HOURS
TERRAIN: ROCKY DESERT TRACKS, SOME ASPHALT, MOSTLY CLIMBING
OVERNIGHT: HOMESTAY WITH FAMILY IN MASAFER BENI NAIM
BENI NAIM AND HEBRON / ALKHALIL
We hike to Beni Naim an ancient ‘high place’ or sanctuary in the southern hills of Palestine. From here, we walk the final few kilometers to Hebron / Al Khalil.
Transfer by vehicle to Bethlehem.
TOTAL WALKING TIME: 5 HOURS
TERRAIN: ACROSS ORCHARDS AND FIELDS, SOME ASPHALT INTO HEBRON
visit the convent built to commemorate the ‘closed garden’ mentioned in the Biblical Song of Songs
visit an ancient village believed to be the birthplace of the prophet Amos, and explore the ruins of an early Byzantine church built over the prophet’s tomb
visit the Tequa’ Women’s Society to enjoy herbal tea, and learn about the traditional embroidery and hand woven carpets made by their cooperative
hike through a deep limeston canyon that winds down into the desert towards the Dead Sea, where there has been a human presence in this wilderness for millennia – flints points found in one of caves above the Wadi (valley) date from the Middle Paleolithic period, which reaches back almost 300,000 years.
Overnight in a Bedouin tent. Listen to the grandfather of the Bedouin family, Ali, who is a wonderful storyteller and who still recalls the old ways and traditions of the Bedouins.
watch the sun rise over the desert
during the walk, pass the ruins of an early Byzantine monastic community founded at the very beginning of the sixth century. More than 120 hermit monks once dwelt here in isolated cells cut from the limestone, including Saint Sabas, the leader of the monastic movement in Palestine.
From the monastery, the trail climbs steadily out of the desert, towards the cultivated zone around Beni Naim, with spectacular views back across the Rift Valley.
walk to the sacred site of Beni Naim, an ancient ‘high place’ or sanctuar in the southern hills of Palestine, said to be the mountain from which Abraham watched the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the valley below.
visit the burial place of Abraham in the heart of the old town of Hebron/Al Khalil, the focus of our pilgrimage across Palestine and the end of our long journey on foot.
meet with representatives of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, who are working to restore the old town as the centre of civic and commercial life in Hebron.