CROSSDEV held first press tour on Palestinian Heritage Trail new segment
In the frame of the CROSSDEV project, project leader Comitato Internazionale dei Popoli (CISP) and project partner Palestinian Heritage Trail (PH Trail) conducted a guided familiarization trip for local and international journalists and media representatives. The trip took place in Hebron surrounding villages on 11 April 2021, with six different news agencies participating in the activity. The agencies reps discovered the newly developed segment and met different tourist service providers from the new targeted local communities.
The main goal of the trip was to promote the attractiveness of the marginalised areas in Palestine to locals and internationals through media outlets.
My hiking experience the Ph Trail exceeded any previous experiences in hiking other trails. Hiking the PH Trail had more elements than just enjoying the beautiful landscape; this experience introduced me to sites and communities surrounding my own town of Hebron that I have never been to before. As a journalist, it was extremely interesting to cover a story on these locations. This way, I can contribute in encouraging people to come visit, and introduce them to a unique hiking experience that is only available in Palestine
The trip started with a short hike in Surif area guided by one of the PH Trail trekking guides, Abdelhafez Dababsa, followed by a visit to Montaha Masalma at her Mamoura Soap shop in Beit Awwa and brought participants to learn and buy her handmade organic products. Then, the group visited Isaac Hroub Museum in Deir Samit, where they could listen to traditional songs sung and played on ancient instruments. Then, they visited Qasr Al-Mawraq in El Kaum to see the ruins that date back to the early Roman period. The trip ended with a delicious traditional meal of Maqluba at Beit Ula Women Club, where the group learnt about the new established guesthouse and got the chance to buy local handmade products.
So far, 12 news articles and videos were published in various languages from the participating news agencies, and other agencies are still working on their news articles covering the familiarisation trip to be issued soon (find below a selection of published resources).
Through the participating journalists’ lenses and words, locals and internationals have the chance to get familiar with authentic Palestinian produce, hidden heritage, and the tangible and intangible heritage Palestine has to offer.
Moments of the press tour held along the Palestinian Heritage Trail on April 2021.
For example, Montaha Masalma (Mamoura Soap Shop owner), now has higher demands on her organic soap and the CROSSDEV project team is assisting her in shipping her products to the EU to meet a purchase order from Italy.
The museum has become a sanctuary for researches and tour guides who are eager to learn about the Palestinian cultural heritage. Tour guides and archeologists are visiting from different places around the world to study those archeological items I collected over the years. The museum is attracting local and international visitors, and I hope that the museum will bring more people to visit Deir Samit and the entire country of Palestine.
Bringing those places to the attention of the local and international journalists, we aimed at increasing the visibility over those attractive yet “forgotten” and neglected sites and service providers. Journalists themselves were fascinated and intrigued to follow up with these communities.
I look forward to revisit and follow up with these service providers we have met today. I would like to cover a news article about their success stories, and how they were able to make it into the tourism sector in such marginalized areas and difficulties surrounding them.
Spotting the light on such rich yet marginalized touristic areas has empowered the local service providers to carry on and grow bigger, as some of them demonstrated and reflected their steadfastness after receiving such a supportive opportunity. PH Trail - through the CROSSDEV project - aims to recognise and nourish such existing treasures, by providing funds and, yet more importantly, providing nourishment. Familiarisation trips such as this one contribute to provide that nourishment.
PH Trail will continue to nourish these service providers and seek to find other hidden gems to bring out to the surface and allow visiting guests to experience them and taste the authenticity of Palestine.
Find below a selection of NEWS published so far about the newly developed trail