BZU organizes an international workshop on “Sustainable Rural Tourism in Palestine “
In Partnership with Rozana Association, Seraj Center and Turino University - Italy, BZU organized an international workshop on "Sustainable Rural Tourism in Palestine " during 4-5 November 2010. The two-day workshop highlighted the efforts and the underlying issues and principles involved in leading a sustainable rural tourism initiative.
In his opening address, BZU President, Dr. Khalil Hindi, stated that "BZU played a crucial role in the formation of the Palestinian identity and the formulation of the Palestinian narrative, undertaking the responsibility to provide new skills and expertise to serve the community and play an active role in the protection of the Palestinian cultural heritage ,and has been participating in the development process". He added "through the Institute of Archaeology, a large number of archeologists have graduated and are now working at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and in the cultural heritage sector as well/ These graduates have been conducting field research in many archaeological sites in the West Bank. Presently, we are going to revive the Institute of Archeology at BZU to proceed with its mission in the creation of a new generation of Palestinian archaeologists, who will work on protecting the Palestinian cultural heritage."
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr. Kholoud Daibes, expressed her pleasure to come to BZU and attend this event, thanking all those supporting organizations and agencies for indulging in the creation of this initiative, particularly the contributing partners from the private and civil society sectors . She stated that the new touristic models that are based on partnerships between the public and private sector will bridge the gap between the rural and urban areas. She noted that this workshop concurs with the Jericho 10000 celebrations, being the oldest continuously inhibited city in the world, lying 300 meters below sea level, and considered to be the lowest point on earth.
The specific outcome of the workshop is to consolidate all the efforts and initiatives into a network of experiential Palestinian tourism organizations coalition that will maximize the moral and material returns that can clearly and transparently benefit the local communities and the development process.
A number of exhibits took place during the event to promote rural tour initiatives, rural cultural and heritage festivals and Palestinian arts and crafts. Field trips were organized to introduce participants and guests to nearby destinations and paths.
The workshop coincided with the 3rd Maftoul Festival that was held on 4 November at Birzeit's Catholic Church Garden. The festival included a performance by Artist Sana Mousa and a competition of the best Palestinian Maftoul dish overseen by a panel of Palestine's best Chef's.