Message from the Editor

Tourism in Palestine is booming. In fact, it’s been good for the past three years. Some of the challenges that face tour operators include the lack of available hotel rooms and buses, and crowded sites and shrines. One tour operator recently complained about the haughty attitude of some guides who take advantage of the fact that they’re in high demand. These are clearly not existential problems and are certainly even worth the headache they cause considering how much income three million tourists a year have brought to Palestine over the past few years.
The November 2019 issue of This Week in Palestine, themed Palestinian Tourist Services, is an effort to highlight one of Palestine’s most important income generators, which has exponential growth potential. And why not? Palestine is the cradle of the world’s three monotheistic religions, and it is the Holy Land from which Christianity took off. Come to think of it, three million tourists is way too low a number for a country with such lofty credentials as Palestine. The TWiP team extends a special thank you to AMBASSADOR COLLECTION for sponsoring this issue.
As per the theme, this month’s content focuses on Palestinian hospitality services. What’s available in terms of accommodations? What is Palestinian cuisine all about? What is the status of tourism information centers? What are local communities doing to promote their areas? What is the role of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities? One (long) article offers a detailed description of nine sites and provides practical information as well: opening and closing hours; directions; availability of guides, and more. This issue bursts with useful and interesting information, not to mention the many lovely images of Palestine.
In this month’s limelight section, you will read about our Personality of the Month, Majed Ishaq, one of the founders of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. You will get a glimpse into our Book of the Month, Going Home: A Walk Through Fifty Years of Occupation by Raja Shehadeh, and you’ll get to know our young Artist of the Month, Marc Kawwas. Finally, our Where to Go section takes you to the village of Mazari al-Nubani, located in the heart of the middle mountain range of Palestine.
We hope you’ll enjoy this great issue of This Week in Palestine.