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on religious travel: palestine â?– f you have not been to Palestine, please park your perceptions at the door and let me share with you our experience that involved 12 days of travel to visit, film and meet the people of Palestine. This journey took us to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Hebron, Taybeh and the Dead Sea. During my career as a reporter, I have had the privilege of covering over 30 developing countries and have connected with nearly all. But Palestine is different. The land is special, and the people stand out and make a lasting impression. Their integrity, passion for life and the strength of their communities are what will stay with you. You will find group travel, large or small, the best way to get around Palestine. Motorcoaches and smaller buses and vans are state-of-the-art, the drivers I sandy dhuyvetter are amazing contortionists, and restaurants can handle large groups. Vegetarians will experience food heaven. Much of the fresh food is brought in from Jericho, where it is grown organically and distributed throughout Palestine. From the orange juice to the hummus, the Mediterranean diet is loaded with nutrition. The Palestinian Heritage Center in Bethlehem offers a hands-on approach to learning about the culture. Try on authentic dresses, sit in a real Bedouin tent, enjoy tea and listen to cultural expert Maha Saka talk about the proud history of Palestine. You will find olive wood-carving factories, along with mother-ofpearl factories, scattered around the country. In Nablus, the olive soap factory turned out to be a real treat as we watched a manufacturing P ILGRIMAGE TO The Armenian Convent bell tower marks the Church of the Nativity complex in Bethlehem. PALESTINE Religious tour groups find sacred shrines, archaeological treasures, Photos courtesy of TravelTalkMEDIA great shopping and friendly people in the Manger Square is a gathering place for Christian pilgrims in Bethlehem. 18 February 2010 Holy Land

Tourist Highlights of Palestine

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