JAI and ATG announce Olive Tree Planting Program 2014
A program for Civil International Solidarity with Palestinians 8-17 February, 2014
The Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) and the Joint Advocacy Initiative are organizing the 7th Olive Planting Program – February 2014. On behalf of the ATG and JAI, we would love to invite you to participate in the 7th annual olive planting program, which will take place from 8-17 February 2014.
Agricultural experts in Palestine estimate that over a million olive trees have been uprooted and destroyed by Israel since it was created in 1948. More than half of these olive trees were uprooted and destroyed in the past decade. Disrespecting its religious, cultural, natural, nutritious and economic value, the olive tree has been a constant target of the Israeli military occupation under the guise of security, the construction of the Wall on Palestinian lands and the continuous expansion of Israeli – Jewish only – colonies (settlements). The destruction of olive trees has had intentional and destructive results on the lives of many Palestinian farmers, land owners and the Palestinian population in general.
For these reasons and many others, the Olive Tree Campaign was launched in 2001 as a positive response to systematic destruction by addressing the needs of the effected farmers. The Olive Tree Campaign uses the olive tree as a tool to advocate for the Palestinians right to peace with justice. So far 10 seasons of planting have helped hundreds of Palestinian farmers and brought awareness to the expanding international network of friends and partners about the real life of the Palestinians who have been striving for peace with justice for more than 60 years. You are all encouraged to pass the word about this event to people who might be interested come to Palestine and to participate. Besides olive planting, the program features introductory presentations about the current situation in Palestine and the effects of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, as well as Ramallah, in addition to cultural events and social gatherings. We hope to have you with us!
Proposed daily schedule (subjected to minor changes):
- Saturday, Feb 8, Day 1: Arrival to the airport and travel to Bethlehem to meet representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program, and briefing about the JAI and ATG. Dinner.
- Sunday, Feb 9, Day 2: Guided tour in Bethlehem: site-seeing, introduction to the town, Wall, Refugee camp tour, Bethlehem old city, Church of Nativity.
- Monday, Feb 10, Day 3: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Afternoon presentation and discussion with BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees’ Rights.
- Tuesday, Feb 11, Day 4: Visiting East Jerusalem: A tour in the old city of Jerusalem to visit the main sites in the city. Lunch. In the afternoon there will be a guided tour to witness settlements, house demolition and beduins in Jerusalem with Israeli group/activists.
- Wednesday, Feb 12, Day 5: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Meeting with the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) for a presentation on the Israeli Apartheid Wall and land expropriation by Israeli authorities.
- Thursday, Feb 13, Day 6: Hebron Day: A tour in the old city of Hebron to visit the Ibrahimi Mosque, es-souq (the market), and to see the Israeli division of Hebron and the Israeli settlers who occupy the center of the city. Visit Scarfs (Koufiyyeh) and Glass factories.
- Friday, Feb 14 Day 7: Half day planting treesat selected field, followed by lunch. Afternoon visit to an olive wood carving factory/workshop. Late afternoon advocacy and future work session with the Joint Advocacy Initiative.
- Saturday, Feb 15, Day 8: Day in Ramallah: visit Birzeit University, Right-to-Education Campaign, visit to and meeting with the public committee in Bili’n village. Free time in Ramallah. Back to Beit Sahour. Dinner and free time.
- Sunday, Feb 16, Day 9: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Afternoon general comments and evaluation session, followed by a musical evening and farewell with staff members and volunteers. Overnight in Bethlehem.
- Monday, Feb 17, Day 10: Departure It is our pleasure that people are taking part in our mission in keeping hope alive together and to learn more about daily Palestinian life under a merciless military occupation.
- The cost of the program including accommodation in a double room, meals, guides, local transportation, meetings and other relevant expenses is $700 per person.
- Accommodation can be arranged at a hotel or with a local family.
- A tour guide will be present with the group at all times for facilitation purposes.
- Travel from and to the airport is not included in the cost but can be arranged for groups. For any other information, questions, concerns, or to request a registration form, please contact Jawad Musleh, Alternative Tourism Group, program coordinator.