Trips and Excursions in Hebron, West Bank : The Excellence Center takes the highest priority to ensure the volunteers have a comfortable and quality experience here in Hebron, West Bank. To fully capture the beauty and uniqueness of the city, the Center provides volunteers with excursions to various significant community locations and events in Hebron, West Bank. Whether to satiate an adventurous spirit or a chance to escape the sometimes stressful life of preparing and teaching lessons, these trips provide volunteers with invaluable and authentic experiences.
Among the many places these excursions take us are the local factories that make Hebron significant. Last week, a group of volunteers and I were taken by Excellence Center employee Abu Muhannad to the Camel Factory. The Camel Factory is an international company that sells sandals, bags, and other products made from authentic camel hide. We were given a short tour by one of the owners of the company who showed us the step by step process of making the sandals. It was a remarkable experience to see a Palestinian owned and operated company have such amazing success.
Other excursions are to important historical sites throughout the city. “A personal favorite of mine was to the al-Maskobia monastery. Another volunteer and I went with Abu Muhannad and his friend Tariq to visit this unusual site. Built in the late 1800’s by the Russian Orthodox Church, this church stands out as it is the only Christian site in the entirely Muslim inhabited city of Hebron. The site was built by the Russian Orthodox Church to honor the Prophet Abraham, who was said to have lived in Hebron. Adjacent to the church is an ancient oak, estimated to be 4,000 years old, where it is said Abraham sat and entertained three holy guests (see Genesis 18). We had the opportunity to converse with and learn from one of the priests who tends the monastery” Emil from Sweden Said
The most sobering excursions are to local Palestinian people. A group of volunteers were taken by the Center to the nearby Al-Fawar refugee camp. The camp was created in 1948 by Palestinian refugees from various parts of what is today Israel. Unable to return to their homes, this multi-generational community of refugees have done their best to carve out a life in this village that floats somewhere between temporary and permanent. We had the chance to meet with a lady who was born and raised in the camp and now helps tend to her grandchildren. This opportunity was invaluable as we could discuss her own experiences living in the camp and her hopes for the future. A firsthand witness could not replace any research done about these refugee camps or the people living there.
Trips and Excursions in Hebron, West Bank provided by the Excellence Center are an invaluable experience during a volunteer’s stay here. They provide the one of a kind opportunity to meet and converse with people and see places that one would not be able to do as a tourist here. The Excellence Center provides volunteers with an in depth, close up look at the history, culture, and people of Hebron.