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"The Guide on the Other Side"

Highlights from our seminar for professional tour guides


We asked the Israelis to draw a timeline of the Palestinian narrative and the Palestinians to do the same for the Israelis'. Each group then presented their work to the other side. On some points the stories overlapped, and at others they diverged.

Where can we find Herod?
The riots of 1929?
Ottoman conquest?
What do you call the war in 1948?

The answers might have surprised you...

This is how we launched Tiyul-Rihla's first "Guide on the Other Side" seminar for Palestinian and Israeli professional tour guides, sitting under olive trees separating the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher from Kibbutz Ramat Rachel on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem.

Over the next two days we covered much of the map, stopping at world heritage sites like Masada, hearing from residents of contested territory in the Palestinian village of Susya, and carrying on discussion late into the evening.

At Tel Azeqa the tale of David and Goliath inspired many guides' to share their personal stories, and a later presentation at Tel Beersheva explored Avraham/Ibrahim as a uniting, however controversial figure  at the foundation of this region's narratives. To conclude, we heard a story of resistance through tourism development from a local restaurant owner in Battir.

As the group disbanded, many guides discussed plans to continue the conversation, refer groups to one another, and even to get together again.

Among participants' feedback on the program:

"As a guide I better understood that so much more is involved in the conflict than politics. It is runs much deeper, drawing on our most cherished stories."

"Guides may have a decent understanding of the other's history, but not necessarily their pain."




We appreciate the generous support of our donors, partners, and friends.

With your support we can build on this achievement, bringing together more guides and other interest groups  to explore history, narrative and identity.

Please consider donating to our project online or by post through our host 501(c)(3) NGO at

The Center for Emerging Futures
380 E. Parkcenter Blvd.
Suite 300
Boise, ID 83706
In This Newsletter
Tour Guides Seminar
Call for Donation
Presenting the narratives.
Speaker at Tel Beer Sheva.
Descending into the tunnels.
Crossing the top of Masada.
Entering the village of Susya.
Greeted by Battir residents.
Listening over maqlube lunch.
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