ATG is a Palestinian NGO specializing in tours and pilgrimages that include critical examinations of the history, culture, and politics of the Holy Land. Established in 1995, ATG operates according to the tenets of "justice tourism", that is, tourism that holds as its central goals the creation of economic opportunities for the local community, positive cultural exchange between guest and host through one-on-one interaction, the protection of the environment, and political/historical education. ATG works to encourage all tourism operators to abandon exploitive mass tourism and to adopt practices that positively affect the host population. Through these methods, ATG seeks to promote a positive image of Palestine and its people and to contribute to establishment of a just peace in the area.
The tourist guidebook: “Palestine & Palestinians” by the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) of Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, Palestine provides an in-depth, updated journey through the entire range of Palestinian culture: ancient and modern history, archaeology, religion, architecture and politics, including the daily realities of Israeli occupation. It describes places rooted in Palestinian memory: sites which bear witness to a history and identity created from contact with civilisations of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Europe and Arab Peninsula. It also presents the contemporary tragedy and struggle of a people seeking recognition of their rights and details of their ongoing search for an end to injustice through a viable peace and statehood.
A great variety of documentary material, biographies of culturally significant personalities, poems, popular songs and recommended reading list provide readers with opportunities to broaden their horizons, while many contacts provide a range of possibilities for talks or tours with specialists, or meetings with local people in their homes. The book offers practical information (transport, hotels, cafes, restaurants, museums, hiking routes, cultural centers, etc.) so you may plan your own multifaceted visit. As a guidebook, “Palestine & Palestinians” is a comprehensive guide to Palestine, including those parts of Israel where Palestinian culture and traditional hospitality still thrive.
“Palestine & Palestinians” presents a version of justice tourism to enhance the world’s increasing interest in the cause of the Palestinian people while providing tools to go beyond misleading stereotypes. The book sets out to facilitate visits to Palestine for tourists who wish to increase their understanding and even work with Palestinians and Israelis towards a just, viable peace. At the same time, it provides enough material for those readers who prefer to travel far and wide in the comfort of their own armchairs. Or it can simply be used as a reliable guidebook for regular visitors.
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