Beduin Hosting Up North
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
There Ministry of Tourism invited me to visit some of the Beduin hosts in the Lower Galilee region that will partake in a new "Ramadan Nights Festival".
WHEN: 19-31 May 2019 in Beduin villages in the Galilee
Beduin Heritage at "Olam SheNe'elam" at Bosmat Tivon
Zippori Stream at Ras Ali
The Friendship Tent "Ohel HaYedidut" at Zarzir
Lunch at Galila's in Zarzir
American Stables at Bir al Maksur
"Ramadan Nights" Festival
Beduin Heritage at "Olam SheNe'elam" at Bosmat Tivon Our first visit was to Salah Alisat's self-made heritage gallery. Salah carves wooden statues depicting scenes from Beduin life. He learnt how to carve as a boy working for his uncle, a wooden plow maker. Later in life, long after he completed his army service, he studied art in the Oranim College under the famous multi-disciplinary artist Yaakov Hefetz. The visit included a guided tour of his works and Beduin refreshments in his tent.
Zippori Stream at Ras Ali Our second stop was a mini-nature walk alongside the Zippori stream that flows from the Nazareth mountains to the Zevulun Valley. We got off the bus at the village of Ras Ali and walked down to the boardwalk that was built alongside the stream. The stream flows year-round and the boardwalk was built alongside an old mill that served all the villages in the area before they were connected to electricity. It's a pleasant walk leading to a large grassy area suitable for picnics. Our group was greeted by some of the local musicians and dancers that will be taking part in the Ramadan Nights festival. Waze: Ras Ali or טיילת כעביה
The Friendship Tent "Ohel HaYedidut" at Zarzir The Friendship Tent is run by Musa Idat, who was also our tour guide for the day. The tent is a large beduin tent, where Musa tells more about the Beduin history in the Galilee and about his family that has lived there for decades. It seats up to 120 people and sleeps up to 80. You can have just the traditional tea/coffee with Baklava or even a full meal, if ordered in advance. Phone: 050-5375659 or 052-4369699
Lunch at Galila's in Zarzir Lunch at Galila's includes both a full meal and a talk. Galila is happy to tell the Beduin women's side of the story and answer any questions about their lifestyle and status in the village. Galila also offers small food workshops in her home for small groups of up to 15 people.
American Stables at Bir al Maksur The owner of American Stables, Akram Gadir is a professional jocky who has been competing in Israel and abroad for over twenty years. As a young man he also worked in the USA and learnt some of the American horse-raising techniques. His stables are unique in that they include the only swiming pool in Israel for horses that is used for preparation of the horses for competitions. Visitors are welcome to come to the stables for a full Beduin experience including horse-back riding.
The basic package includes a tour of the village of Bir al-Maksur and an explanation about the ancient sites in the village, a tour of the farm including a display of the horses, a view of the unique horse pool in Israel, horseback riding (therapeutic riding is offered with close escort), a petting corner, a photography corner with traditional Beduin clothing for men and women and light refreshments in the Beduin tent. The price of the package without a meal is for groups of 10 or more. I don't write prices because they tend to change over time, but they are reasonable.
The basic package can be expanded to include additional activities such as: henna painting, a braiding corner for long hair, a traditional Debka band and orchestra, coffee reading (i.e. future-telling based on the residue left over after you drink black coffee), traditional Bedouin coffee or a meal, inflatables for children and more options worth asking about when booking. During the "Ramadan Nights" period in June and throughout the summer vacation in July-August, American Stables are setting up a huge Bedouin tent with some of the above activities, the possibility of ordering a full dinner and inflatables for children. Phone: 050-9797143 or 052-7488346.
"Ramadan Nights" Festival As mentioned above, the festival will take place between 19-31 May 2019 and will include tours of the archeological sites and villages, processions and street performances, folklore shows, a darbuka and drumming workshop and more. Most events are free of charge.
Events will be available in the following villages:
Kaabiya, Tabash Hajajra - 19.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Zahi Kaabiya - 050-3093385.
Shibli, Umm al-Janem - 19.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Saida Spa - 050-6587696 | Azhar Sheli - 055-6662692.
Arab al-Aramshe - 23.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Doaa Sweidan - 054-6102123.
Zarzir - 23-24.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Varod Idat - 053-3310119.
Misgav - 24-25.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Mohammed Suad - 0506400253.
Bouina Nujeidat - 26.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Hanadi Suleiman - 052-5208954.
Bir al-Maksur - 27-28.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Abdullah Gandawi - 052-6740038.
Bosmat Tivon - 29-30.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Nidal Bassol - 052-8281422 | Amir Alissat - 052-6324108.
Al-Batuf - 31.5.2019, 17:00-22:00. For details call: Mohammed Elkayam - 050-4207220 | Hiba Falah - 050-4260674.
Food This post is all inclusive.
Accomodation Aside from the "Ohel HaYedidut" tent, you can find large hotels in Nazareth that is within a half hour's drive from the other sites in the trip such as: Tabar Hotel, Galilee Hotel, Legacy Nazareth Hotel, Villa Nazareth Hotel, Notre Dame Hotel, Golden Crown Old City Hotel and Golden Crown Nazareth Hotel.
My Timeline The trip took a day. We left Tel-Aviv at 8:30 and got back at around 18:30. This is what it looks like on the map:
Enjoy the Ramadan Nights! Talma
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