Al Ayoun Society
In the Ajloun region, the Al Ayoun Society has for years promoted walking and community tourism in and around three small villages: Orjan, Rasoun and Baoun. Together these communities make up the area of Al Ayoun, which is Arabic for springs. In between the city of Ajloun and the Jordan Valley, Al Ayoun contains some of the most varied and lush landscapes, flora and fauna in Jordan. Apart from guiding people on day walks, the Society has worked closely with over a dozen families in the three communities to establish local homestays; it has also been instrumental in scouting new walking routes in the area together with legendary British trekkers Tony Howard and Di Taylor. A beautiful guidebook documenting 20 trails plus rock climbing and caving adventures in the area was published in 2011, with proceeds going to the Society. The Society has no website yet but can be contacted through Mohammed Sawalmeh (+962-26475103), Mahmoud Harweh (+96277-5923012) or Issa Dweikat (+962-79-6829111).
Experience Jordan is a tour operator with special expertise in organizing nature, outdoor and adventure tourism, with a focus on providing an authentic experience of Jordan. Experience Jordan is part of Guiding Star Ltd, a tour company with over 50 years experience offering trips in Jordan and Israel & Palestine. They also offers tours to Jerusalem under the brand of Amman2Jerusalem.
Explore Jordan is an initiative seeking to encourage young Jordanians to discover the hidden natural treasures in Jordan and to show these treasures to the world in a responsible way by providing the necessary information about hiking, trekking, canyoning, animals, and bird watching in the region. By supporting these activities, Explore Jordan is putting people in closer contact with their natural surroundings and making it easier for them to understand the importance of human impact on those surroundings. The project’s primary goal is to advertise Jordan as a world-class destination for nature tourism in order to support conservation of the land and related local projects.
Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil
The Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil is a Palestinian NGO formed by the three founding partners of the path in Palestine, the Siraj Center, the Palestine Wildlife Society and the Rozana Association. The mission of the Masar Ibrahim al Khalil is to empower local communities socially and economically through a cultural walking route that traverses rural Palestine, and that highlights the history, heritage, biodiversity, and landscape of this area. As the path is established, the Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil encourages exchange and friendship that connects travelers from Palestine and from around the world. It also creates partnerships across all sectors of society and facilitates cooperation between individuals and communities.
The Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies
The Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies is a Palestinian NGO that aims to create links between Palestinians and people elsewhere through educational tourism and youth exchange programs. Siraj seeks to widen the range of tourism beneficiaries by involving local rural communities in environmentally friendly travel. It is a co-founder of the Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil (above) and an Abraham Path tour operator.
Palestine Wildlife Society
The mission of the Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS) is to conserve and enhance Palestinian biodiversity. It has developed activities in research, education, and eco-tourism for a local and international audience. The PWLS gladly offers professional guidance (and equipment) to help you spot local bird and wildlife in the area. PWLS is a partner in Birdlife International and a co-founder of the Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil (above) and is based in Beit Sahour.
The Rozana Association is a Birzeit-based NGO working on agro-cultural tourism in the West Bank. Rozana organizes tours in Birzeit and other Palestinian villages such as Deir Ghassaneh, Deir Ammar, and Taybeh and is the initiator behind the Sufi Trails project. The organization is also partnering in the rehabilitation of Beirzeit’s Old City. Rozana is a co-founder of the Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil (above) and has managed and implemented projects to train guides and host communities on agro-cultural tourism.
Established in 1998, Sidreh is an organization focused on the empowerment, representation, and improvement of the socioeconomic condition of Bedouin women living in the Israeli Negev. Based in the village of Lakiya, Sidreh has empowered women through reading and writing courses in Arabic, Hebrew, and English; awareness of their rights; and promoting leadership initiatives. Sidreh also focuses on developing alternative tourism experiences among the communities of the Negev. In Lakiya, it has set up a renowned weaving project in which traditional weaving skills are used for the manufacture and sale of carpets, cushions and accessories.
Bedouin Experience is a social enterprise which networks Bedouin hospitality providers in the Negev region, including accommodations, tour guides, meals, local products and activities. Founders Sliman and Yeela have been active in advocating for Bedouin rights in Israel for years, and view ecotourism as a venue for economic development and increased understanding between Bedouin and visitors to the region.