Travel History and Background

The Travel & Encounter (T&E) program was founded in the year 2000 to coordinate the “Pilgrimage of Peace.” This pilgrimage, that followed the path of the Journey of the Magi, began in Baghdad and arrived in Bethlehem on December 25, 2000. Taken to celebrate the millennium birth of the Prince of Peace, the journey took travelers 99 days walking and riding camels. Thousands traveled the path at different points along the way with 16 people completing the entire journey from start to finish.

Growing from these roots, the T&E program aims to raise international awareness by providing cross-cultural and experimental learning opportunities in both Palestine and Israel. The T&E program offers a wide range of travel programs that are tailored to meet the diverse needs and aspirations of travelers visiting the region. Ranging from religious pilgrimages, fact finding missions, and annual programs such as IKTASHEF and the Olive Harvest, the T&E program has something to offer everyone who wants to truly experience the Holy Land.

The T&E program strives to build personal relationships between the peoples of Palestine and the rest of the world. It is our belief, that through face-to-face interactions, mutual understanding and respect between diverse peoples can be achieved. It is important to the members of the T&E program that these relationships be sustainably built in support of local economies. With the opportunity to stay with host families, visit local traditional artisans, and shop the local market we believe you will have a unique relationship building experience with local Palestinian peoples combined with the opportunity to invest in a sustainable future for the living stones of this land.