Our Team


Elias Deis

Elias Deis is the Travel & Encounter Project Manager. He received a Bachelor's degree in 2001, from the Tourism Department of Bethlehem University.  He also received certification from Bethlehem Bible College, from their Tour Guide program in 2010. He is elected member of Beit Sahour city as a Councilor.

Because of the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2001, and the subsequent decrease in tourism to the West Bank, Elias began to work alongside several organizations that collaborated with internationals on matters such as resistance and solidarity. 

Since beginning at Holy Land Trust in March 2007, Elias has been able to actively help build relationships between the local communities and the international community, as well as serve the immediate local population.  He enjoys working at HLT because it mixes the two fields he is most passionate about - tourism and activism

Said Zarzar

Said Zarzar is the Events and logistic Coordinator.  He began his work for Holy Land Trust in August of 2012. As an events coordinator, his job responsibilities include acting as art director for the annual Bet Lahem Live Festival, working with the logistics of the Travel and Encounter program, and coordinating all other events hosted by Holy Land Trust. 

Said graduated from Bethlehem University with a Bachelor's in Literature and Translation in 2010 but his real passion is theatre.  Said has been coaching and directing theatre productions for six years.  At Holy Land Trust, he is able to channel this passion into positively impacting the community.  He believes theatre is a weapon and through acting, dancing, and putting on productions, performers can use their voice and their skills to tell their stories without being rejected or ignored.  In this way, Said feels that theatre is a tool by which an understanding of all groups can be achieved. 

Lara Mitri

Lara Mitri is the communication and marketing coordinator for the Travel & Encounter program . Lara received a Bachelor's degree in 2001 in English Literature from Bethlehem University.  In 2010, she earned two diplomas in Project Management; one through an Italian program based in Rome, and  the other from Bethlehem University.

Lara has worked for Holy Land Trust since March of 2015 and previously served as the Events Coordinator. Under this role, she was the manager of the annual Bethlehem Live Festival for 2015.  In her new role as Operations  and Administrative  Manager, she is responsible for providing support and managing the HLT team and office, which includes general administration as well as facilitating the flow of programs , events , policies , systems , finances and accounting.  She enjoys working at Holy Land Trust because it has been a place where she has been able to learn and grow in her area of work

Dima Hayek

Dima Hayek is the financial manager.  She graduated from the Bethlehem University with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 2007.

Dima has worked for Holy Land Trust since 2010.  She values working with HLT because of its friendly atmosphere, and appreciates how the employees embrace both creativity and new ideas. Additionally, Dima enjoys working at Holy Land Trust because she is able to part of an organization that has a vision and a plan to pursues peace in the Holy Land, a peace she believes will come one day.

Thomas Trischler:

Thomas Trischler is the Development Manager at Holy Land Trust.

Thomas is originally from Germany, and received a master's degree from Potsdam University (in Germany) in political science in 2007.  

Thomas was able to spend one year of his education as an exchange student at Tel Aviv University. While there, he engaged in Middle Eastern studies, as well as volunteered for eighteen months in an old age home for Holocaust survivors. There, Thomas became interested in the Middle East and how the Germans played a part in the conflict surrounding the Holy Land.

Thomas is now working with the German Government in their Civil Peace Service Program (CPS) which, “...supports projects aimed at non-violent conflict resolutions in various countries worldwide. It [sends] experts to assist local partner [organizations].”

Through the CPS, Thomas was paired with Holy Land Trust in May of 2015. Thomas appreciates that HLT is dedicated to listening and engaging with both Palestinians and Israelis, as he believes that peace can only come when both sides of a conflict speak and listen to one another.