Friday, November 12, 2010

Internet Tourism

Nablus... Old City by Afaf Arafat

Al-Diwan - Old Nablus by Afaf Arafat

Afaf Arafat is a Palestinian artist who was attracted to art as a young child, when she would try to draw the jasmine tree which climbed all the way from her father's Diwan to the first floor of the house.... As evident in her pictures the Palestinian countryside figures prominently in her work. So does the old city of Nablus. Other pictures display the splendor of Palestinian heritage whether in costume or architecture.

I discovered Afaf Arafat's beautiful artwork while poking around the Internet yesterday- looking for beauty. I have This Week in Palestine bookmarked on my computer, easy to click on and from there I often discover unique and interesting ideas and web sites to explore.

Building a Positive Brand Identity for Palestine in the Media
It is good to see so many different people taking positive media efforts for Palestine seriously. We all have a part to play- each in our own way. Each link we click helps make it more popular- and more likely to be noticed by others.

Different pictures, different tones, different colors- different types of stories and art and adventure appeal to different types of people. There is no one size fits all. There is however a mainstream, a very large middle where more people are more likely to hear and be influenced by what you have to say. It is as simple as that.

The Golden Rule [Do unto others as you would have them do unto you] really is a good rule of thumb for navigating the mainstream if you want more competent and capable people to become interested in Palestine and peace...

"A walk in the wondrous Old City of Jerusalem with all of its fragrances and colourful shops, or a short trip to any Palestinian city can expose a lot of the demographic mix to the discerning eye. I personally see this as strength and an added value to the Palestinian fabric. We are able to offer a diverse and varied culture in such a small country like Palestine." Raed Saadeh

The Dome on the Rock from a 19th century print

An 19th century impression of the land around Hebron

A view of ancient Tyre from a 19th century print

"Imagine cycling from Jenin to Hebron- passing Jerusalem and Bethlehem on the way. Immersed in the breathtaking Biblical landscape, taking the ancient roads of pilgrims and warriors- from the quiet of the Jerusalem Wilderness desert to the majesty of the Dead Sea." BIKE PALESTINE

"Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Explorations of the Holy Land 2011
Participants in this tour will explore the religious diversity and cultural richness of Israel and Palestine. We will investigate holy sites, listen to devotees, observe religious practices, delve into group beliefs and values, and ponder the religious experiences of the peoples of Israel and Palestine. Special attention will be given to the diversity of Jewish life, the vibrancy of Islam, and a selection of the indigenous Christian communities of Israel and Palestine. How have such lusciously flowered religions survived, adapted, and blossomed in the ‘desert’? Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies"

"Reconnect the Human Family - Step by Step Abraham's Path is a cultural itinerary that inspires and engages travelers to journey on the national and local trails of each nation of the region. Some of these national and local trails we have directly helped design and open — others are purely in the domain of national governments. Abraham's Path honors the laws, traveler-related directives, and nomenclature of all government partners."
Or, for the more secular and scientifically inclined arm chair tourist, who is seeking a more global perspective there are fascinating self guided tours through The World At Night (TWAN) where one can star gaze....

Night of an Ancient Library
Stars of Leo, the Lion, and planet Saturn shine above the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, a city of ancient Anatolia. Ephesus hosted one of the seven churches of Asia, addressed in the Book of Revelation of The Bible. It is also the site of a large gladiator graveyard. Pictured here under the moonlight, the Library of Celsus, whose façade has been carefully reconstructed from all original pieces, was built in AD 125 and once held nearly 12,000 scrolls. Today's archaeological site of Ephesus lies 3 kilometers south of the Selçuk district of Izmir Province, Turkey. Tunc Tezel.

The World At Night
(TWAN) is a program to produce and present a collection of stunning photographs and time-lapse videos of the world’s landmarks against the celestial attractions.

Last month my husband and I got all dressed up and went down to a glorious Gala at the Ritiz Carlton in Washington DC. Dr. Ziad Asali of the American Task Force on Palestine emailed me a picture taken there.

ATFP's Dr. Ziad Asali with Annie & Jaffar

The ATFP Gala was very well organized and very well attended. It was VERY impressive!

BUT what has really awed me the most has been the subsequent followup...

ATFP's Fifth Annual Gala 2010: Building Palestine, the Indispensable State for Peace

A beautifully written quick summary is filled with links one can explore in full- watch videos of great speeches or read the riveting transcripts. One can scroll through photos of the Gala, or stroll through the inspiring art work at the silent auction, or read the program and experience the entire program in full from afar- savoring every perfect word. The introductions are as good as the formal speeches. There is also a collection of articles in the media covering the Gala.

Take your time- enjoy the journey. Times are changing- and we citizens of the world, (regardless of supposed race, religion or nationality) are all part of that change.

This past summer, in training for my own empty nest, I was obsessed with a webcam watching an osprey nest on the Chester River (thanks to Chestertown Spy and everyone involved in supporting that project.) The osprey parents were attentive and dedicated. At first the baby birds were pretty darn ugly- but the scenery there was lovely. I'd often watch the sunrise there on the Chester River.... the river where my oldest son rows.

The webcam showed the nest and the river beyond, with a wide enough angle that sometimes you could see one of the osprey swoop down to fish- a small dark silhouette splashing the surface of the water and then winging its way back in a circle- rising up to land, looming large in the nest to feed.

Time passed and as the baby birds grew their elegant parents changed tactics. Early on one parent or the other would position themselves in the nest so as to cast a cooling shadow on the sleeping chicks, to protect them from the full glare of the hot summer sun. Eventually, as the chicks leaned to move the chicks learned to move into protective shade cast by a parent: Each took ownership of their own well-being... and responsibility for themselves.

Relationships change every day- and we adapt. We go from being a dependent child to a teen to an adult. We age- some more gracefully than others. But no matter what our age, or our state of grace, we tend to keep in contact with people we want to hear from, and we avoid people we don't want to hear from- for whatever reason. Our own behavior helps shape the marketplace of ideas.

In growing a garden for Palestine today- on my blog, there are hundreds of potentially worthy projects to point out- and thousands of worthy pictures and photos that I am tempted to post... plus millions of worthy quotes to quote....

Another day perhaps.

The sun sets over Palestinian fishermen in their boat in the Mediterranean sea, near the beach on the outskirts of Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) Yahoo! news photos


Jericho Mosiac- Leaping Gazelle