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FAM Trip 2016 Itinerary

Day 1: November 13th

Departure from Washington DC to Amman, Jordan.

Day 2: November 14th

We arrive at Queen Alia Airport, in Jordan. Jordan is the traditional gateway to the Holy Land, in both Biblical and modern times.  Our local guide will greet us at the airport and help us with the necessary formalities before we proceed to our hotel.  Dinner and overnight in Amman.

Day 3: November 15th, Amman

Breakfast at the hotel in Amman, tour in Amman and meetings with officials. Afterwards, we will go to Madaba where we will visit St George’s Church. While there, we will also  have the opportunity to see  the amazing Madaba Mosaic Map, the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land which we are about to explore.  We will then ascend Mount Nebo (Jabal Nebo) on the eastern side of the Jordan Valley, opposite the city of Jericho to gaze for the first time on “the land flowing with milk and honey,” from the place where Moses first glimpsed it. Dinner and overnight in Amman.

Day 4: November 16th, Amman-Bethlehem

Breakfast at the hotel, meeting with officials. We will begin our tour of Amman by visiting the Citadel. Among the Citadel’s most impressive historic buildings is the Umayyad Palace. Believed to be the work of Umayyad Arabs and dating from about 720 AD, the palace was an extensive complex of royal and residential buildings that was once home to the Governor of Amman. We will then continue to downtown Amman (Al-balad) for a 40-minute walking tour of the Souq. Afterwards, we will proceed to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers at Sahab in south Amman which is mentioned in the Qur’an. Transfer to King Hussain Bridge. Transfer to Bethlehem for dinner & overnight.

Day 5: November 17th, Bethlehem

We will begin our day with a welcoming by HCEF, who will educate us about HCEF programs in the Holy Land. Next, we will visit the Shepherd’s Field in Beit Sahour, followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity, the Milk Grotto, Shrine of the Motherhood of Mary, and Omar Mosque. We will then have meetings with officials from the Bethlehem Area followed by lunch. In the afternoon, we will tour Bethlehem, where we will see the separation wall and stop at the same place where Pope Francis stopped to pray during his visit to Palestine in May 2014. During the tour, we will also visit Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. Afterwards, we will have some time to rest before we head to Bethlehem Museum for a tour. We will enjoy dinner at Al Karmeh restaurant with prominent religious leaders at Al Karmeh. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 6: November 18th, Jerusalem

After breakfast, we will travel to the Old City of Jerusalem, where we will visit Al-Aqsa Mosque & the Dome of the Rock; the sight of the Issraa and Miraaj of the prophet Mohammed (PBUH). We will then continue our walk in the old city “Via Dolorosa” until we reach the Holy Sepulcher Church, after which, we will walk through the alleys of the Old City to the Mosque of Omar. Afterwards, we will visit Ein Karem and the Church of St. John. During our visit in Jerusalem, we will meet with prominent Islamic and Christian leaders. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 7: November 19th, Ramallah and Birzeit

After breakfast, we will head to Ramallah for meetings with local officials and representatives. Then we will visit the town of Birzeit where we will enjoy an interfaith gathering. In the afternoon, and  if time allows, we will go to Jaffa for a tour of the old city and Jaffa Bay, including Hassan Beik Mosque, Mahmudia Mosque, and the Franciscan Church. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 8: November 20th, Jericho

After Breakfast, we will proceed to Nebi Moussa, believed to be the site where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saw the Prophet Moussa pray at his grave.  We will then head to Jericho. At Jericho, we will see the site where Zacchaeus climbed the sycamore tree and where the blind Bartimaeus wanted to see. On the summit of the Mount of Temptation, we will visit the Monastery of Temptation and experience the site where Jesus was tempted.  After lunch, we will enjoy ourselves at the Dead Sea and have some free time at the shores of the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 9: November 21st, Bethlehem – Hebron

After breakfast, we will prepare ourselves to attend the Opening Ceremony of Bethlehem Diaspora Convention held under the auspices of His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas. Afterward, we will go to Hebron, where we will visit Abraham Mosque; the burial site of the family of the Prophet Ibrahim and have a tour in the old city of Hebron.  Afterward, we will return to Bethlehem to have our farewell dinner and Overnight in Bethlehem.

Day 10: November 22nd

After breakfast, transfer to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, departure to Washington DC.