Where to go in Ramallah

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Where to go in Ramallah

 

Throughout the ages, Palestine has been characterized by its geographic location, since it connects the continent of Asia to the continent of Africa. Palestine has influenced the significant historical civilizations and has been influenced by them also, like the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Ancient Greek, Persian, Romanian, and Byzantine civilizations, which infused Palestine with culture and civilization, as a result of the intermixing of different peoples with each other.

We can find many archaeological sites that indicate this in the various cities and villages in Palestine, like the Dome of the Rock, the walls and gates of Jerusalem, the Hisham Palace and the Qruntul Monastery in Jericho, the ruins of a Byzantine church with a mosaic floor in Ramallah, and other ruins present throughout Palestine.

Palestine has a particular religious status, since it is the place of descent of the three monotheistic religions. So tourists enjoy visiting Islamic and Christian religious sites, like Al-Aqsa mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. In addition, they can visit the Sanctuary of Abraham (Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi) in Hebron, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and many other archaeological sites and museums.

The city of Ramallah is considered one of the Palestinian cities frequented by tourists, and constitutes a major destination for them in their tours, and tourists need to visit the following archaeological sites:

  • The ruins of a historic building that includes the remnants of a Crusaders period Tower that is located at the center of the city.
  • The ruins of a Byzantine church in the city.

There are many archaeological sites located in the villages and towns of the Ramallah governorate. For example, there is a fortified castle the ruins of which are still visible now in Birzeit; an enormous Ottoman building in Ras Karkar village; and the remains of a church and architectural segments dating back to the Byzantine period in Jifna village. Also in Aboud village, there are many effaced monasteries and churches since the era of Queen Helena and her son Constantine, and the village also has an old mosque and a Greek Orthodox Church.

When talking about tourism in Palestine, we need to point out that there are many problems and obstacles that face tourism in Palestine, including the city of Ramallah. Perhaps the first of these obstacles is the Israeli occupation, which has an adverse affect due to its tendentious propaganda targeting foreign tourists, and it also seeks to damage the tourism sector in Palestine.

Additionally, the Israelis compete with Palestinian tourism due to their marketing expertise. Subjectively, Palestine suffers from a severe shortage in trained and qualified persons who work in hotels and tourist restaurants, and a shortage in tour guides who are informed about the Palestinian heritage and archaeological sites, together with a shortage in tourist buses and drivers cultured in tourism.

Such obstacles can be overcome or mitigated if the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is provided with experts in tourism industry, together with sending training missions to prepare experts and staff. Also, some radio and television programs must be dedicated to the religious and touristic aspects in Palestine. Additionally, there is a need to establish a higher council for tourism comprised of representatives from experts, competent staff, and officials relevant to tourism so the council would assume the functions of serious and active planning for the tourism sector.

Despite the city of Ramallah not being one of the ancient cities, it is considered the most attractive Palestinian areas to visitors on the global and Arab world levels, in general, and for Palestinians, in particular. This is taking into consideration that this city is a significant economic center, especially after it has become a center for Palestinian and Arab banks, foreign institutions, and diplomatic missions, in addition to being the seat of the Palestinian National Authority institutions and ministries. This has contributed actively in the development of this city in all aspects, especially regarding tourism. The over-crowdedness of the city requires the construction of large and modern tourist facilities that can meet the needs of its residents, which would increase the national income significantly.