Hisham Khamis .. Palestinian tour guide resisting the falsification of the occupation


Fadi the stick - Bethlehem

Hisham Khamis, a 60-year-old Palestinian tour guide, is standing in the courtyard of the Church of the Nativity in the center of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem. He has the opportunity to lead a tour group visiting the holiest sites of the world's Christians.

Khamis began his touristic career thirteen years ago, after returning from one of the Gulf states where he worked as a translator, armed with his passion for history and his extensive knowledge gained from his sailing reading.

Khamis told al-Jazeera.net that the obstacles in his work are general and private. Arab and Muslim tourists do not enter Palestine and do not visit the Holy Places so that they do not have to go to the Israeli embassies in their country to obtain a visa to enter Palestine.

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (Al Jazeera)

Difficulties and requirements
The internal difficulties are that the occupation occupies all the features of the tourist, the establishment of tourist programs, does not give the Palestinian tourist guide to explain the novel to visitors, because it does not enter the occupied territory in 1948, but a special statement gives him only a few numbers.

Hisham Khamis faces various difficulties in his work (Al Jazeera)

The vast majority of historic sites were created by the Canaanites, an obscure history that the occupation is trying to remove from any Israeli narrative, because there is no site built and built by Israelis today. Except on the basis of the heritage, history, traditions or temples of Canaanite.

According to the guide Khamis, the Palestinian tour guide moves in specific places, namely Bethlehem first and then Jericho, which visit every two or three months because it falls within the Israeli tourism program, and the cities of Hebron and Nablus and other archaeological sites do not have tourist traffic and therefore no tourist work.

Picture of Palestinian tour guide Hisham Khamis explaining to tourists inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (Al Jazeera)

Visit and Plan
Khamis estimates that the vast majority of tourists in Bethlehem will spend a few hours, because the Israeli tourism program is planned for a short and quick visit to the Church of the Nativity and its birthplace, the purchase of small wood carvings and a quick return to Jerusalem and the Palestinian interior.

According to Hisham Khamis of Al Jazeera Net, the share of the Palestinian tourist guide from working with these groups does not exceed 15%, because the Israeli tour guide enters Bethlehem and provides explanations, and in rare cases that do not enter Israeli guide The bus is transferred to Palestinian guides.

90% of tourist programs come from offices inside the Green Line. The Palestinian tour guide has no point in doing so, especially since Israeli offices prevent the Palestinian leader from talking about politics, even though their Israeli counterparts talk about what they want.

Tourists take a picture in front of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (Al Jazeera)

Independent entity
The tourist does not know about the Palestinian political reality - according to Khamis - he moves through the paths and streets do not see the siege or barriers, except for the constant warning of the Israelis in dealing with any Palestinian.

According to Khamis, the solution in this case is that the Palestinians get an independent political entity, to reflect Zuhra's tourist guide on Palestinian culture, history and customs, and that the Palestinian embassies abroad are able to bring tourists to Palestine without going through the occupation barriers and control all tourist programs.

Khamis loves his love for this profession and his knowledge (Al Jazeera)

Double loss
"There is a special clause in the Paris Economic Protocol, according to the political agreements concluded between the Palestinian Authority and the occupation," said Jaris Qamsaieh of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. "It is clear that tourist guides and tour operators licensed by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism should be allowed to move freely, Touristic throughout the trip and wherever I went.

However, the Israeli occupation authorities imposed a "tourist guide" on the Palestinian guide, which made only 50 Palestinian guides - out of 250 licensed counselors - receiving these permits, which is a hindrance to their freedom of movement and forcing tourist groups that come to Palestine to be with me. Non-Palestinian tourist, thus distorting the facts and giving misleading information.

He pointed out that many of the non-Palestinian witnesses were caught giving false accounts, both in the Church of the Nativity or in other religious and historical places.

Qumsiyah also spoke of the loss of the Palestinian economy and the loss of Palestinian tourism, which began to occupy a global position on the list of tourism, although the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is always pressing all means to end this problem and are replaced by Palestinian guides from Jerusalem to accompany tourists throughout their journey, Accompanied by tourism groups that come through Palestinian offices.

REF: https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/1/12/%d9%81%d9%84%d8%b3%d8%b7%d9%8a%d9%86-%d8%a5%d8%b3%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%a6%d9%8a%d9%84-%d8%a8%d9%8a%d8%aa-%d9%84%d8%ad%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b3%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%ad-%d8%af%d9%84%d9%8a%d9%84-%d8%b3%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%ad%d9%8a-%d8%af%d9%88%d9%84-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ae%d9%84%d9%8a%d8%ac