Muslims around the world are currently honoring the holy month of Ramadan and Sikkuy’s Shared Regional Tourism project allows thousands of Jewish Israelis to visit to visit Muslim towns at sunset to enjoy food and celebrations, promoting greater cultural understanding. Four different tourist groups are also participating in the new Drachim Shluvot (“Shared paths”) forum to discuss their experiences. This opportunity is the result of a three-year grant from USAID and support from New Israel Fund Canada.
Another opportunity for cultural immersion is the Ramadan Nights program which features guided tours in ten Arab towns and cities in Israel, with tours now available in English. The belief is that tourism promotes more comprehensive knowledge and social change by illustrating bonds between Jews and Arabs. By understanding a common history, decades of distrust will erode, leaving new opportunities for a successful future. Additionally, tourism encourages economic growth by opening locations up to many visitors for the first time. Although the Ministry of Tourism selected not to take part in promoting the Ramadan tours this year, Sikkuy continues to solidify its message of hope and positive shared interaction through tourism.
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