Local, European Artists Join Efforts to Enhance Jericho Tourism Experience

JERICHO, February 10, 2015 (WAFA) – Five Local and another five European artists have joined forces as well as their vivid imagination by participating in a multinational project to promote one of the most famous historical and archeological sites in Palestine, Hisham’s Palace.


Funded by the European Union, the ‘RE-Think Palestine Project’ is currently holding a workshop for creative Palestinian and European Artists in the city of Jericho “to foster an exchange of experiences amongst Palestinian and European artists.


The project aspires to benefit from the artists’ creative interventions in the location of Hisham’s Palace in Jericho and what it upholds from artistic sculptures, monuments, and its special and rare architecture. In addition, the workshop will be oriented towards the visitors and communities living around the Palace.”


A press release which WAFA received a copy of, said the project aims to add some modern artistic inputs to enhance the tourist’s experience at the palace, which is one of Palestine’s most famous locations and Jericho’s must-see site.


Hisham’s Palace is a central location annually visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world. The remaining palace is an early Islamic archaeological site located five kilometers north of the city of Jericho.


The project is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA) and implemented by the European Union in collaboration with Al-Nasher and European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in cooperation with International Academy of Art Palestine.


Director of the International Academy of Art, Khaled Hourani pointed out that such workshops are essential to enrich the local experience and create an opportunity for future cooperation with well-known international artists.


The artists’ contributions, which are expected to boost the touristic value of the site and promote it among international tourists as well as the local community, granted the project the support of many parties, including government officials. Iyad Hamdan, Director of Jericho Department at MOTA, said “The participating artists will produce projects inspired by the palace, also by the location’s relation with its surroundings and the community.”


Though tourism in Palestine is considered one of the most significant sectors that support the economy, it still needs to be revived through the implementation of similar projects. CEO of Al-Nasher, Sa’d Abdulhadi stated, “We believe it is very critical to revitalize the touristic sector in Palestine”.


At the moment, there are many initiatives to boost tourism in Palestine, including the development of Mahmoud Darwish Museum, and the implementation of Hisham’s Palace museum renovation in 2014.


Archeologist Hamdan Taha, who is also the former Deputy Assistant Minister for Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities expressed support for the project, not only because it boosts the value of the palace, but because it creates an opportunity for young artists, “to be engaged in the Palestinian touristic sites and culture.”