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Jericho
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Gaza
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Jenin
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Nablus
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Ramallah
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Bethlehem
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Hebron
Palestine

Palestine with Sama'

Palestine, with its raw beauty, chaotic energy and iconic ancient biblical history mean it should be one of the most interesting and stunning places for us to visit. Sama' has turned heads as Palestine's first international DJ and electronic music producer and her love for her home is palpable through all her work. It only seems right to that we got a guide to her favourite places around Palestine...

Palestine, with its raw beauty, chaotic energy and iconic ancient biblical history mean it should be one of the most interesting and stunning places for us to visit. Sama' has turned heads as Palestine's first international DJ and electronic music producer and her love for her home is palpable through all her work. It only seems right to that we got a guide to her favourite places around Palestine...

Jericho

"Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world, it is around 11,000 years old, (lol, that number apparently exists), and it is the lowest point on earth, 258m below sea level. There, you will find Deir al Krntl, The Monastery of Temptation, which dates back to the Seleucid Empire, and where Jesus fasted for 40 days after getting baptized in the Jordan River. It is a beautiful monastery, built on the edge of a mountain cliff, overlooking the whole area, including Jericho, the Dead Sea, and a bit of Jordan. To get there, you can hike or take an aerial tramway."

Gaza

"The Gaza strip is a restricted area for everyone. Since 2008, Israel decided that people in Gaza all deserve life in prison. So they put the whole city under siege, and closed off all entry and exit points. But, if you do manage to get a permit to visit, go. The people there are the friendliest and most creative people you will meet. You can sit on the beach of the Mediterranean sea, which you can see from all over Palestine, but can never reach, you can eat really good food - there are too many things to see in Gaza... we can write a full article just about that."

Jenin

"Through the checkpoints and hassle, which can take between an hour to seven, depending on the day and the soldiers mood, you can get to Jenin. In Arraba, you can go to the Abdelhadi Palaces (Our palaces - just to brag). These Palaces have been within the family for more than 100 years, 2 of them have been renovated into a Turkish Bath and a public library. You can also start a walk from Arraba to Burqin, where you pass through a spring, a roman wall, and Burqin Church, which is the 3rd oldest church in the world."

Nablus

"Also known as ‘Little Damascus’, a place where visiting the old market (souq) is a must. Some of the few things its popular for are nablus knafeh; my dad has been eating knafe, a really sweet dessert, every day since he was born. He used to take me to eat knafe almost every day as well when I was a kid, which is the reason why I don’t eat it anymore. He still finds that weird. It’s nablus soap and Turkish baths. I personally travel with that soap and always have some in whichever house and in whatever country I live in. You’ll also find the Samaritan Museum. Samaritan’s believe that mount Gerizim in Nablus is the holy place for the Israelis. The Samaritans have always been neutral, they don’t like politics and don’t get into it. They speak Arabic and Hebrew and they live on both sides with both people."

Ramallah

"On the way to Ramallah you will run into Taybeh village and the Taybeh brewery. The first female-run microbrewery in the Middle East. If you are there in the Oktoberfest, you will be very happy that day. Fresh beer from the cellars and a beautiful spot on top of the mountain. After Taybeh comes Birzeit, a beautiful old village. There you can find “Malek il falafel” the best Falafel in the area. Brilliant homemade Palestinian dishes in an old traditional house. In Birzeit, you can also find the Palestinian Museum. Getting into Ramallah, there is Snowbar Garden; it is this beautiful garden built into the mountain with a great view. Great drinks and a pool for the summer times. Other good bars are Garage Cafe, La Grotta Bar and Radio Bar."

Bethlehem

"Heading out of Ramallah, through a lot of checkpoints, with a lot of views of illegal settlements, through mountains, through a lot of hassle and humiliation, you’ll get to the birthplace of Jesus, which is definitely a site to see in the nativity church. There is a shorter way to get there through Jerusalem, which is safer as well and doesn’t make you dizzy and sick, but it wouldn’t be called an occupation if we were able to drive on it. So if you are Palestinian you cant take that road. The old city of Beit Sahour is incredible as well. If you want something to eat and you like chicken, Qabar goes back forever; the menu is only chicken (these guys seriously don’t have any pics that’s how old school they are). You can also find the hotel that Banksy opened, with a straight-up view of the 8m high segregation wall and checkpoint. The walled-off hotel is a must-visit spot with a lot of Banksy art. Banksy visits Palestine a lot, especially Bethlehem, during your trip you will find a lot of his graffiti on the walls of the city. If you get tired of the wall blocking your view, you can go to Hosh il Yasmine; a very nice chill spot and has a lot of music events and a great view of the mountains around you. On your way to Hebron you can pass by Battir village, god’s paradise on earth."

Hebron

"Hebron market (souq) with its maze of alleys is definitely worth exploring. The shops and stalls sell everything from locally made pottery, glass, rugs, and embroidered items to fresh and dried fruits. The old city has plenty of archaeological sites worth visiting. In Hebron, they make everything… they literally can make anything. The old city also gives a real sense of what it feels like to be under occupation, as the old city is occupied by extremist settlers and protected by over 1500 soldiers making it a really intense environment. As you can see in the pictures, you can always notice netting on the top of everything. That is because the settlers tried to drive people out by throwing their trash on top of the people of Hebron. So instead of leaving, people put nets all over to catch the trash. It is very intense living there, this is why we always say when a Hebron person puts his mind to something, nothing will stop them. There is nothing like a Khalili head. They even recently approved a new illegal settlement to be built where the market is, so now there is an order to bulldoze the market.”