Born in 1985, I grew up in Jerusalem together with my three brothers in a liberal religious home. Prior to my three year army service, I spent a year doing voluntary community work in a small development town. After the army service I traveled for several months backpacking through Central Asia before returning home and taking up studies in history and geography at the Hebrew University.
At the same time, I was working as a counselor in a hostel for young delinquents, teaching carpentry to boys in an Arab high school and running a community carpentry and metal workshop.
I earned my license as tourist guide from the Yad Ben Zvi academy after an intensive two year course.
As a result of my experiences in the Second Lebanon War, I became actively involved in Combatants for Peace, a joint Israeli-Palestinian movement trying to bridge the gap between Arabs and Jews – so far rather unsuccessfully…
I attempt in various ways to reduce the hostility which mars our country: by showing Israel to tourists and locals without the saccharine icing which is the hallmark of conventional tours, by speaking to high school students before them being drafted into the army, by arranging meetings between Palestinians and Israelis, or merely by organizing the restoration of vandalized graveyards.
Other than being a private tour guide, I do a few other things as well:
- I am proud to have been chosen by Birthright Israel (known in Hebrew as Taglit i.e. discovery) to be one of their tour guides.
- I also enjoy working with several travel agencies, in particular with Medjdi Tours who put an emphasis on tours with a dual narrative by employing both Palestinian and Israeli tour guides.
- Due to my non-nonsense attitude and political integrity, Ir Amim entrusts me to guide their tours of Jerusalem, showing mostly to Israelis the “other side” of our city.
- I am active in Muslala, an organization which promotes art in public areas of Jerusalem.