“I Would Like to Be Outstanding”

“I would like to be outstanding,” says Dina and then smiles. “There are not many female guides in this area.” Dina was the only woman who attended the Abraham Path’s training for the local guides organized by the Rozana Association in the village of Araba, located southwest of Jenin. Initially, she joined another workshop held for future hosts along the path, which was run at the same time; but after a while, she decided that she preferred to learn about the possibilities of becoming a guide and joined to the guide course as the only woman in the class. “I already knew how to welcome visitors in my house,” she says.

Dina became interested in tourism after taking some courses related to the field at her university. But she really became convinced that this was truly what she wanted to do in her life after hosting a visitor from Japan. During that time, Dina showed her guest a number of interesting sites in Araba. She took the Japanese woman to the Abd al-Hadi palaces located in the village’s historic center. There, by chance, she met Abu Ayman, a local guide, who told her about the Abraham Path’s training.

“Being a guide has changed my character,” admits Dina. Today, she is proud of the fact that because of regular walking she became not only stronger physically but also mentally. She is glad to share her knowledge about the region with the people from around the world.

“When I walked from Araba to Sanur for the first time, I got very tired. But every next time it was only better. Now I reached the point that I cannot wait for the next trip.” Dina, who comes from the small and, as she says, “closed” village of Kufeirat was not used to walking at all. “We were always moving by car and not really going out much,” she says. Her situation changed recently when she got married and moved to Araba. Dina’s husband supports and encourages her to be a local guide.

As a child, Dina did not have a lot of opportunities to meet many people. “I knew only my closest cousins,” she admits.  But now, thanks to her involvement with the Abraham Path, she has a chance to expand her local contacts and also to meet many people coming from different cultures and origins.

Dina thinks that her in-depth knowledge of Kufeirat and Araba – two villages located along the Abraham Path – is a great advantage in her work. Having grown up in the area, she can spice up her guiding with a number of regional stories. For example, she often mentions to walkers that Kufeirat is located next to a hill which is called Musallah, which comes from the Arabic word for prayer. Local tradition remembers the hill as a place where Abraham himself once prayed.

Dina would like to invite everyone to join her in walking the Abraham Path and to let her be their guide between Araba and Sanur.