I came up with the idea of Bike Palestine whilst teaching Maya, the advanced 3D animation software, at the TV Production Department at Birzeit University. Every day I traveled the short distance between Ramallah and Birzeit and took in the delightful olive bedecked Mediterranean landscape that adorns this aspiring nation. As a keen cyclist myself I thought that there may be others who'd like to share this experience with me. So I got in touch with the Siraj Center in Bethlehem, who had long experience in the tourism & hospitality business, and they kindly agreed to provide the logistics and administration for the tour. In truth they do all the hard work- and have been doing so for the past 6 years.
The Palestinians, it must be said, are the kindest, friendliest, and most civil people one is ever likely to meet. I hope that on viewing our web site you may decide to join us on our next tour this Easter, in Jerusalem.
My personal website is to be found at www.george-snow.com .
I am currently working on a virtual reality world based on the architecture of Alberti, Piranesi and Escher. This is constructed in the games engine Unity and is viewed in the Oculus Rift VR headset. My video 'Legs' will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this Autumn and the panoramic movie 'APES' in the Kunstkapel in Amsterdam in September.
The Siraj Center
Siraj is a non-governmental non-profit organisation based in Beit Sahour, Palestine. They aim to create links between Palestinian people and people from around the globe through educational tourism, interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, culture and youth exchange programs. Through its many local connections, Siraj works directly with communities and organisations in Palestine and the entire Middle East. They have organised fact-finding missions to Palestine in order for people to have first hand experience of the on-going Israeli occupation. Those attending the fact-finding missions will meet with both Palestinians and Israelis and come face to face with the real issues of illegal settlements, the Wall, water issues, borders and the plight of refugees. The Siraj Centre also aims to reveal the human face of the people of Palestine which is rarely seen on the Western media. They organise meals and accommodation with Palestinian families providing Westerners the chance to experience the real Palestine and come to know its past as well as its present. Siraj also promotes the Palestinian economy by encouraging tourism and developing the tourist industry. They are the leading Palestinian organisation for organising the hiking and biking holidays. The centre organises the Nativity Trail hike from Nazareth to Bethlehem and are a co-founder and partner of the 'Abraham Path Initiative'. They host the 'Peace Cycle' from London to Jerusalem every year and organise trips, on request, from Christian tour leaders, churches, peace activists, and special interest groups. The Siraj Center also runs the annual Palestinian Summer Celebration from mid June to mid August, the annual Olive Harvest event in early October and the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage. "Not only are all my planned activities with the Siraj Center great, but each and every hour of living here brings new and exciting experiences" Victoria Close, Connecticut.