Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
Mark Twain’s famous lines from Innocents Abroad are well known and widely quoted. However, after overcoming anger at the murder of his brother, Aziz Abu Sarah has been putting them into practice.
Realising that what separated Palestinians and Israelis were hatred and ignorance, Aziz decided to dedicate himself to breaking down walls and building positive connections between people. He co-founded a company, Medji Tours, which runs tours highlighting different cultural, religious, political, and ethnic narratives within the countries they visit. To achieve this each tour is led by two guides from different religious or political backgrounds.
By getting tourists off buses and promoting engagement with local communities, Aziz and Medji Tours believe that tourism offers a viable way to remove barriers, foster connections and build friendships.
Medji Tours started in Israel and Palestine and now runs tour in Oman, Jordan, Turkey as well as Ireland and Cuba.
Watch Aziz’s TED talk here: