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January 02, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all and we wish you all prosperity in Health, Happiness and Wealth.

This week's TravelTalkRADIO programming was produced while in Palestine during the holiday events and ceremonies.

Joining Sandy this week as guests are Husney W. Kohen, Priest and Director of the Samaritan's Museum on Mount Gerizim in Samarita, Kamel “Kam” Sinofrot, Executive Manager of the Telepherique & Sultan Tourist Center and the Mount Temptation Cable Car in Jericho, Richard Elias, General Manager of Golden Gate Tours & Travel in Bethlehem, Andrea Wrba, General Manager of the InterContinental Hotel in Jericho Sami Awad, Executive Director of the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem, Maha Saca, Founder and Director of the Palestinian Heritage Center in Bethlehem and Zein Nakash, VP Marketing from Breezes Resorts headquartered in Jamaica.

More information on this week's program.

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Click on graphic to go to visitpalestine.ps

Thank you for joining us this week as we welcome 2010.
We return back to the USA this week, still glowing I might add, from one of the most memorable trips of our career. Patrick and I hit the road running in our usual style and within 12 days we visited, studied, filmed and met the most wonderful people of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, the Dead Sea, Hebron, Taybeh and many of the surroundings areas. We developed over 7 hours of radio programming, and our TV short will be distributed in late January as we extract the best from 8 hours of footage. I am also excited to be contributing to Group Travel magazine with an article featuring Palestine. We will announce additional new programming from our trip as we continue to edit and produce new features.

We captured the true spirit of the society as we experienced community activities, faith-based ceremonies,  the archeological wonders of the region and my favorite, our friends' homes.

If you are drawn to this region, do not hesitate to visit. There is a wide range of travel choices available from first class to economy. Pilgrimage tourism can be done as low as $150 per day, however, we recommend expanding your minds with a montage of experiences that will include all aspects of life in Palestine.

This week, we found an article about our visit at Travel & Encounter called Travel Talk in Palestine. I am not loving the photo of me, but Patrick looks like a Hollywood producer. Apparently, unseen Palestinian paparazzi snapped the photo while were about to film a segment at the Taybeh Brewery. 

We have also created an extensive photo library at our gallery. If you are a journalist or a publication and need photos from Palestine, please use our photos with appropriate credit to TravelTalkMEDIA. The most important thing is that we get the good word out about this enchanting area of the world.

Our friends in Israel have become even more golden to us during this trip. We are working with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for Palestine to promote travel to the region. Rising above the competing politics of the region, our friends in Israel have all given us much support and enthusiasm. They share our view that tourism contributes to active peace and helps contribute to a robust economy and a more harmonious co-existence.

If you are interested in coming to Palestine, please contact us. We can introduce you to potential carriers, tour operators and government approvals you will need as a journalist, volunteer or a leisure traveler. Collette Vacations has a wonderful leisure tour of Israel and Palestine. Bethlehem-based travel agent, Richard Elias, is featured in this week's TravelTalkRADIO programming. Richard works with a passion that underlies his love of helping people connect and experiencing his country. He can easily help you as well.

Most importantly, we want to thank the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Palestine. Under the leadership of Dr. Kouloud Diabes, the country is awakening with a new spirit and an excitement to share the treasures of this most remarkable land.

Enjoy our two hour TravelTalkRADIO programming and please let us know your thoughts about traveling to this unique and enriching area.

Good Samaritan’s Message of Peace
Husney W. Kohen
, Priest and Director of the Samaritan's Museum on Mount Gerizim in Samarita, Palestine
Our guest is a Samaritan priest who explains that his genealogy reaches back over 162 generations to the Biblical figure of Adam himself. Here you’ll gain a better understanding of the importance of the man known as Abraham, claimed to be the father of the Israelites and the Arabs. We also consider the question of why there is conflict over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when the real temple perhaps belongs on Mount Gerazim in Samaria, Palestine. And finally, listen to a very special prayer for peace in the Holy Land. For more information and to listen!

Samaritan priest, Husney W. Kohen.

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Overlooking Jericho and at the entrance of the Monastery, we find ourselves on
Mount Temptation.

Cable Car on Mount Temptation
Kamel “Kam” Sinofrot
, Executive Manager of the Telepherique & Sultan Tourist Center and the Mount Temptation Cable Car in Jericho, Palestine
OK, this sounds like a rather odd factoid, but there really is a cable car in the oldest city in the world that starts below sea level and goes clear up a mountainside, yet the top is still below sea level! The Temptation on the Mount and the Walls of Jericho are featured stops on this unique-in-all-the-world ride in a 10,000 year-old community. Folks, this is where it all started. Don’t miss it!  Continued

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Richard became our personal driver
while in Palestine.

Room at the In
Richard Elias,
General Manager of Golden Gate Tours & Travel in Bethlehem, Palestine
The Elias family owns the Bethlehem Star Hotel which is situated on the highest point in this ancient city and features spectacular views of the Church of the Nativity and the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine being here during the Christmas holidays?

Plus, son Richard offers soup-to-nuts tours of all that the Holy Land has to experience. And whenever you decide to come, plan on making the Star your home for a week while you take a good long drink from the fire hose of cultural, historical, religious and socio-political sights, sounds and tastes this region offers. There will be room for you at the inn.   Continued

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Overlooking Jericho
We want to thank Rafat Shomaly for being our guide. It is always true, the guide is your key to a successful trip. Like your doctor, you fall in love with them and put your trust in their hands. Rafat is one of the best.

5 Star in Jericho
Andrea Wrba, General Manager of the InterContinental Hotel in Jericho, Palestine
Only six clicks from the shores of the Dead Sea and sitting at the lowest point on earth there is a spectacular 5 star hotel. Who knew? After running hard for a few days on your tour of the Holy Land, there is no better recovery and rejuvenation than to deeply breathe in the naturally enriched oxygen levels here and bask in the sun during a stay at the luxurious Jericho InterConti.  Continued

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Trust in the Holy Land
Sami Awad
, Executive Director of the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem, Palestine
An engaging conversation with the man who is perhaps the leading peace activist in Palestine. In the Holy Land, forced segregation of people based on race, religion, culture and economics is a severe and omnipresent problem. There is a fortified barrier that runs for miles and miles through the Holy Land that makes the Berlin Wall look like a picket fence. Meet the founder of the Holy Land Trust, an organization dedicated to achieving peace between Palestinians and Israelis through education, understanding and non-violence. Martin Luther King, JFK and Ron Reagan would all be proud.  Continued

Children of Bethlehem celebrating with their families on Christmas Eve.

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Richard Elias, Judy Karwacki and Sandy playing dress up with Maha Saka at the
Palestinian Heritage Center in Bethlehem.

Palestinian Heritage
Maha Saca
, Founder and Director of the Palestinian Heritage Center in Beit Jala, Palestine

Palestine has been around since Biblical times. Talk about a country and a people with some heritage! Meet this special lady whose life’s work is to preserve and share this rich cultural heritage with the world and all who visit Palestine. You won’t find a better place to begin your journey to understand the people and places of this ancient land than the Palestinian Heritage Center.  

Check out photos in our
Visit Palestine Gallery

Breezes: A Genuine Brand

Zein Nakash, Vice President of Marketing and Environment for SuperClubs’ Breezes Resorts
In 2005, one of the celebrated gurus of branding, Duane Knapp, congratulated Sandy on the fact that TravelTalkRADIO.com was “a genuine brand.” Well, we’ve found another genuine brand: Breezes.com. This is a place where a warm, tropical wind blows gently across a Caribbean and South American kingdom of super-inclusive resorts. Oooh, indeed, heaven is a place on earth. Speaking of which, ithe new Panama Breezes in YOUR future? Definitely!

Please join us as we continue to spread the good word of travel.

Let's all do something to expand peace this year;
Visit Palestine!

Happy New Year to you all,

Sandy Dhuyvetter, Executive Producer and Host

Truly a cashless vacation!

Great Idea and Fun Giveaway

Her Excellency Dr. Kouloud Diabes and Sandy and Patrick on the last full day of the visit. Dr. Kouloud presented Sandy with a copy of a book that was printed for the Pope and his visit. We are very honored to receive one of the 100 printed volumes.


Glass blowing in Hebron


Magnificent Convention Center in Bethlehem

Dead Sea near Jericho


My favorite: Hisham's Palace in Jericho

St. Nich excites the children
in Beit Jala at the St. Nicholas Festival


Christmas Eve, the children and their families come together to celebrate and continue their hope for peace for all.

Thank you for joining us!  December 20, 2009 programming
December 20, 2009 was a combination of work we produced while in Palestine and in our studios in the Bay Area.  I hope you will find the conversations stimulating and informative.

Joining Sandy this week as guests are Father Raed Abusahlia, Director of the Olive Branch Foundation and Peace Lamps In The Holy Land located in Taybeh, Palestine, Nadim Khoury, General Director of the Taybeh Brewing Company in Palestine, Arthur Hardy, Publisher of the annual Mardi Gras Guide, Dan Schlossberg, President of the North American Travel Journalists Association, Allison Villasenor, Senior Product Manager for Collette Vacations, and Jack Elias, Owner of the Bethlehem Star Hotel in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Click HERE for more information on the program.



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