I sat down with Kamal Mukarker, a Palestinian tour guide and educator who is preparing a new generation of Palestinian tour guides. We had an in-depth and far-ranging discussion about his family’s background, the upheavals that they have suffered due to the last 100 years of conflict, his mother’s upbringing in Germany, the state of the Christian community in the Holy Land and broader Middle East, tour guide training in the Palestinian Authority, normalization, the difficulties surrounding the “occupation”, the recent Abraham Accords, and the struggles that tour guides currently face due to the continued coronavirus crisis.
Kamal is a leading tour guide for English and German tourists, as well as a fixer for anything one might need in the West Bank. Part of what he does is inviting tourist groups to his home in Bethlehem for a traditional meal, where he gives talks during mealtime on life in Bethlehem in general and the Christian culture of it in specific, thus giving tourists an insider’s perspective on the lives of Palestinian Christian. He opened a floor in his home building for smaller families to stay and enjoy the evening dinner and breakfast with or without his family. A great opportunity for families that want to explore the West Bank in 2 or 3 days. He also loves to take Jewish families around and link the historical Judea and the Torah stories with the current land today. Feel free to write him an e mail at Kamal_mukarker@hotmail.com or by WhatsApp: 00972597806477 or give him a call at 00972 546336477.