Working as a guide means responsibility towards my country. I love my work for it gives me the opportunity to meet new people from different cultures and nationalities. It also gives me the opportunity to spend as much time as possible in nature with people who are interested and who appreciate it.
Mohammad Atari comes from a village called Zbuba, located in the northwest of Jenin on the slopes of Jezreel Valley, where the inhabitants depend on agriculture. Atari’s favorite place, however, is Jabal al-Bared. His passion for human civilization led him to study archeology, and he integrates these studies with Palestine’s uniquely wonderful nature and culture.
Due to his experience and knowledge of the city of Jenin, he was asked to guide tours inside the city for visitors, and through this job he was introduced to the concept of hiking. Atari became the main guide for three hiking trails and also explored and developed new trails in his region. Soon, he was contacted by many tour operators who wanted to visit Jenin, and eventually he was introduced to George Rishmawi with the The Palestinian Heritage Trail project.
Atari says walking through the trail provides a clear idea of the geographical diversity between the different regions and natural environments in Palestine, as well as the political situation in the region. The Palestinian Heritage Trail has been trying to involve marginalized rural communities and improve their economic situation.
Atari has many friends who are tour guides, and he says he loves to participate in their tours and observe each guide’s personal touring style. He tries to understand the needs of each tour group and believes his own tours are unique; he feels as if he was the first person to be born here and is still in contact with this land. He sees his job as an opportunity to meet new people and spend time in nature as well as a responsibility to his institution and his country to provide a good impression to the world. In this way, Mohammad Atari provides tours that are authentic, unique, and knowledgeable of the region.
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