In 2016, HAFSA supported one of Sabastiya’s nurseries by purchasing ten round tables and chairs.
We also provided the girls’ school with a photocopier.
HAFSA was pleased to be one of the international groups that supported the development of the Al Kayed Palace Guesthouse in Sabastiya. This guest house opened for business in November 2013 and subsequently hosted the Zaytoun Harvest Tour.
We bought beds, bedding and heaters for the winter, but as importantly we encouraged the village to go ahead, which they did with gusto!
The Al-Kayed Palace Guesthouse is an Ottoman-era palace that was built for the Al-Kayed family in around 1855. Palestinian cultural NGO Riwaqin helped to renovate the palace so it could serve as a community hub for the Union of Women’s Committees for Social Work in Palestine and, later, as a guesthouse.
The guesthouse has beds for 17 people, and can accommodate singles, twins or multiple occupancy at a variety of very reasonable prices. All the rooms are en-suite. There is a communal dining/meeting room and wonderful views. Traditional home cooked Palestinian food is offered at breakfast and also evening meal if required.
Members of the women’s group also work in the guesthouse, and goods such as soap, embroidery and jam made by local women are sold there.
Check out their website for booking and more information.
In May 2013 eight members of HAFSA travelled on a field trip to Palestine. We stayed 4 days in Sebastya staying at the new amazing guest house which is a restored ancient castle. Set in the rolling hills and olive groves it was a wonderfully peaceful after the bustle of Jerusalem.
Anybody interested in going next year spring 2014, please email Andree, at *protected email*
In Autumn 2012, HAFSA raised funds to buy 500 olive trees for families in Sabastiya. On December 17th, 400 of these were planted on lands around Sabastiya.
Olive trees are of vital importance for subsistence in Palestine, supporting the livelihood of over 100,000 families across the occupied West Bank. In two years’ time, these olive trees will begin bearing fruit. May they live a long and fruitful life!
Jean Fitzpatrick went to Sabastiya to run English for Tourism courses. While tourism to the occupied territories is still difficult, it is definitely on the rise. Obtaining a good level of English helps local businesses to better cater to tourists and allows them to reach out to the world. Continue reading