“We got to know our country, roam and practice cycling at the same time”. In this way the participants expressed their opinion of the Jerusalem Bikes activity about the organized cycling tours to identify the villages and cites of Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem Bikes” is an activity that implemented by The Palestinian Vision Organization within Tamkeen project, in order to increase the awareness and culture of the Jerusalemites youth group around the Palestinian areas and villages especially the displaced and marginalized ones.
Recently, The Palestinian vision organization has organized more than 20 cycling tours in the villages of Jerusalem especially those who were displaced during the Nakbeh and the occupation of the capital in 1967such as Lifta and Qalunya. In addition, the organized tours in the marginalized communities such as The Prophet Samuel and Al-khalyla Neighborhood.
Jerusalem Bikes which implemented by Vision Organization supported by the federation of Swiss churches aims to attract young Jerusalemites and encourage them through such fun tours to learn about the Palestinian area history and its reality in an attempt to present the reality of Jerusalem city through mobility, directly identification and interaction on the selected places.
And through its guided tours, the activity seeks to strengthen the social foundations in the marginalized areas and to activate the communication and convergence between the participants (visitors) and the people of these visited areas, besides benefiting from the public spaces in each area to carry out economic and social activities. In addition to the involvement of some civil society organizations and the responsible Palestinian and International entities in those roving visits and to carry out the existing conditions to assume their responsibilities towards the rights of these communities and to help protect them from the policies of judaization and isolation.
In order to document the selected places and provide the participants with the historical, environmental and social information about them, some researchers and tourist guides participate in bicycle tours and they significantly contribute in enriching the tours with cultural knowledge and enhancing the Palestinian national identity everywhere.
Such tours target all the Palestinians in Jerusalem city who have the ability to drive electric bicycles through the streets and alleys, while the most active category are people aged 20-30 .The tour include includes a wide range of stations where the participants can rest and get to know the place. Moreover, the tour combines between the contemporary tourist sides of the movement with the historical side of the selected places.
Jerusalem Bikes Activity also uses “Trip” application, which was produced and designed by Vision Organization too to help participants access the selected routes through the use of its services and programmed maps to document the natural routes in Palestine and provide the right ways to reach them. You can also download Trip application by searching on the Smartphone’s and writing “Rihleh” in English.
The coordinator of Tamkeen project in The Vision Organization Ahmad Hamo, says that such tours are creating new ways to identify the natural and historical paths in Palestine especially in Jerusalem, as these ways encourages the participants to join the tours and identify the targeted areas. He also emphasized that riding through electric bicycle is a unique idea that increases the pleasure of roaming and visiting different places in Jerusalem and beyond.