The Al Aqaba Guest House is a newly-renovated apartment that sits above Mayor Haj Sami’s house in the village of Al Aqaba, Palestine. Visitors of all backgrounds, nationalities and faiths are invited to stay and meet with the people of this Jordan Valley community who wish to share their story with the world and secure their future.
Currently, 97% of the village is under demolition order because of its location in Israeli-controlled Area C, which covers 62% of the West Bank. Villages in the Jordan Valley, like Al Aqaba are especially vulnerable to demolitions and land/resource confiscation because they’re not as easily accessed as villages in Bethlehem, or Nablus, for example. Al Aqaba is not allowed to connect to a plumbing system, and like many Area C villages, Al Aqaba is located next to Israeli military camps and firing zones.
Despite constant threats to the peace and existence of their village, Al Aqaba continues to run a council, two schools, a small clinic, a sewing cooperative, a tea factory, a library, and several other internationally-supported initiatives to help the community grow and thrive on its own land. New houses are currently under construction so that families who left due to military violence and lack of planning rights can now return.
My name is Morgan, and I’m an American volunteer who lived in the village from September 2011 to May 2012. Upon arriving, I realized what an important resource guests were to the village, so I opened a CouchSurfing account and started this blog. Over eight months I hosted visitors from United States (Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Maine, Iowa), Palestine, Israel, England, Wales, Italy, Korea, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Chile, Czech Republic, Pakistan, Canada, and Sweden. New visitors are coming every week!
The photos, videos, testimonies, and support that our friends have given have been so important for Al Aqaba, and Haj Sami and we hope to extend this invitation for a long time to come.
Questions? Comments? Reservations? Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org