Workshop on ‘Exploring Tourism Potential of Al-Quds Al-Sherif City’
 
Date : 24-25 November 2015 Venue : Istanbul Turkey

SESRIC organised a two-day workshop on ‘‘Exploring Tourism Potential of Al-Quds Al-Sherif City” jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of State of Palestine in Istanbul, Turkey on 24-25 November 2015.

Delegations related to Al Quds Al Sherif affairs, Religion and Awqaf, Heritage and Tourism in Ministerial level from Palestine, Jordan, Malaysia and Turkey were the participants along with international academicians and experts, representatives from Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Relevant Centers, Tourism Private Sector and NGOs.

The objective of the workshop was to provide the participants an opportunity to deliberate and to exchange views, knowledge and expertise with a view to determining ways and modalities for tapping into the tourism potential in Al-Quds Al-Sherif City and formulating concrete recommendations for action at the OIC level to be presented to the 9th Session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) in Niger in 2015.

After Recitation of some verses from the Holy Quran, the opening session of this workshop started with welcoming remarks of H.E. Amb. Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC. Amb. Kulaklıkaya underlined the high potential of Al-Quds Al-Sharif in tourism with its rich history, culture and heritage. In his remarks, Amb. Kulaklıkaya stated that a sustainable tourism development in Al Quds Al Sherif City not only helps to preserve its authenticity but also it can be used as a tool to empower the Palestinian residents through the positive economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts.

On behalf of H.E. Ms. Rula Ma'ayah, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Palestine, Ambassador of State of Palestine in Turkey, Amb. Faed Mustafa, Ambassador of Palestine to Turkey delivered the welcoming remarks. In her remarks, H.E. Ms. Ma’ayah, highlighted that considering the challenges, obstacles and constraints associated mainly with the Israeli occupation and its procedures and restrictions, Muslim community should continue to work to resist and to keep the rights of Palestinians by visiting Al-Quds Al-Sherif City. She declared, with the formulation of recommendations and proposals, this workshop can create a synergy among the OIC Member countries through their relevant governmental and non-governmental institutions in the field of tourism as well as the presence of experts and specialists who are this workshop’s participants.

Amb. Hameed A. Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs in OIC General Secretariat delivered the speech of OIC Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani on his behalf. In his statement, he emphasized on collective responsibility demands that we work together on various programs and projects aimed at mobilizing resources, building experience and capacity, and developing infrastructure and tourism support services in Palestine. He also mentioned that we should strengthen public-private cooperation to serve the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif. In addition, there is a need for organizing media and cultural events in all academic institutions, international media, and social media networks to emphasize the Arab and Muslim identity of Al-Quds, mobilizing the international public opinion in support of Al-Quds, and continuing to stand up to the fabricated story of Israel which targets the City’s humans, territory, history and sacred places.

Afterwards Mr. Vehbi Dinçerler, Turkey’s Special Coordinator for Palestine and Former Minister of National Education, Amb. Mustafa Sarnıç, Consul of Turkey in Jerusalem, Mr. Nayef Al Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan and Prof. Mehmet Görmez, President of Religious Affairs of Turkey delivered their valuable statements.

The workshop included fourth technical sessions starting with a keynote presentation, followed by contribution of each session’s discussants and debate with other participants and wrap-ups made by moderators.

In the afternoon of the first day of workshop two technical sessions were held; first one was on “Tourism in Al Quds Al Sherif City: Current State, Challenges and Prospects” and its purpose was to develop preliminary analysis of different aspects related to tourism and its development in Al Quds Al Sherif City.

Subject of second session was “Tourism and Heritage Preservation in Al-Quds Al-Sherif City” with the purpose of evaluating the current situation of Islamic heritage in Al-Quds Al-Sharif City with respect to Israel’s attempts to destroy the city’s Islamic sites, deterioration, maintenance and urban development and to highlight the impacts of tourism development on heritage preservation in this City.

Second day of workshop also consisted of two technical sessions. First one was on “Tourism Policy, Planning and Capacity Building in Al-Quds Al-Sherif City” with the purpose of developing views on the policy making, planning and capacity building for the development of tourism in Al-Quds Al-Sherif City. The last technical session on “Marketing, Promotion and Competitive Positioning of Al-Quds Al-Sherif City in the Domain of Tourism” was with the purpose of analyzing the tourism market trend in Al-Quds Al-Sherif City with respect to existing visitor market, potential visitor market and the strategies for competitive positioning.

During the closing session of this workshop Mr. Mehmet Fatih Serenli, Director of Training and Technical Cooperation of SESRIC made the general wrap-ups of sessions and closing remarks were delivered by Amb. Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC and Ms. Rula Ma'ayah, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Palestine whose statement was delivered by Mr. Fadi Kattan on her behalf.

Documents

Welcoming Remarks:

  • H.E. Amb. Musa Kulaklıkaya, Director General of SESRIC (English)
  • H.E. Amb. Faed Mustafa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Palestine (Arabic)

Opening Statements:

  • H.E. Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of OIC (English) (Arabic)
  • H.E. Mr. Vehbi Dinçerler, Turkey’s Special Coordinator for Palestine and Former Minister of National Education (English) (Turkish)
  • H.E. Amb. Mustafa Sarnıç, Consul of Turkey in Jerusalem (English)
  • H.E. Mr. Nayef Al Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan (English) (Arabic)
  • H.E. Prof. Mehmet Görmez, President of Religious Affairs of Turkey (Turkish)

Presentations:

  • Mr. Fadi Kattan, MoTA Palestine (English)
  • Dr. Yusuf Natsheh, Awqaf Administration, Al Aqsa Mosque, Palestine (Arabic)
  • Ms. Begum Soysal Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Turkey (English)
  • Dr Rami Isaac, Bethlehem University Palestine (English)
  • Prof. Hamid zargham. Allameh Tabatabaee University, Iran (English)
  • Mr.Anan Ghaith Jerusalem Tourism Cluster (English)
  • Ms.Maedeh Bon SESRIC OIC Office Ankara (English)
  • Ms. Yuhaini Yusoff ITC Malaysia (English)
  • Mr. Raed Saadeh Arab Hotel Assosiation Palestine (English)
  • Mr. Jehad Yassin, MoTA, Palestine (Arabic)

 

Photos