George Rishmawi’s dream of offering tourists a unique experience combining hiking with history on the Palestinian Heritage Trail, has become reality thanks to the tireless work of his organization, The Union of the Palestine Heritage Trail ( Three organizations). The 330 km long Palestinian Heritage Trail passes through over 50 towns and villages, where travelers can enjoy the simple life, far from the city, and experience traditional Palestinian hospitality. Much more than just an expedition in nature, the route is a chance to immerse yourself in the country’s Bedouin culture. Hikers meet locals and share special moments while discovering their heritage and traditional skills. By spending a few hours or a night with a local, travelers discover their rich culture, traditions and way of life. Tolerance and shared values are at the heart of these encounters.

The whole scheme has been designed and implemented in a way that helps local families living along the route to generate the income they need to live. Palestine Heritage Trail also works with 17 rural women’s cooperatives, which provide the food and sell handcrafted items showcasing the traditional skills of these craftswomen. The partnership is a win-win, promoting community tourism by focusing on cultural heritage, while supporting the local economy. With over 50,000 people travelling the trail each year, George Rishmawi’s gamble has paid off!


The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union. Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social innovations. The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.

The Switchers

The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It is also a place where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management.

#EyesOnGreen (2021)

To celebrate the World Environment Day in 2021, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the EU Neighbours South regional communication programme, and the SwitchMed initiative teamed up for the launch of the regional competition EYES ON GREEN. The competition covered 7 countries of the Southern Neighbourhood region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. The online ...

Employment & Entrepreneurship