After more than 20 years of dreaming about returning to the land of my birth, I finally made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with my family in January of 2011.

Starting a new and exciting chapter in my life has been exhilarating, scary and an emotional roller coaster at times. I live in the beautiful Galilee, on Kibbutz Hannaton, a small, egalitarian and pluralistic kibbutz, full of life, joy and hope for a wonderful future. My family has settled in nicely and we love our new home.

My dream has always been to learn about the richness and beauty of this land, and to explore Israel’s role as the crossroads of history, religion, culture and people in the Middle East.

I wish to do my part in bringing together Jews, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians and creating the peace we all crave. I believe we can co-exist, live side by side, sovereign nation by sovereign nation, with respect, dignity, security and prosperity.

That’s my dream.

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My first step, therefore, was to become a licensed Israel Tour Guide. I started the intensive, absolutely fascinating, 18 month course and studied – geology, geography, history, archaeology, the Bible, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, botany, zoology, prehistory, art, architecture, Greeks, Romans, Jewish history, and much more– 10 hours in class every week. And best of all, every Monday we went on a day long field trip, every week to a different area, different sites, 6 a.m. to nightfall, walking and studying the land.

I studied as I had never studied before, and then passed all the required national exams.

I am now a licensed Israel Tour Guide and through this blog I want to entice you to join me on this journey of discovery. I will write about some of the places I visited and the wonderful things I learned.

And when you decide to come to Israel, allow me to be your guide to this land, the Crossroads of the World!

Shalom – Salaam – Paz – Peace

Anat Harrel

Hannaton, Israel