Jerusalem! It’s this tiny place on the planet where you can fully express your religion from a very young age and feel the presence of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in every aspect of daily life. It’s overwhelming to be living just few meters away from the birthplace of Jesus and to grow up around the biblical sites where He lived and served. When I used to see how many pilgrims came during Christmas or throughout the year, I just think of how lucky I am to be in a country where I really feel God’s presence in so many different ways. Being in a land characterized by miracles is more than I could ever ask for. I always had the opportunity to deepen my faith and love of our Lord Jesus Christ by visiting and praying at the sites made sacred by His life and ministry. For a long time, I’ve observed millions of guests visiting the birthplace of Jesus and other religious sites but I realized that many of them left without meeting the living stones. That’s when I decided to join the tourism industry-to offer visitors an authentic experience through a real pilgrimage in which they can engage with the locals and make a contribution to the community.
I am an avid traveler. I love exploring the world, learning different cultures and languages, and discovering new places. I enjoy gardening, hiking, and spending time in the outdoors. My travels have taken me to 25 countries across three continents so far. Being actively involved as a Roman Catholic in the worldwide Focolare Movement (Work of Mary) which promotes universal brotherhood, I am aware that the unity we believe in and live for is not a mere human project, but the plan of God for humanity: “That all may be one”. In my career, I’ve been inspired by how the spirituality of unity informs an approach to work. At Koinonia Travel, we are one united team, cohesive, respectful, and supportive of each other. We are committed to connecting people and offering them the opportunity to develop relationships with the people of the Holy Land. It is beautiful to see when individuals are bound together in the intimate experience of accompanying one another on a shared spiritual journey to the Holy Land.
Two thousand years ago, there was “no place in the inn” for the Holy Family in Bethlehem. This continues to be true nowadays. Since Bethlehem is a number one destination for pilgrims, many of the hotels in the city are overbooked during the year, so families of Bethlehem started hosting guests in their homes. For many, it was a great experience meeting people from different backgrounds, enjoying conversations with them about different matters, getting to know their families through the pictures they hold with them, joining them at Sunday worship service at their churches, sharing a meal together every night and exchanging recipes. I have witnessed the building of bridges between people, as if a miracle was happening! They created wonderful friendships. These are the moments that make me do what I do.
Over the past 12+ years, Rana has arranged many unique tours in the Holy Land. A licensed English-speaking tour guide and a freelance translator, she has designed itineraries for groups from many different parts of the world. Tourism is her profession and passion.
UNDERGRAD: Bachelor of Arts, Bethlehem University
Diploma in Tour Guide Program, Bethlehem Bible College
Phone : +972 2-276-9000
Email : Rana@KoinoniaTravel.org