Four thousand years ago a family walked through Mesopotamia using respect and kindness toward strangers as a way to survive and thrive. They shared soup, goat milk, and shelter with the peoples they met. The man, Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic), his wives, Sarah and Hagar, their children and their community showered hospitality from what is now Kurdistan to Aleppo, south to the Jordan River Valley, west to Egypt, and south again, to the Arabian Peninsula. Today, their descendants continue a robust tradition of hospitality. As you walk through this region you will also experience a genuine welcome.
A decade ago I walked in northern Jordan with 19 Fulbright Fellows. Suddenly blue skies clouded over and we huddled under an oak tree to escape a pummeling rain. Just as suddenly a woman appeared, holding a scarf over head to keep from getting soaked. She beckoned us into her small home to sit out the storm. "Thank you," was our only possible response. We took off our wet shoes. Um Ahmad's children brought us hot tea in tiny glasses, and cookies, too. Within half an hour all was clear above, and with gratitude we started on our way again. My Fulbright friends have never forgotten her unexpected generosity.
Today, Um Ahmad and her family regularly host visitors that walk through their village. Her kitchen is improved thanks to a new stream of income, and she has sent her daughters to college.
The Abraham Path Initiative stimulates bi-lateral benefits like these through the simple act of walking. We've worked with local partners from southern Sinai to the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, fostering friendships across challenging divides and opening access to the irrepressibly hospitable people of the region. Join us for a walk. Support us in expanding new possibilities for the future.