An Introduction to the Abraham Path Initiative
The Abraham Path Initiative (API) is working to open a route of cultural and religious tourism through the heart of the Middle East route will be centered on a new long-distance walking trail that follows the journey made by the prophet Abraham-the common patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-some 4,000 years ago.
The purpose of the Abraham Path (Masar Sayyidna Ibrahim in Arabic) is to inspire cross-cultural exchanges and mutual understanding; to promote sustainable tourism and economic development; to help preserve the region's historic sites and natural environment; and to generate positive media coverage that highlights the hospitable people of the Middle East and the shared heritage of Abraham's children.
The Path will begin in Harran, Turkey, where Abraham heard the call of God to "go forth." It will cross Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, pass through Jerusalem, and end at Abraham's tomb in Al-Khalil/Hebron. Covering a total distance of 1,200 kilometers (700 miles), the Path will link some of the finest landscapes, historic sites, and holy places of the Middle East into a single itinerary of outstanding beauty and interest. Later, the route will be extended to other countries that are associated with the travels of Abraham, including to and from Egypt, Iraq, and for Muslims, Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
It will become a permanent way of pilgrimage and tourism, open to people of all faiths and attracting travelers from around the world. Some of these people will travel all or part of the Path on foot. Many will use the trail as an itinerary of sites that can be visited by bus or car. All will be invited to explore the cultural wealth of this region and to experience the kindness that is habitually extended to travelers in these lands.
The Abraham Path Initiative is an international affiliation of scholars, religious leaders, and tourism experts that exists to inspire the creation of this trail. Hosted by Harvard University and sustained by a worldwide network of supporters, especially in the Middle East, the Abraham Path Initiative is a not-for-profit, non-political organization honoring all faiths and cultures.
Communities worldwide can be a part of a comprehensive education and awareness campaign centered on the understanding of, and respect for the different faiths. The Association for Global New Thought is stewarding the development of 'Abraham Walks' whereby "omni-local" grassroots teams comprised of people from all faiths and cultures will walk from churches to mosques to synagogues, and jointly create events and activities that exemplify new models for appreciation, celebration, and reconciliation.
Thanks to the generous welcome which has been extended by host communities along the way, the first walking sections of the Path are now open to travelers. The first study tour of the Path was conducted in November 2006 and the first New Thought traveling group visited the Path in 2008.
Half of humanity belongs to the family of Abraham. It has long been a dream of many to walk in his footsteps. We invite you to join us in this historic and exciting initiative to make this dream come true. Help us create a Path for the ages where humanity can meet itself.
For more information or to become involved, please visit www.abrahampath.org