25 Feb 2019
Nazareth, Palestine
Sustainable Tourism

When Maoz Inon, an Israeli national in his twenties met Suraida Shomar Nasser in 2005, he had just returned back from New Zealand. At such point, he had a vision that travelers often look for something authentic.

He chose Nazareth, the biggest Arab city in Israel to be the backdrop of an initiative relaying said authenticity. He had ideas of following the Israel National Trail as well, providing transportation to and from Nazareth to cities like Haifa.

“Though not a lot of tourists make it to Nazareth, it is the safest even when there’s conflict,” Nasser says.

When Inon approached Nasser, she was suspicious of his motives given the friction following the occupation. “We had my grandfather’s house in Nazareth that he long-protected after the occupation,” Nasser declares.

But Inon respected her honesty and the need on Nasser’s end to protect the family’s and her grandfather, Fauzi Azar’s name, given Azar himself died protecting that house.

Upon viewing the house, Inon was fascinated by it and instantly asked Nasser to set up the project in it. She and her family slowly warmed up to the idea provided Fauzi Azar’s name keeps on being protected.

“He didn’t have the money but we asked him to take care of the renovations in the house,” Nasser says. They then called the business Fauzi Azar Inn welcoming people at first to three rooms.

A year and a half later, Inon asked Nasser to join him in managing the business. “I didn’t want to experience visiting my grandpa’s house with strangers in it. It felt like another occupation but then he asked if I can visit which I did. I walked in and started crying like a baby, recounting all those memories at my grandfather’s house as a kid,” Nasser adds.

Having felt obliged to commemorate her grandfather, she has been managing the inn since 2007.

“Inspired by the inn, Maoz started Fauzi Azar by Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, and another in Tel Aviv,” Nasser says.

Fauzi Azar now has 55 beds between four dormitories and 12 private rooms.

“We have a scheduled hour of an Arabic program each week and people can sign up for a cooking workshop at 60 shekels per workshop,” Nasser says.

Fauzi Azar was also named amongst the top ten “best value stays” by Lonely Planet, with its charming architecture and slew of activities for guests. It offers guests a free walking tour of the Old City, as well as day trips to the Sea of Galilee.

 

Learn more about the Inn through their website and Facebook page.

Fauzi Azar Inn Sustainable tourism
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