The ancient town of Sebastia played host to this month’s meeting of Zimam Ambassadors. This is the program that aims to provide the volunteers with a greater understanding of Palestinian history and the ability to present their story, especially with a view to addressing international delegations visiting the region.

In the past, the town functioned as the capital of the ancient Northern Kingdom of Israel, was renovated by Herod the Great, was an important site in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and was incorporated into the Ottoman district of Nablus. All of this history was on show during the tour of the city, in which the volunteers were taken to the tomb of John the Baptist, the Mosque of the Prophet Yahya, the royal tombs, the Palace of Omri, and the Temple of the Sun.

This spot of land is full of contradictions and differences. It is very strange that this land embraced the Jews, the pagans, the Samaritans and the Muslims. That can be achieved if there is a will for peace and humanity.

The Ambassadors training itself took place at Al-Kayed Palace. The discussion focused on what role the Palestinians played in the failure of the Oslo peace process, before considering what Palestinian self-government might look like in the future.

Voices of Zimam