What is the difference between the Abraham Path Initiative and the Abraham Path?
The path is a long-distance walking trail across the Middle East. The initiative is an international non-governmental organization whose mission it is to help local communities and partners develop the path across the region. The initiative coordinates a global network of partners dedicated to advancing the path.
Who are the partners of the initiative?
The initiative has a variety of partners: local partners in various regions of the path, a range of international partners worldwide, and a network of path chapters in various countries and cities around the world.
Who funds the Abraham Path
Funding comes from over 20 countries and 4 continents around the world (see our list of supporters). In addition to funding channeled through the Abraham Path Initiative, local partners across various regions have accessed local sponsorship for path development.
Who is involved with the project?
An ever-growing number of people in the Middle East and across the world. Check out the About Us section to learn more about our board of directors, staff and consultants working for the initiative, and the project’s partners.
Is this a religious project?
No. The project respects all religious traditions but does not belong to any religious group or agenda.
Is this a normalisation project with a political agenda?
No. The term ‘normalization’ is highly politicized in the Middle East, usually referring to the development of relations between Arab countries and the state of Israel. The focus of the path is on the individual walker and on the small local communities that the path crosses. The path is a platform for learning more about the people of the Middle East. It does not associate itself with any political agenda in or outside the region.
How do you know where Abraham actually walked?
We don’t; there is no historical evidence on the route Abraham walked. No scripture is detailed enough to allow us to recreate Abraham and his family’s actual path through the Middle East. The current location of the Abraham Path does not imply any judgment about the veracity or precedence of the different scriptural traditions. There is, however, abundant evidence that Abraham exists today in the memory and traditions of all people in the Middle East. The path thus follows the anthropological Abraham, symbolically honoring the memory and wisdom of his journey across the Middle East. The scriptural traditions of the Abrahamic faiths do concur in citing specific places that he passed, such as the ancient city of Harran in Turkey, Jerusalem, Beersheva, and the tomb of Abraham in Hebron. Between these places the Abraham Path passes through cities, towns, and landmarks that are cited in the scripture, revered in local traditions, or passing a ‘line of beauty’ — winding through the most appealing landscapes in the region and passing through sites of more recent historical interest. The main historical Abrahamic sites on the Path at this time are Urfa (the birthplace of Abraham according to the local tradition), Harran (a town Abraham lived in according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur’an), Beersheva (where Abraham lived for a time in the biblical story), and Hebron (the location of Abraham and Sarah’s tomb, according to Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions).
When does the Abraham Path make connections across international borders?
The official route of the Abraham Path crosses international borders only when the communities located immediately on either side of the border desire to be a part of one continuous path. When this is not the case, the route passes near the border on one side and begins again shortly after the border on the other side. In most cases, travelers desiring to transfer from one side to the other can still make that crossing on foot or by public transportation.