The Peace Institute & Cross Cultural Journeys invite you to experience the world through a tour that will bring the ancient world to life in modern times. Join us as we travel to the historical locations of Spain and Turkey as part of an interfaith educational experience of a life time. We invite people from all different backgrounds, traditions and professions to spend two weeks together while visiting historic cities and sites.
During the tour you will enjoy not only the rich history and natural beauty of Spain and Turkey but also each other's companionship where you will build life-long friendships. For many, time spent with local families becomes a source of unforgettable memories. This program’s purpose is focused on introducing Spanish and Turkish Culture, establishing Interfaith Dialogue, visiting Holy and Historical sites, making friendships with local families and enjoying local cuisine.
This journey will be led by Bassem Chaaban, Director of the Peace Institute. He is also Executive Director for American Islam, a National organization focused on helping dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. Bassem has been involved in lecturing and presenting the elements of Islam for 15 years. He is actively involved in community organizing related to bringing attention to the effects of social issues on the community. He has done research in the area of Religious History with an emphasis on Interfaith Dialogue in Turkey, Spain, Rome, Cuba and has taught a World Religions College course in China.
Read his full biography here.
Important note about consumption of alcohol on this journey: The main purpose for this journey is to build bridges and understanding between people and groups of a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. As such, our time in Spain and Turkey will be an “alcohol-free” experience. This is to show respect of the values of our Islamic guests as well as those we visit. We ask that all travelers show humility in this regard. If you still would like an alcoholic beverage here and there, we ask that you please keep it to your own room in your free time, or when you are having a meal away from the group and our scheduled itinerary. Thank you for understanding.
CITIES & SITES:
Following is a list of cities and sites that you may get to visit during your trip to Spain and Turkey.
Itinerary & schedule are subject to change.
Córdoba, Spain A city in Andulucia, southern Spain. It was a Roman settlement, taken over by the Visigoths, followed by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 8th Century. It became the capital of a Muslim emirate, and then the Caliphate of Córdoba, which encompassed most of the Iberian Peninsula. During this period, it became a center of education and learning.
In Spain the group will be visiting:
♦ Córdoba Church and Mosque
♦ Callohora Tower
♦ Seville for a visit to the Museum of the Madinah Al-Zahrah (The Flower City)
♦ Alcazaba Palace
♦ River Guadalquivir
♦ Jewish Quarter
♦ Famous Al Hambra palace
Istanbul, Turkey The former capital city of three great empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – Istanbul is a charming mixture of past and present, old and new, traditional and modern. The museums, churches, places, mosques and bazaars, and the sights of natural beauty seem persistent.
In Turkey the group will be visiting:
♦ Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum
♦ Dolmabahçe Palace
♦ Istanbul Museum of History of Science and Technology
♦ Hagia Sofia Church & Mosque
♦ Grand Bazaar Market
♦ Ertugrul Ghazi TV Show location
♦ Galata Tower
♦ Local Religious School
♦ Relief Organization
During the trip you will enjoy:
♦ Visitation to different cities
♦ Staying at 3-4 Star hotels
♦ Tour guides throughout the trip
♦ Day of Service volunteering with a relief organization
♦ Trips to Museums, Universities, Religious sites and much more!
INCLUDED: In-country transportation per itinerary; best available accommodations (double occupancy); meals as marked (B/L/D) per the itinerary; Cross Cultural Journeys trip manager(s); English-speaking local guides; all entrance fees on itinerary; preparation materials; tips for bellman and hotel staff, included meals on itinerary and bottled water on the bus.
NOT INCLUDED: Flights; meals not on itinerary; alcoholic drinks; excursions not on the itinerary; tips for local guide and driver (optional, yet customary); travel insurance.
TRAVEL PROTECTION: Cross Cultural Journeys is not responsible for cancellation expenses that you might incur before or during our trip. You may want to check first to see if your current insurance policy covers travel abroad, but we have found that most do not. We strongly encourage considering taking out travel interruption and evacuation insurance to cover any emergencies abroad such as evacuation, or reimbursement for cancellation due to your own illness or an illness in your family. Some plans require you to take out this insurance within 21 days of your deposit to cover pre-existing conditions. CCJ has partnered with TravelSafe. You can visit our online portal to explore different plans. We encourage you to choose a plan covers travel interruption before you depart, as well as during the trip. CCJ is not responsible for events beyond our control in this regard.
Please visit the Cross Cultural Journeys - TravelSafe online portal to find a plan that works for you. You can also call TravelSafe directly at 1-800-523-8020. Make sure you mention that Cross Cultural Journeys is your tour operator to receive our special rates.
As responsible travelers and world citizens we:
❖ Travel in a spirit of humility and with a genuine desire to meet and talk with local people.
❖ Are aware of the feelings of the locals and respect their customs in our actions.
❖ Always respect temples and other sacred places and their holy artifacts as we would the churches and temples in our homelands.
❖ Show particular respect when we photograph: exchange a few words and then ask permission to photograph; respect a "no".
❖ Cultivate the habit of being present, of listening, of not always talking and having answers; of learning by watching and listening.
❖ Realize that other people may have concepts of time and thought patterns different from ours—not inferior, just different.
❖ Discover the richness of everyday activities in another culture instead of always seeking the exotic.
❖ Remember that we are among many visitors, and do not expect special privileges.
❖ Make no promises to local people that we cannot implement; keep the promises that we make.
❖ Spend time each day reflecting on our experiences, considering the possibility that what enriched us may have robbed another.
❖ Use the opportunity of travel for personal and transpersonal growth and global understanding.
Arrive into the Malaga airport. Transfer to hotel in Córdoba. Check in, then free time and group introduction with evening stroll through the city. Dinner will follow.
Sleep: Hotel in Córdoba