The purpose of the Abraham Path is to open up a route in the Middle East retracing the footsteps of Abraham. As the father of monotheism and the physical or spiritual forefather of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Abraham is the unifying point for over three billion people who consider themselves part of the family of Abraham. The Abraham Path will serve to underscore and disseminate Abraham’s universal messages of oneness, faith, justice, peace, and hospitality toward all.
Against a backdrop of conflict in the Middle East that has become a global symbol of intractable strife and despair, the Path and its televised images of imams, priests, and rabbis walking alongside one another will help inspire the imagination of millions around the planet with new possibilities for mutual respect. Parallel events will be organized in communities around the world in the form of local “Abraham Walks” from churches to mosques to synagogues, shared religious services and festivals, and educational events on religious coexistence.
Beyond the personal significance of traveling the Abraham Path for the travelers and those whose lives they touch, the Abraham Path could have many concrete benefits for the peoples of the Middle East, indeed of the entire world:
- Economic: creating thousands of jobs by building infrastructure such as trails, hotels, restaurants, and providing guide services.
- People-to-people: fostering understanding between the Islamic world and the West through thousands of respectful visits
- Political: building confidence between states, for example, by opening up a path across the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel.
- Religious/cultural: restoring dozens of sacred sites along the route.
- Educational: promoting religious and cultural understanding through the media, the arts, and personal meetings
- Environmental: environmental preservation along the route, such as cleaning up the Euphrates corridor.
- Youth: providing a focal point for the idealism, energy, and adventurous spirit of young people from around the world.
A study of the Abraham Path has been conducted for the past eighteen months at Harvard University. A consultation process intended to elicit the views and support of religious, political, and community leaders in the region and around the world is underway. This website is intended to inform and connect interested individuals and organizations. A guidebook to the Abraham Path is in the process of being written and the first journey from Harran to al-Khalil/Hebron, to be undertaken by a small consultative delegation, is being planned for October-November 2006. Our aim is to have the Abraham Path open for interested pilgrims and tourists within five years or less.