Thursday, January 1, 2015

Staff

Fred Schlomka - Managing Partner
Fred founded Green Olive Tours in 2007 and has overseen the steady growth of the company ever since. In addition to being responsible for the overall administration he manages the website, internet marketing and guides the occasional tour.

Fred as been involved professionally with Israeli/Palestinian relationships for fifteen years. In addition to managing the 
Green Olive Collective he is active in the Israeli peace movement, is an avid cyclist and a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. Fred was awarded a Social Entrepreneur Fellowship from the Echoing Green Foundation in New York for his work in advancing relationships between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. He has lectured on Israeli/Palestinian issues in Europe and the USA, and his articles have been published widely 

Jehanne Elabed
- Partner & Operations Manager
Jehanne is a Partner in the Green Olive Collective, and manages all the day-to-day operations of Green Olive Tours. She is often the first point of contact for clients.

Prior to joining the Collective, Jehanne managed Murad Tours with her husband Yamen, who is also a guide at Green Olive Tours. Both of them bring many years of experience in tourism to Green Olive Tours, and continue to work together as a team.  Jehanne was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where she studied Education, Psychology, and Accounting.  She has two children, and lives most of the year in a suburb of Bethlehem, spending summers with her extended family in Canada.

Ras Ibi - Group Leader & Guide
Ras Ibi is one of our local tour leaders. He is originally from Sweden but living in Ethiopia for almost 20 years. Ras Ibi is a devout Rastafarian and worships the former emperor of Ethiopia as a divine being.  Over the decades he has been very active in Ethiopian society.

Ras Ibi is a businessman, farmer, teacher, and much more. He has developed a profound understanding of Ethiopia and its people. Now he dedicates his time to receive visitors and introduce them with Ethiopia and its people. Ibi will make sure your stay in Ethiopia will be comfortable and smooth. He will provide you with detailed information about Ethiopian history, culture and contemporary life.

In addition to his work as a tour leader he is one of the leading Moringa experts of the country. Moringa is a herb that grows abundant in Ethiopia and is these days recognized as 'super food' in the West. Ras ibi is also a yoga practitioner.


Jos Wesemann - Group Manager
Jos Wesemann is originally from The Netherlands and now living in Ethiopia. He manages all the logistics for Green Olive Tours on the ground, and ensures the satisfaction of all our guests.

In addition to organising tours throughout the country, Jos emphasises social benefit to the wider Ethiopian community. He has partnered with a local NGO, Dires for Development, which provides services and programs for physically and mentally challenged Ethiopians, including deaf people.

Jos comes from a deaf family and was raised by deaf parents although he and his brother can hear normally. Sign language was his first language and he was raised within the Deaf community. Since 2010 Jos has travelled the world, involved in development programs with local deaf communities. He has organised countless travel programs for deaf people, bringing together communities from different countries. This has included working with Green Olive tours in Israel, Palestine, and Ethiopia. 

Yahav Zohar - Partner & Senior Guide
After working as a freelance guide for many years, Yahav joined the staff of Green Olive Tours in the Spring of 2011 and became a Partner shortly after. He continues to be the tour leader for many tours, develops new itineraries, has translated the entire Green Olive Tours Spanish website, and is active in developing new markets.

Yahav was born in Jerusalem and has lived in the city all his life. He has been a journalist, a translator, a political activist and a spokesperson for human rights and a sustainable political solution in Israel-Palestine. He currently works as a guide through out Israel, combining historical and religious knowledge  with a firm grasp of the political situation, gained through years of involvement with Combatants For Peace, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and other peace and human rights initiatives.

Yamen Elabed - Partner & Tour Guide
Yamen is a Green Olive Partner and has been guiding visitors to Palestine since 2009. He quickly gravitated to ‘alternative tours’ and soon began working for Green Olive Tours. Yamen has studied at The Tourism Research Institute-Palestine and has been involved with many Organizations and Programs in Bethlehem, bringing together Foreign visitors, Israelis and Palestinians who are trying to make a difference

Born in Beit Sahour Palestine, Yamen lived several years in Canada, but eventually returned home with his wife and children to be with his family. He has organised the Gift4Giving Program which collects funds to purchase toys and clothes for distribution to Palestinian Refugees. As a strong believer in peace, he believes that one person’s voice or action can make a difference!

Yaniv Mazor - Partner & Tour Guide
Yaniv is a Green Olive Partner and has worked as a Park Ranger at the En Gedi Nature Reserve at the Dead Sea, and at the Tel Aviv airport conducting security screenings on commercial shipments. He served as a tank commander in the IDF during the second Intifada.

Yaniv came to realise that his former 'patriotism' was a product of Israel's militarised society and education system, and in 2012 was imprisoned for 20 days for refusing to serve in the military reserves. He is involved as an activist and can often be found at joint Israeli/Palestinian activities in the southern West Bank.
Rotem More - Partner
Rotem Mor declared his refusal to serve in the army after a year and a half of service, a decision for which he spent time in prison. He then led seminars for youth contemplating their army service, guiding groups of young Israeli conscientious objectors, organizing an alternative summer camp for youth and delegations of young objectors to France and the U.S. He has also been an active member of the movement against the Separation Barrier, taking part in joint protests with a focus on his hometown of Mevaseret Zion (near Jerusalem) where he took part in organizing joint resistance to the wall together with the neighboring Palestinian villagers.  Rotem is currently a student of Middle Eastern classical music at the Center for Middle Eastern Music in Jerusalem where he is also running a project to promote Middle Eastern culture in Israeli society.