National Geographic Experts


A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.

Yuval Ben-Ami
Author, Educator

Author, journalist, traveler and cultural critic Yuval Ben-Ami writes for the Hebrew edition of National Geographic magazine and has published a monthly column in the Hebrew edition of National Geographic Traveler. Born in Jerusalem, Yuval later moved to the United States and began writing for Israeli and international newspapers and magazines, among them Haaretz, the Boston Globe, and Yedioth Aharonot. His books include Susanna, Don’t You Cry—a travelogue of the American South—Finnish Mythology, the novel I’ll Meet You Halfway, and two travel books about Israel: Wonderland and A Day on the Town. He also hosts a radio show and is a founder of the web magazine +972. Yuval's work in conflict resolution began in 2000 at Jerusalem's Youth Center of World Cultures, where he introduced Jewish high school students to Palestinian culture and narrative. He has since mediated, lectured, and trained in a number of forums, and appeared as guest speaker in numerous universities in Israel and abroad. Since 2007, he has also led cultural travel experiences, bringing individuals into areas they would not normally visit: Israelis into Hebron, Palestinians to Tel-Aviv, secular Jews to Meah Shearim, and so on, creating unique encounters.

Departure Dates
  • Dec 26, 2015 - Jan 06, 2016
  • Mar 11 - 22, 2016
  • Apr 01 - 12, 2016
  • Sep 16 - 27, 2016
  • Dec 30, 2016 - Jan 10, 2017

Aziz Abu Sarah
Author, Educator

Named a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his groundbreaking work as a cultural educator, Aziz Abu Sarah has dedicated his life to bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to find common ground, build mutual understanding, and forge lasting relationships. He has spoken in hundreds of churches, synagogues, and mosques, before both the European Parliament and the United Nations, and at many universities on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peace, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue. He is co-executive director of George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

Departure Dates
  • May 06 - 17, 2016
  • Oct 28 - Nov 08, 2016
  • Nov 11 - 22, 2016