Road Scholar : Home
The Middle East and Total Conditioning

Program Number: 20137RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/15/2013 - 9/20/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Montreat, North Carolina
Price starting at: $558.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; History & Culture
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Activity Particulars

All facilities are in one building, with approximately 300 yards walking required; a few stairs. Outside areas are mountainous, with inclines and uneven terrain.



Coordinated by Montreat Conference Center.



Palestine for Beginners

While most of us are aware of the importance of solving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we know little about the Palestinians. Discuss their history, the current situation for Palestinians and the prospects of their attaining peace with justice.



The Effect of the Middle East on Our Economy

Economic and political instability in any area of the Middle East would require the U.S. to greatly increase its military and related spending. But the major constraints imposed by our nation’s economic problems would create a political quandary.



Total Conditioning: Comprehensive Wellness Program

Designed for persons of all abilities who seek to improve their total well-being through body and mind integration. Comprehensive instruction in breathing, posture, stretching and strengthening. Tools to improve, prevent and reverse adverse effects. We will look specifically at Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan for this study. Optional activities include walking or hiking on uneven terrain. Cozy rooms and an inviting lobby where guests can share fellowship and fun times, including puzzles and bridge.




Montreat

Originally founded as a spiritual retreat center, Montreat, nestled on Lake Susan at the foot of Graybeard Mountain, continues to be a peaceful destination for those seeking respite. Footpaths weave through the 4,000 acres of surrounding woodlands and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains offer other recreational opportunities.



Accommodations
Beautiful conference center overlooking small lake in the center of Montreat. Spacious lounges, classrooms, fireplace and dining facilities in same building.
Meals and Lodgings
   Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
  Montreat, NC 5 nights
 Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.
  Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757
  Contact info: 401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/general/housing-options
  Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Most double occupancy rooms have two beds (a double bed and a single). Single occupancy rooms have one double bed. The bedrooms also have a desk, a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Rooms are heated, and some rooms are air-conditioned. All our meeting spaces are air conditioned. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for price/availability. Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for price/availability. Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 - 5:30 PM, at the Assembly Inn. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30pm. You will be staying at Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
12:30 PM, at the Assembly Inn. We will have a mid morning break to facilitate check out of the hotel (checkout required by 11 a.m.) You will be staying at Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at the Assembly Inn in Montreat.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Montreat, NC
  Nearest city or town:  Black Mountain, NC; nearest large town: Asheville, NC
  Nearest highway: Route 9 to Interstate 40
  Nearest airport:  Asheville Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Montreat, NC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Charlotte, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours (all interstate) 

 

Greenville, SC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

1 to 1 1/2 hours (all interstate) 

 

Knoxville, TN

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours 

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
various... see listing below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

price varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles

   

The Road Scholar coordinator suggests/recommends to you Grandyco Car Service 828-273-3214 and is happy to coordinate transportation for guests coming in to the Asheville airport, so price is less. Other options (visit www.flyavl.com for more) Marvels Transport 828-280-1698 A Red Cab 828-232-1112 Areawide Transportation 828-713-4710 Beaver Lake Cab 828-252-1913 Checker Cab 828-254-1155

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
same as listed for airport
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

arrange for transport with Road Scholar coordinator at Montreat; she will coordinate times with other participants.

 
Driving Directions
  From All Points - to Interstate 40 Come to Western North Carolina via Interstate 40; use exit 64 for Black Mountain/Montreat/Route 9 (15 miles east of Asheville, NC). At the exit, turn north on Route 9 (go through one traffic light, across a railroad track and another traffic light, and up the hill to the traffic light). Go straight across where Route 9 becomes Montreat Road, and travel approximately two miles to the Montreat entrance (stone gate). From the gate, continue approximatley 1 1/2 miles to the middle of the conference center. The Assembly Inn is on the hill on the left, across from Lake Susan. Pull up to the front door of the Inn to unload, and then park your car in marked spaces along the lake or the Inn. Please note: do not trust a map or GPS that tries to bring you in on Route 9 (except for the last few miles) instead of Interstate 40 (unless you desire to travel along very sharp curves, up and down mountains). Also, do not take Flat Creek Road... come up Montreat Road (Route 9 North).
Elevation Note: Participants may wish to hike on their own in surrounding mountains, which peak elev. exceed 5,400.

Equipment Requirements: Anyone wishing to enjoy outdoor activities (walking, hiking) should bring hiking boots or shoes with tread on bottom.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome, checking in and orientation
(Sunday, September 15)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 3 - 5:30 p.m. Our registration table will open at 4 p.m. (to pick up your packets). Settle in and relax in the lobby, have something to drink and munch on, or take a walk around the beautiful campus.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A scrumptious delight after your day of travel! Our dinner buffet offers a choice of two entrees (or have both), a full salad bar, good-for-you vegetables, and something for your sweet tooth. Sweet/unsweetened tea, coffee, hot water, milk available.
 Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m. (usually in Convocation Hall) at the Assembly Inn. We'll spend some time learning a little about Montreat, going over the schedule for the week, meeting your instructors, and answering questions. We know you're tired from your travels, so we'll finish up around 8 p.m. with some "get to know you" activities and refreshments/fellowship in the lobby.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: The Middle East and the Economy Class, Total Conditioning Class, and Palestinian and Isreali Conflict Class
(Monday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: (Early morning coffee out around 6:30 a.m.) Our breakfast buffet is served in the dining room from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? If so, you're in for a treat this week. Breakfast options change daily, incoporating lots of your favorites... biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, grits, hash browns, French toast, pancakes, oatmeal (not the packaged kind either), and lots of others. Standard offerings include fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, baked pastries, orange juice (and another juice option). Fresh coffee or hot tea will start your morning off right!
 Morning: Our morning class starts off with "The Middle East--America's Enigma," with George Yates. We will begin with a geographic review of the Middle-East to gain a perspective of what nations are included and how they are situated within it. Then we’ll briefly consider the significant ongoing antagonisms between many of those nations to provide an appreciation of just how chaotic conditions are in the region. This discussion will include a description of how the ‘Arab Spring’ civil revolts in various nations have both contributed to, and to some extent reduced, the level of that chaos. We will conclude with a listing of some major blunders made by the U.S in the past and up to the present while trying to influence events in the middle-east region. Following class, we'll have a refreshment break in the lobby, then return to the classroom for Total Conditioning with Maya Andrau. Today's topics will include Abdominal Breathing, Anatomical Plumb-line, Foot-care massage, Center of Gravity, Aerobic overview, Stretching/Strengthening (neck, shoulders, spine, hips/legs, Relaxation (toes/ankles) (be sure to bring a beach towel or blanket and your pillow).
 Lunch: Lunch will be served from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in the dining room. A great salad bar to choose from... plus "deli lunch," with freshly sliced meats and cheeses and a variety of breads. Perhaps some chicken salad, potato salad, or macaroni salad too?
 Afternoon: During our early afternoon course on "Palestine for Beginners," James Aydelotte will give us some background on the Middle East. "How it all started," a quick romp from Biblical promises to "A Peace to End all Peace," after World War I, including the origin of Zionism. Following class, we'll have an opportunity to enjoy a guided walking tour of Montreat (very easy walk) or free time.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at the Assembly Inn dining room from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
 Evening: Evening program, typically "fun in the mountains," is from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Games/cards and tv available in the lobby for fellowship. Following the program, a movie on a big screen, if the group is interested
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The Middle East and the Economy Class, Total Conditioning Class, and Palestinian and Isreali Conflict Class
(Tuesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. another yummy breakfast buffet is served in the dining room.
 Morning: Our early morning class explores more about the Middle East, with presenter George Yates. "The Muslim People and Their Islamic Religion." We will discuss the characteristics of the Muslims to better understand their perspective on life. This perspective is extremely influenced by their Islamic religion so we’ll then review how it developed and its basic features: the Quran, Sharia law, and the role of its clergy. We will conclude with a description of the major errors, and outright lies, that permeate Americans’ understanding of both Muslims and Islam. Following class, we'll enjoy a refreshment and fellowship time in the lobby. Returning to the classroom, getting ourselves into shape! Total Conditioning class will cover Intercostal Breathing, Posture (sitting, elbows, low back support), Massage (stroking, raking) Body Mechanics (lifts), Aerobics, Stretching/Strengthening (neck, shoulder, spine, hips/legs), Relaxation (knees, hips/buttocks, low back/abdomen)
 Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch is served in the dining room. Ready for something a little different? "Taco Tuesday" is the term we use for the menu today.... Build your own taco, taco salad, burrito, or whatever creative combination of Mexican fare you choose. Chips, melted cheese, and salsa (along with jalapeños if you so desire) top it all off. A complete salad bar is available, too, so don't worry if "Mexican food" is not your favorite. Be sure to save room for some cobbler and ice cream.
 Afternoon: Our afternoon course delves into the subject, "Palestine for Beginners" with James Aydelotte. “From British Palestine to Modern Israel” The beginning of the disintegration of the British Empire. Discussion of the crucial years 1947-1949, including the UN decision and the First Arab-Israeli War. Following the class, we'll have an opportunity for those who would enjoy some hiking in the beautiful Montreat wilderness area or free time.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at the Assembly Inn dining room from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Often called our "holiday meal," enjoy ham and turkey with dressing, and all the trimmings. All the warmth of a great holiday meal, but no dishes to do or relatives to worry about!
 Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: Evening programs are typically a fun event -- a dance, a concert, or a storyteller games/cards/tv available in lobby for fellowship and optional movie on big screen.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Middle East and the Economy Class, Total Conditioning Class, Free Afternoon and Palestinian and Isreali Conflict Class in the Evening
(Wednesday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast will be served in the dining room. Tried Ronny's biscuits and gravy yet? If not, you're missing out!
 Morning: Our early morning course will be on "The Middle East--America's Enigma," with George Yates. "Causes of Violence in the Middle-East." To most Americans, it seems as though the Middle-East nations and people are almost perpetually engaged in conflict, although events occurring during the last 13 years have primarily contributed to that impression. We will explore how the violence in recent times is related to the region’s history of dictatorships, the denial of human rights, and almost all the region’s wealth being owned by a very small elite. We will conclude with a discussion of how the western world contributed to those conditions. Following a refreshment break in the lobby, we'll return to the classroom for more Total Conditioning with Maya! This morning, we'll focus on Upper Chest Breathing, Posture (plumb-line guage -- wall side hold), Massage (kneading), Body Mechanics (lift and lower weight), Aerobics (resting pulse), Stretching/Strengthening (neck, shoulder, spine, hips/legs), Relaxation (upper back/chest, fingers, wrists).
 Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch is served in the dining room.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area! We'll provide lots of options and directions for you....
 Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner is served in the dining room.
 Evening: Class time! (You did have the afternoon free!!!) During our class on "Palestine for Beginners," with James Aydelotte, we will explore: “Occupation 1967 – ?” Review and discussion of the “6 Day War," Oslo Accords, rise of Likud, Intifadas, and what it’s like to live in the Occupied Territories. We'll also "Hear it from Both Sides.” Truth is rarely found in just one story. All can contribute to an analysis of the key points from both Palestinians and Israelis.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Middle East and the Economy Class, Total Conditioning Class, and Palestinian and Isreali Conflict Class
(Thursday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served in the dining room. Do you like sausage links or patties best?
 Morning: Our morning starts with more exploration into the Middle East with George Yates. "The ‘Arab Spring’ Civil Revolts." Over the last four years, the Middle-East has had many of its dictators forcibly removed from power by various groups that emerged from the general population. We will discuss the nature and characteristics of each nation’s ‘Arab Spring’ revolt. A generalized explanation cannot be used because only the most macro characteristic, a desire to eliminate the dictatorships, has been common to all of them. Following a time for refreshments and fellowship, we'll return to the classroom for more instruction on Total Conditioning with Maya. This morning we'll be practicing Combination Breathing, Posture (contractions, concentric, eccentric, static), Massage (tapotement, hacking, cupping), Body Mechanics (push/pull), Aerobics (target heart rate, heart recovery rate), Stretching/Strengthening (shoulder, spine, hips/legs), Relaxation (elbows, shoulders).
 Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch is served in the dining room.
 Afternoon: This afternoon finishes up the "Palestine for Beginners" course with James Aydelotte. Together, we'll do some “Brainstorming for Peace.” What would it take to achieve a real and lasting peace in the “Holy Land”? What would you like the USA or other countries to do to help achieve such a peace? Free time follows.
 Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner is served in the dining room. Our festive "Italian Night," featuring spaghetti, (with no meat or meat sauce), meatballs, perhaps some vegetarian lasagne, Cesar salad, garlic bread, and a yummy dessert.
 Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship (no movie tonight).
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The Middle East and the Economy Class, Total Conditioning Class, Lunch and Departures
(Friday, September 20)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served in the dining room. It's your last chance to try Ronny's biscuits and gravy... you'll wish you'd had them all week.
 Morning: Our early morning course finishes up our exploration of "The Middle East--America's Enigma" with George Yates. "America’s Involvement in the Middle-East." In the past, the U.S. has experienced great difficulty in effectively handling its Middle-Eastern involvements and dependencies. This continues to be the case today. We will review how America’s bumbling, meddling and various forms of bribing have resulted in the Muslim people possessing a generally negative image of our nation. We will conclude with a discussion of how this undesirable situation might be corrected. A refreshment break follows class, giving you an opportunity to check out of the Assembly Inn. (check out requried by 11 a.m.) Then, we return for our last class on Total Conditioning with Maya. Together, we'll learn about "Che-Che" Breathing, Spinal Elongation walk, Trigger point compression massage, Body Mechanics (2 person lift, carry & set-down), Aerobics (exercises while sitting), Stretching/Strengthening (shoulder, spine, hips/legs), Relaxation (neck, face). 12:15 - 12:30 we'll have our closing program.
 Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch is served in the Assembly Inn dining room. We say our goodbyes with hope for seeing each other again soon! (box lunches are provided for those who have to leave before lunch is served)
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Montreat, NC Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Asheville Chamber has specific information on Asheville and the surrounding area. Plenty of shops and places to visit! Enjoy a trolley tour of the city... For additional information, visit www.ashevillechamber.org
  Biltmore Estate
George Vanderbilt's 255-room mansion built at the end of the 19th Century, with a magnificent art collection and gardens covering 35 acres. For additional information, visit www.biltmore.com
  Black Mountain / Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce located in downtown Black Mountain. Phone number 828 669-2300 Quaint small town with lots of unique shops to explore. Several of these shops are "art" based -- with items the owners make. Information on all area attractions! For additional information, visit www.exploreblackmountain.com
  Black Mountain Golf Course
Boasts the world's longest fairway. Beautiful course with views of the mountains on all sides. For additional information, visit townofblackmountain.org
  Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachians -- and offer some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Hiking trails abound, both in Montreat and in the surrounding area with seasonal flora and fauna.
  Carl Sandburg Home
A simple farmhouse and goat farm donated to the Park Service by Mrs. Sandburg after the famous author and poet's death. Video about the Sandburgs--his literary work--and hers in breeding goats. House kept as though they could come home any minute! For additional information, visit nps.gov/carl
  Cherokee Indian Village
The Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Unto These Hills outdoor play (seasonal). For additional information, visit untothesehills.com
  Chimney Rock Park
Located in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Enjoy an elevator ride up 26 stores in a granite shaft to the chimney level. Gorgeous views from the top of the "chimney," and lots of hiking trails. Admission fee required. For additional information, visit chimneyrockpark.com
  Folk Art Center
Home of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway) in east Asheville For additional information, visit southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
  Grandfather Mountain
Located in Linville, NC; attractions include a mile-high swinging bridge, natural habitat area, and hiking trails For additional information, visit grandfather.com
  Harrah's Casino
Harrah's Casino on the Cherokee Indian Reservation For additional information, visit www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html
  Linville Caverns
A 35-minute walking tour through caverns deep under the Humpback Mountain. For additional information, visit linvillecaverns.com
  Thomas Wolfe Home
The childhood home of the famous author -- includes a video about him. House has been made into a museum. For additional information, visit www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hs/wolfe/wolfe.htm
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East


Author: Marc Lynch


A New Round of Mideast Diplomacy


Author: Robert Danin


Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to heal and transform the Middle East


Author: Michael Lerner


An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel


Author: Jeff Halper




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