Supported by the European Union and UNDP - A Sufi Night Celebrating the Spirit of Ramadan in East Jerusalem

Jun 20, 2017

Jerusalem, 20 June 2017 – On the occasion of Ramadan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/PAPP) and the European Union, in partnership with the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jerusalem and the Islamic Waqf, hosted a Ramadan Sufi Night on 20 June 2017 at the Palestinian National Theatre in Jerusalem.

The event was organized as part of the Productivity and Urban Renewal Programme in East Jerusalem (PURE), funded by the European Union and the Islamic Development Bank and implemented by UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.

“Jerusalem has its spiritual magic all year round but it is particularly special during the holy month of Ramadan. Some Palestinians from the West Bank were able to visit the city and pray at Al Aqsa mosque for the first time in their life. The streets and alleys are alive until late night hours. This Sufi night just fits with this amazing atmosphere and adds to its beauty,” said the Deputy EU Representative Tomas Niklasson.” We are aware of the tough reality here. Palestinians living in Jerusalem have the right to live in peace and dignity. They have the right to enjoy to the full their political, civil, economic and social rights. In this context, the EU will continue to support East Jerusalem Institutions, including cultural organizations in order to reinforce and safeguard Palestinian identify and heritage in Jerusalem,” he added.

Guests were able to enjoy unprecedented Sufi music by the Anasheed group, a performance by Derwiche dancers, listen to the Hakawati (storyteller) narrating tales associated with Ramadan as well as the historical resemblance of Salah Eddin and Sultan Suleiman streets’ in East Jerusalem. To elevate the atmosphere even further, Ramadan sweets and drinks were served to guests on Jerusalem traditional carts.

“The holy month of Ramadan becomes more spiritual when it is shared with the community and our partners,” said UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator Roberto Valent. “Gathering here today is also a reminder of the common values that bind us together in support of the Palestinian people, and more specifically in East Jerusalem,” he added.

The event, organized in partnership with Sabreen Association for Artistic Development and Palestinian National Theatre, was attended by EU Deputy Head of Delegation, Mr Tomas Niklasson, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khateeb, Director General of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Mr Adnan Al Husseini, Governor of Jerusalem, Mr Hani Abu Diab on behalf of the Islamic Development Bank, Mr Fadi Hidmi, Director of the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, as well as representatives from the Palestinian community, tourism and private sector, cultural and educational institutions.

The Productivity and Urban Renewal Programme in East Jerusalem (PURE) is funded by the European Union (EU) (Euro 5 million) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) (USD 4 million). The programme is being implemented by UNDP/PAPP in cooperation with the Islamic Waqf and the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry in East Jerusalem. It is estimated that over 120 commercial and 50 business activities will directly benefit from the project, in addition to 350-400 businessmen and workers, with approximately 16,000 work days created.

Contact information

For further information, please contact: Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.