East Jerusalem, 30 June 2021 – The Federal Republic of Germany, through its German Development Bank KfW, RIWAQ, Dalia Association, Drosos Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the inauguration of Hosh Nassar and Barakat historic building in the Kufr A’qab village of Jerusalem Governorate.

With this rehabilitation, Germany hopes to contribute to revitalizing the city center of Kufr' Aqab. The Hosh Nassar and Barakt complex will hopefully become a vivid meeting place, where creativity can grow in a beautiful and historic surrounding." Hanna Ilge, Dep. Head of German Development Cooperation said on this occasion. "With the labour intensive rehabilitation, 2200 workdays of short-term employment were provided, with the people running the place, also long term jobs have been created", she added.

The rehabilitation of Hosh Nassar and Barakat was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, through phase eleven of its employment generation programme and implemented by UNDP. Renovation works marked the second phase of preventive conservation by RIWAQ Centre for Architectural Conservation and covered a 250 m2 two-floor complex with a vaulted entrance leading to five rooms on the ground level and three on the first-floor. The project, which ran over an 11 months period, generated approximately 2,202 workdays.

Imad Awad, the Mayor of Kufr Aqab highlighted that old city rehabilitation was a dream he thought will never come true. He thanked the local residents of these old houses, the founders and the supporters of this project that will aim to bring life back to these beautiful old houses.

A'isha Mansour, Executive Director of Dalia Association talk about Dalia's goal as a community foundation and the goal of Saha program to create space for civil society and use our local resources to support creating common space as well as developing a local economy that strengthens the development of our community.   

The rehabilitation of Hosh Nassar and Barakat has turned this Othman era historic building into a usable public space for the community that is creating jobs, and protecting the building’s cultural value for tourists and future generations to enjoy in a safe manner.     

Yvonne Helle, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, thanked the Government of Germany for their longstanding partnership and highlighted that the Employment Generation Programme has significantly improved people’s livelihoods and supported their resilience. “The rehabilitation works here have transformed this historical complex into a powerhouse that drives socio-economic development and contributes to changing the perception of heritage into an asset rather than a liability”.

The rehabilitated facility will be utilized by Dalia Association who rented it for 15 years to be used as a social hub and touristic destination that will benefit Kufr A’qab village, particularly  women and youth, and the surround communities. The now called Beit Al Karme includes a community kitchen, two guestrooms, meeting rooms and a co-working space equipped with the latest devices to receive workshops and to serve as a platform for young entrepreneurs looking for a place to launch their projects.

Reem Khalil, Country Director of Drosos Foundation highlighted that “Beit Al Karma for Drosos does not only serve as a public space for the community and create a model for grassroots participation where members of civil society are active and lead their development, but also a social enterprise that will support the mission and activities of Dalia while ensuring its financial viability”.

During the ceremony, the Director of RIWAQ Centre for Architectural Conservation, Shatha Safi, provided an overview of the project and the different stages of its restoration. Following the presentation, guests toured the newly renovated facility and listened to a folk pottery (Zajal) recital.

The ceremony which took place on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 was attended by Emad Awad - Mayor of Kufr A’qab, Reem Khalil - Country Director of Drosos Foundation, Hanna Ilge - Deputy Head of German Development Cooperation, Yvonne Helle – UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, A’isha Mansour - Executive Director of Dalia Association, and Shath Safi – Director of RIWAQ.

The Government of Germany has funded, through KfW and executed by UNDP, over 765 projects in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip through its Euro 100 million Employment Generation Programme (EGP), generating over 1.2 million workdays and 2,200 permanent jobs.

 

For further information, please contact:

German Representative Office in Ramallah

Hanna Ilge Tel.  +972-2-2977647 – e-mail: wz-2@rama.diplo.de. For more information on the German Representative Office see https://ramallah.diplo.de/.

KfW - German Development Bank

Fida Abdel-Latif Tel. +970-2-2400730 – e-mail: Fida.Abdel-latif@kfw.de  KfW Office Ramallah / Al Bireh. For more information on KfW Development Bank see http://www.kfw-entwicklungsbank.de.

United Nations Development Programme

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

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