آNablus Municipality envisaged the need for establishing a children center with an aim of alleviating their suffering especially during the political harship situation and the prolonged years of deprivation. Among objectives of such center is to highlight the significance of preserving culture, broadening vision, and providing good knowledge and education for this vulnerable segment in our society. In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, the Child Cultural Center was founded by Nablus Municipality in 1998 with sponsorship of the Swedish Governmental Foundation “CIDA”.
The Child Cultural Center was founfed in 1998 replaced a remodeled historic building which has been used as an assembly for merchants to meet and as well as parking square for primitive transport vehicles dragged by animals. At a later stage in the forties of the current century, the building was transformed to become a storage belonged to Nablus Municipality. The Center was inaugurated under the patronage of Mr. Yasser Arafat, president of Palestine and it is currently an integral part of Nablus Municipality.
Contact person: Ms. Rasmiyeh Masri
Nablus, Al-Shweitreh St., Palestine
Telefax 972-9-2397140, Mobile 059-868449
Goals and Objectives
1) Promotes children cultural life by increasing cultural awareness among children and enhancing their knowledge within a wide spectrum of activities.
2) Addresses the need for education, knowledge, culture and entertainment in order to promote their talents and strengthen their intellectual capacities.
3) Integrates children within the local society and social environment and empowers their national loyalty.
4) Achieves the entertainment dimension through science and arts activities. Considering the psychological and sentimental aspects, the center aims at alleviating children’s tension and sufferings.
5) Promotes a group of humanitarian, social, intellectual and noble values among children on one hand, and work to conceal other values that impedes improvement on the other hand.
I. The Multimedia Lab (Computer and Internet)
The Center has a training room for teaching children on how to operate the basics of MS application and to get adapted to the new technology. Children will be computer-oriented through audio and video teaching methods. This component will help supporting children’s curricula and develop their mental capacities. The center also focuses on Internet and email learning as a tool for knowledge and information exchange. Its a self teaching method where children will be exposed to local and international events, news, sports, education and cultures of different nations in the globe.
II. Children Library
The Center’s library is attractive and striking to the children of different age groups. It provides very encouraging setting for continuous learning avoiding tedious atmosphere. The library was decorated in a professional manner and it contains a diversity of encyclopedias, scientific books, references, long and short novels, poetry, and short stories. These references are available in both languages in different levels and suit each target group. The total number of references is around 2000. The main objective of this library is to encourage children to get used to the reading as a habit and create hypnotism between the children and the book through novel panel discussion focusing on analysis, criticism and creative thinking. In order to obtain the optimum advantage of this activity, the Center invites specialized experts and researchers to conduct these panels for intellectual competition among children.
III. The Stage
The Center also has a multi-purpose stage with 100 children capacity. The stage was built with insulation walls and equipped with high techniques of audio and video system. It conducts a diversity of activity including plays, shows and cinema within a periodic and specific program organized exclusively to certain age groups.
IV. Art and drawing workshop
The Center prepared a hall for arts and drawings where members are being trained by specialized artists with the aim of improving their intellectual capabilities and develop an innovative imagination towards arts. This activity allows children to freely express their views and reactions reflected in their products which is exposed to public through exhibitions.
V. Music workshop
Through this workshop, the children are being introduced to a big number of oriental and western music instruments namely; the Piano, Organ, Lute, Guitar, Violin, and Tableh. They are also trained on know-how of these instruments under the supervision of highly qualified local musicians and artists.
VI. Show room
Through its wide range of activities, the center collects all art piece produced by children to be exposed within its show room for exhibition purposes to its visitors. The center is keen to participate in other exhibitions for artists whether locally or internationally.
VII. Other activities
1) Dabkeh (The Palestinian Traditional Dancing)
The center has formed a group of interested members from both sexes to be trained on traditional dancing “Dabkeh”. The Dabkeh is part of Palestine folklore and culture. The Dabkeh shows continued for two years till the outbreak of “Intifada” in September 2000 when trainers were unable to reach the center due to the continuous security siege. This political situation causes a temporary suspension of such activity till the political situation shows tangible improvement.
2) The Choir
The Choir was formed since the beginning of center’s activities and it comprises 20 males and females members. The children are being trained and supervised by a professional trainer who qualify them to participate in a number of concerts locally and internationally with outstanding performance. The show concerts include cultural and national songs that reflect the Palestinian culture and folklore. Through this Choir, voices of our children were able to reach France when the Center participated in a Week Festival of Lille in June 2000.
The age group of the Basic Choir ranges between 12-16 years old while the minor Choir’s age group ranges between 9-12 who are being intensively trained and thereafter being enrolled to the Basic one.
3) Ballet Dancing
A well-equipped hall was prepared exclusively for teaching Ballet dancing. This activity is limited only for females whom age ranges between 6-10 years. The female children are being taught basics of Ballet’s steps including fitness exercises. The Ballet training continued for only one year and was suspended due to the recent political events that hampered its continuity.
4) Miscellaneous activities
Cultural and Awareness Sessions
Series of lectures, gatherings, and workshops in different fields are being conducted in coordination with specialized institutions in the area. The center touched a tangible demand of families for such kind of activities through numerous numbers of participants.
Cinema, TV and Video films
The center is also cautious in selecting documentary video films and programs that mainly focus on intellectual, cultural, entertainment, and any other issues of concern to children in accordance with their age.
Participation in International Occasions
The Center participated in many international occasions in coordination with local and international institutions like the French Cultural Center and Tamer Institute.
The Center allows equal participation to members whose age category ranges between 6-16 years. A program of activities is scheduled and distributed among members on weekly basis so that to enable organized entrance to the Center and benefit from all center’s activities. By this plan, the Center’s management team will ensure work smoothness and enlarge membership circle to a maximum number of children.
As for membership fees, the Center management considers the deterioration of living conditions among families especially during the current dramatic political situation. Therefore, the Center charges just $ 1.- per day for seasonal activities, while annual membership is $ 7.5. The aim behind these symbolic charges is to attract as many children as possible to get involved in the centers’ programs.