29 September 2014 - 30 May 2016

About the Project:

The Palestinian population in Jerusalem lives in isolation and faces a serious identity obstacles due to the practices and policies of the Israeli Occupation and the Separation Wall, which has led to a gap between Palestinians in Jerusalem and other components of the Palestinian population, leaving an overwhelming psychological impact on the different segments of the community. Moreover, the harsh circumstances facing the Jerusalemite Palestinians are due to the absence of a Palestinian authority able to take care of the various needs of Palestinian Jerusalemites. Palestinians in Jerusalem must therefore continuously face the Israeli forces in Jerusalem, who try to hinder any Palestinian-Palestinian communication between Jerusalemite Palestinians and non-Jerusalemite Palestinians on cultural, social, legal and even economic levels.

Through the GUSU project, REFORM aimed to strengthen the Palestinian identity of the Palestinians in Jerusalem and re-build the gap between Palestinian Jerusalemites and their social and cultural surroundings. In addition to overcoming the obstacles prevented by the imposed separation between different parts of Palestinian society, REFORM aimed to create responsive systems, promote the culture and social Palestinian heritage, and to promote the participation of youth and women in political life, especially in Jerusalem to revive the Palestinian identity.

Project Objectives:

Throughout the course of the GUSU project, REFORM aimed to mobilize the civil society towards lobbying for a more comprehensive and participatory governance system. It also worked to contribute in overcoming the identity crisis that Jerusalemite Palestinians suffer due to the policies and practices of the Israeli occupation forces and to revive their Palestinian identity. REFORM aimed to form a cultural and social network between Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank (mainly Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem) in acknowledgement of the similarities in identities and living standards in these areas, in addition to promoting social participation of women and youth in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. Lastly, REFORM strives to promote social participation of youth and women through challenging the profound culture that prevents them from taking initiative to change their reality.

Results of the GUSU Project:

From the end of the project until now, REFORM tracks personal and societal changes by staying within a network of the GUSU participants. These participants are leading meetings and workshops in their communities to this day and are now agents of change in their communities. Many of the participants stay in touch and plan activities together through their interactive GUSU Facebook group. Those same participants continue in similar projects of REFORM and use their previously gained knowledge to be facilitators themselves. 

• Establishment of 3 harmonious youth working groups (agents of change) in different communities of Jerusalem, Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem, with significant participation of young Palestinian women.

• A number of participants underwent facilitation skills training and now lead and facilitate workshops and debate sessions to enhance their social solidarity and cohesion, creating one collective identity. In addition, the participants used their gained social mobilization techniques to contribute to social and cultural reform.  

• Increased active participation of Jerusalemites in social and cultural activities.

• Nida’ Rabay’a took on the role of the Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, which was later replicated with three other young women in the governorates of Jericho and the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. 

To view the full technical report, click HERE.