About Shoruq Organization

Shoruq Organization is a non-profit, Non-Governmental Organization established in 2012 in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Shoruq’s vision, mission, objectives, and programs are geared towards political, social, cultural, and economic prosperity and dignified life for all refugees in the OPT and the diaspora, as well as empowering refugees in shaping a just solution and a better future for themselves and their offspring.

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Vision

Shoruq Organization envisions and endorses the establishment of a democratic and sovereign Palestinian State, along with a just world that defends the inalienable rights of Palestinian refugees and advocates for their guaranteed and internationally-recognized right of return to their original lands, which they were expelled from in 1948.


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Mission

As an active advocacy organization, Shoruq aims to safeguard the inalienable rights of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons through diverse advocacy methods that effectively empower them and protect their fundamental human rights. Shoruq specifically achieves this by utilizing advanced multimedia and art as primary apparatuses, in order to construct a suitable environment that guarantees a dignified life for all Palestinian refugees, in accordance with several relevant international decisions and UN resolutions, which explicitly affirm their right of return to their original lands

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Objectives

1 - Enhancing advocacy and lobbying processes, in order to attain just and inalienable rights for Palestinian refugees, as well as empowering them at the local, regional, and international levels.

 

2 - Creating a supportive and protective legal environment for refugee children in conflict with the law and the most marginalized and vulnerable children to ensure their equal access to justice, in addition to providing them with social and psychological assistance when necessary

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Dheisheh Refugee Camp

In Dheisheh Refugee Camp, located southwest of Bethlehem City, 13,017 inhabitants live on less than one square kilometer of land. Dheisheh is one of the 58 recognized Palestinian refugee camps administered by United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The camp was meant to be a temporary sanctuary away from the destruction of 532 Palestinian cities and villages, and expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe). The refugees are from 45 villages west of Jerusalem and Hebron.  The camp is the largest of three refugee camps in the Bethlehem Governorate. 

Although Dheisheh has a highly resilient and active community, the people have endured many hardships over the years. The main problems in the camp today are severe overcrowding, unemployment, and, sadly, a lack of hope because there are few opportunities for young people.

Education is highly valued among the local community and, according to the results of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics; the illiteracy rate among Dheisheh Camp population is approximately 5.7 percent, of whom 73.3 percent are females. However, the primary schools for boys and girls, which are run by UNRWA, face structural problems, such as size of schools in comparison with the number of students and constant shortage of teaching staff. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau for Statistics, there are 32.9 students on average in UNRWA classrooms in the West Bank. The curriculum in these school is restricted to primary subjects, including Arabic, English, Math, History, Geography and religion, with the focus on rote memorization rather than critical thinking. 

Today, more than half of the camp’s populations are under 18 years. The children have no playground, sports fields, or other open spaces to safely play. Although Dheisheh has a number of local institutions and associations that provide services to various segments of the society including children, youth, women, and people with disabilities, there are still many gaps in opportunities.

It is difficult to ascertain the exact unemployment rate in the Bethlehem area refugee camps, but Sharek Youth Forum’s 2013 report on the status of Palestinian youth estimates youth unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza at a staggering 44%. UNRWA estimates the unemployment to be between 30-43%. 

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