About shoruq

Shoruq Organization was founded in 2012 in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Occupied Palestine. Shoruq’s vision, mission, objectives and programs are geared towards a political, social, cultural and economical prosperity and dignified life for all refugees in Occupied Palestine and the Diaspora, and empowering refugees in shaping a just solution  and a better future for themselves and their offspring.


We envision Palestinian refugees, whether living in occupied Palestine or in the Diaspora, striving individually and collectively to attain and exercise their rights including the right of return to their original lands, and realizing dignified lives for themselves in the meantime.


Shoruq aims at defending and protecting the inalienable rights of indigenous Palestinian refugees, to act as a voice for Palestinian people, and demand implementation of their rights locally and internationally. Shoruq seeks to empower the most marginalized refugee groups who are affected by the Israeli occupation policies, and lack any social and legal protection in Occupied Palestine and host countries. Shoruq does this by developing their capabilities and empowering them to depend on themselves and the local resources.


  • Advocating and lobbying for Palestinian refugees’ rights, representation and demands.
  • Empowering Palestinian refugees in utilizing multimedia to get their messages across.
  • Improving mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Palestinian refugees’ children, youth and women.
  • Providing legal assistance for Palestinian refugees, to facilitate litigation in their public interest, and offer aid for refugees who are in conflict with the law. And,
  • Ensuring Palestinian refugees’ participation in the local economy and development of their communities.


Shoruq Organization is an independent, Non-Governmental Organization formed in 2012 in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the OPT.  Registered in the Palestinian Ministry of Interior under the number (BL-3343-I).  Shoruq is an initiative by Palestinian refugees who are struggling to end the injustice of their continued forced displacement. Shoruq is based on the Palestinian refugees’ inalienable rights, reaffirmed in United Nations Resolution 194 passed on 11th December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in1989. Shoruq or ‘Sunrise’ as the name means in Arabic, indicates a new beginning, a fresh start. It is the time in the morning when the sun appears, taking the earth out of darkness into the light, knowledge, and righteousness.

Shoruq seeks to address political, historical, moral, cultural and socio-economic problems of all refugees in the OPT and the Diaspora, in order for refugees to live a dignified life. Shoruq hopes to help Palestinian refugees to mold a just and everlasting solution for the refugee problems and to create a better future for the next generation.

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. There are 32.9 students on average in UNRWA classrooms in West Bank (Palestinian Central Bureau for Statistics). The curriculum in the 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 camps populations are under 18 years. The children have no playground, sports fields, or other open spaces to safely play. And though 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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