The Ibdaa Cultural Center is a grassroots community-based project in the West Bank’s Palestinian Dheisheh refugee camp. The name, “Ibdaa,” is translated from Arabic as “creation” or “creative ability”. Since being founded in 1994, the Ibdaa Cultural Center has served more than 1,200 children and youth annually and provides employment and income for more than 70 families in the refugee camp.
The mission of the Ibdaa Cultural Center is to create a positive atmosphere for children and youth in the refugee camp to assist them in developing competence, creativity and leadership skills through a range of social, cultural and educational activities.
The Ibdaa Cultura Center strives to empower children and instill the confidence and discipline necessary for them to overcome the obstacles of their difficult conditions while simultaneously educating the international community about the Palestinian refugee issue.
Through art, dance, music, media, education, and sports, Ibdaa helps children and teenagers to share their experiences and dreams for the future with each other and with people around the world. Every activity at Ibdaa incorporates the values of democratic process and respect for human rights, providing a secular, humanist, and coeducational experience for Dheisheh’s children, youth, and women.
Ibdaa has become one of the most successful community organizations in Palestine, playing a vital role in the community’s survival and vitalisation – particularly after the Intifada started – by organizing events, art projects, and emergency activities. Ibdaa’s extraordinary achievement is due to the successful integration of grassroots work in Dheisheh and the solidarity work in the international community. Ibdaa’s alliance with activists and organizations around the world goes beyond a traditional relationship based on financial support. Ibdaa has forged a strong relationship with its supporters in the areas of education and advocacy.
Ibdaa currently serves over 1,500 children, youth and women each year and provides income to 70 families in the Dheisheh camp through employment and income generation projects.
Women from the Ibdaa Center produce a range of textiles decorated with traditional Palestinian sewing.