July 21, 2011
Commentary by: Yazid Anani, Taysir Arori, Joharah Baker, Yazan Khalili, Khaldoun Bshara, Amir Dajani
Designing Civic Encounter started with a commented bus tour in and around Ramallah, highlighting distinctive urban landscapes that can be considered emblematic of wider political issues taking place in Palestine.
Although Ramallah is a relatively small city, it has experienced radical urban expansions and population growth since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and the consequent establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1996. Real Estate is the main target for foreign corporate investment today. Yet Oslo has introduced uneven developments with areas designated “A”, under PA administration, being the primary site of urbanization and investment while areas designated “C”, still under Israeli military administration, remain in limbo, suffering from depopulation and isolation, ultimately interrupting the natural expansion of Palestinian built up areas.
Yazid Anani comments on Ramallah’s unique location from the Riwaq’s roof top. Situated on the Jerusalem road, the city was always a passage through Northern cities such as Nablus. From this point, you can see the Israeli settlement Pasgot.
Khaldun Bshara addresses the group.
Resident and journalist Joharah Baker speaks about her experience in Bir Nabala village which is mostly designated as area ‘C’ and thus still remains under full Israeli military and administrative control.
Most of Al Tirah area was designated as an Israeli Military zone until the early nineties. Upon the signing of the Oslo Accords, the designation of Al Tira changed allowing it to be integrated within Ramallah’s municipal borders.
Amir Dijani from Al Rawabi addresses the group.
Khaldun Bshara walks the group through Jalazon refugee camp.