The Arab Thought Forum (ATF) is committed to the belief that state structures must be developed to serve and be responsive to an active and critical public, which is conscious of its obligations and duties, as well as its rights and entitlements

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Jerusalem the Arab Cultural Capital of 2009


Awareness raised on the Arab League resolution to declare Jerusalem as the Arab Cultural Capital for 2009. Furthermore, the scope of this event and the necessary preparation for the associated activities has been explored. Follow-up Committee headed by the ATF was formed to establish the necessary contacts. 50 page document concluded by ATF outlining the planning strategy.

Indicators: Document was drafted and discussed through a participatory mechanism.  Two debates and three meetings were conducted.

More than 120 personalities participated in the events representing many public and civil society institutions including the religious and political entities. It was agreed that the event is of high importance and that it needs very careful preparation and full participation of all concerned parties.

The ATF document has been discussed by the president office, the PLO Executive Committee, the Palestinian Cabinet and the Ministry of Culture. Mr. President, Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree establishing the National Committee to prepare for the festival of Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture 2009.

The committee is headed by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, and its membership includes political, cultural, media, social and academic figures.

The committee would have the capacity for preparation, management and supervision of the festival, and communication with the various Arab and international bodies aimed at mobilizing the necessary support for the celebrations, in addition to coordinating with all committees, to be formed in the neighboring Arab countries to prepare for the celebrations.

The ATF was informed that the President office allocated 250.000$ for the preparation effort, the Welfare association informed the ATF on its willingness to support the preparation effort with 50.000$


The Palestinian public institutions become aware of the upcoming opportunity and of the need to plan ahead to assure successful implementation, decisions are expected for formulating the proper structure necessary to plan and supervise the implementation of programs and activities. The events will provide valuable opportunity to the Palestinian people in general and to the citizens of Jerusalem in particular to express and emphasize their identity, culture and rights in the occupied city. ATF follow up is on hold currently until the issuance of presidential decree on the subject.

Cultural Conference program organized by the Arab Thought Forum, 2009

Activities of Al-Quds Capital of Arab culture 2009

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