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— About Us
The Arab Culture Association is an independent non-profit organization. Established in 1998 as the initiative of a group of intellectuals, academics, and political activists aiming to strengthen Arab culture and identity for Palestinians living in Israel, the Arab Culture Association (ACA) is considered among the leading Palestinian institutions. The ACA is known for its pioneering programs that address several cultural fields, such as Arabic language, arts and literature, cultural tourism, and the promotion of higher education and critical thinking.
The Association has many popular programs, activities, and publications that have contributed over the years to the preservation of national and cultural identity, especially among youth, and in affirming the position of the Arabic language. Years of conducting successful programs have left the ACA with extensive expertise across a variety of cultural and artistic disciplines.
— Our Vision:
We work towards a Palestinian Arab society keen about its language, identity, and cultural heritage, that is culturally and academically autonomous, creative, productive, and socially responsible, and based on humanitarian and pluralistic values.
— Our Role:
Our work is centered on developing the intellectual foundation and infrastructure to support the cultural independence of Palestinian Arabs living in Israel in the fields of art, literature, and critique. As such, our work revolves around raising awareness of identity and collective rights, and the preservation of the Arabic language as a fundamental component of identity. We work to ensure access to Arabic language knowledge sources and to provide a central, urban communicative space for the exchange of knowledge, creation, and distribution of cultural productions. Moreover, the ACA strives to foster the forefront of youth leadership that is educated and conscious of its identity and social responsibility.
— Our Goals:
To develop an accessible Arab cultural identity based on the present reality and history, open to different nations’ cultures yet proud of its Arab character, and focused on humanitarian, democratic foundations and transcendent of narrow-mindedness and tribalism.
To provide a nurturing space for capacity building, artistic and literary production, and networking in the cultural sector while maintaining inclusive, creative, and professional standards.
Youth empowerment and education in Palestinian history, culture, and identity. Encouraging youth to pursue higher education, to participate in public affairs, and to practice critical and creative thinking.
Founding a professional training center for the Arabic language and ensuring its appropriate presence in the public sphere.
Strengthening communication and cooperation between Palestinians in Historical Palestine and the Diaspora, as well as with institutions and cultural actors in the Arab world and beyond.
Dr. Rawda Bshara Atallah was born in Nazareth in 1953 and graduated from the Baptist Church there in 1971. She studied dentistry in Sofia and graduated in 1979 to become the first Arab female dentist in the 48 territories.
Dr. Rawda implemented her vision since she took over the administration and leadership of the Arab Culture Association in 2000. Through her different roles and responsibilities with the National Democratic Assembly party (NDA), this materialized into concrete achievements in addition to cultural, educational, social, and political projects. Dr. Rawda put most of her attention through her work on the youth, next to cultural activists such as writers, artists, academics, and researchers.
The various projects Dr. Rawda initiated focused on Palestinian identity and its relationship with different cultural components. Her projects were pioneering and innovative in the field, especially “Identity in the Curriculum” in which her research exposed the linguistic contextual distortion, and stressed the importance of achieving cultural independence.
Dr. Rawda also established undergraduate scholarships, which has provided hundreds of scholarships for university students since 2007. The scholarship includes volunteering activities, and education on national Palestinian identity, the historic narrative, and Arab cultural heritage. The goal was to help build cultured academics with a strong sense of belonging, not only university graduates isolated from their cause and culture. The scholarship program includes youth empowerment activities in order to facilitate awareness among young leaders and critical thinkers who have the ability to bring about social change and confront racism.