News / Middle East

    Modern Palestinian City Going Up in West Bank

    Modern Palestinian City Going Up in West Banki
    X
    October 24, 2013 7:31 PM
    A new Palestinian city is rising on a hill in the West Bank. The first tenants are due to move in to the billion-dollar project next year, but there are many challenges. VOA’s Scott Bobb visited the new city, called Rawabi, and has this report.
    Scott Bobb
    A new Palestinian city is rising on a hill in the West Bank. The first tenants are due to move in to the billion-dollar project next year, but there are many challenges.

    Rawabi means “hills” in Arabic, and the inspiration for the name is clear from this hilltop some 10 kilometers northwest of Ramallah and 25 kilometers north of Jerusalem.

    Several thousand people are to move next year into the first 600 homes. Eventually a city will rise with a population of 25,000.

    Rawabi will be the first modern planned Palestinian city - as seen in this promotional video - incorporating a grand vision for schools, sports and entertainment facilities, a business district and shopping malls. All will be linked by fiber optic cable and other advanced technologies.

    It is the brain child of Bashar Masri, born in the West Bank 52 years ago. He worked 25 years in America before returning home with a vision.

    “I wanted to do a large project that has an impact on the Palestinian economy, create thousands of jobs instead of hundreds of jobs and created by our own, Palestinian people," said Masri.

    His project employs some 10,000 construction workers and dozens of Palestinian contractors. When completed, Rawabi will generate several thousand permanent jobs.

    The project has attracted a doctor from Jerusalem, 38-year-old Hussam, and his wife Tanya. He does not want to use his last name.

    “When I looked at the proposal, I liked it so much. It’s something different from the things that are in place here [in the territories], something different," said Hussam.

    There are challenges. Although Rawabi lies in an area under Palestinian control, it is only accessible by a single road that is under Israeli control. Its water supply, also under Israeli control, is subject to cutoffs.

    The Palestinian Authority, which governs here, has not provided funds for the schools, clinics or infrastructure.

    Nearby Israeli settlers oppose the project. But Masri refuses to back down, saying Rawabi is sending a message.

    “That yes, we can. We can build a nation, despite occupation. If we can do this under occupation, try us without the occupation and see what we can do," he said.

    He says he wants Rawabi to show that the Palestinians can build a modern state and deserve one.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: PermReader
    October 30, 2013 10:04 AM
    "we can build a nation" - some nation.Arabs declare that there is a "Palestinian nation" that is the 2000 years old! They waited for 60 years before the building of the new town - they wait for the distruction of Israel not of the "nation"`s creation.

    by: David from: San Francisco
    October 24, 2013 4:57 PM
    This smells like a gated community for the rich, but at least it discourages the Israeli colonists from further building in the area. It's a ridiculous reality that entire cities that are supposedly under Palestinian control can have their entire water supply and right to travel outside the city taken away at Israel's whim.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora