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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs