is a thread that runs through all of Riwaq’s activities.
Indeed, local ownership of the restoration process is
crucial in order to ensure sustainable maintenance and
use of renovated buildings.
A large part of Riwaq’s community work is oriented
towards children and youth. School children are invited
to attend field trips and workshops to learn about
protecting their cultural heritage. Riwaq also organizes
training in conservation techniques and summer camps for
11 to 14 year olds.
Community projects also involves lectures and workshops
and discussions with village councils, municipalities
and other partner organizations to build mutual
understanding, shared learning and lasting
Riwaq holds an annual drawing competition for 5th grade
Palestinian students (aged 11), which attracts on
average over 100,000 entries. Winning drawings are
rewarded with prizes of computers, cameras and school
supplies. Since 2008, Riwaq established the Tom Kay
Award, a freehand sketching contest for engineering
students in memory of the late Tom Kay, a London-based
architect who taught at Birzeit University and
collaborated with Riwaq since 2006.
Another aspect of Riwaq’s community work has been job
creation through conservation, an initiative funded by
the Swedish International Development Agency.
More recently, the 50 Villages project has involved a
great deal of interaction with communities across the
West Bank, one of the objectives of the project being to
bring cultural and community life back to abandoned
historic centers. Throughout 2009 Riwaq has visited each
of the villages, meeting with the local councils and
municipalities in order to discuss proposed strategies
for future development.
In addition, throughout 2009 Riwaq has carried out a
comprehensive evaluation of all projects completed
between 2000 and 2007 in order to establish the
effectiveness of their past rehabilitation strategies,
assessing whether conserved buildings were being used
for their defined purpose, how best to ensure this and
using the results to develop future strategies for
upcoming rehabilitation projects.
This website was funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and