In coordination with the only Palestinian public library, a 25-year-old dentist set up the Dar Issaf al-Nashashibi Book Club in East Jerusalem, a haven for young Palestinians to breathe inspiration and express themselves.
In a city where basic infrastructure is a luxury and welfare is nearly inexistent, the initiative aims to create a space where culture and literature can flourish. “[The youth] lack an escape or breathing space. They don’t have playgrounds, sports or leisure clubs, or options for extracurricular activities,” the book club’s founder Ahmad told El Balad. According to a report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, 75.3 percent of Palestinians in Jerusalem live below the poverty line.
The book club is composed of two circles: a 22-to-30 year old main group and another one for 30-year-old women and above, hoping to target 10-18-year-olds in the near future. The club focuses on a wide range of genres based on popular demand, some of them Arab and some by international authors as well.
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