The A. M. Qattan Foundation opens its new Cultural Centre in Palestine
The A. M. Qattan Foundation opened its new cultural centre in Ramallah, Palestine on Thursday 28
June 2018. The centre will house a number of public spaces for its various projects and activities, as well
as its support services and administration. A special cultural and educational public programme will be
launched to coincide with the opening.
As the Foundation enters its twentieth year, the new centre represents a major step change for its work
in cultural and educational development in Palestine and elsewhere. This is the Foundation’s second
major cultural centre in Palestine, having launched the Child Centre in Gaza in 2005, which continues to
offer a rare and vital cultural lifeline for Gazan children.
“The new centre” says the Foundation’s director general, Ziad Khalaf, “is principally a public space for
the use of our beneficiaries – teachers, artists, researchers, children. It contains a multi-media library
specialising in education, culture and the social sciences, which has been named after one of our
founding trustees, the late Leila Miqdadi Al-Qattan (1934-2015). In addition, the centre will contain a
model classroom, an education resource room, a theatre, a gallery, a multi-purpose hall, art, music and
dance studio spaces, a guesthouse, several wide terraces suitable for open-air activities, internal and
external gardens and a restaurant.”
The Foundation’s other major capital projects include the Mosaic Rooms, a cultural space focused on
contemporary culture from and about the Arab world which opened in London in 2008 and, in
partnership with Ramallah municipality, the Science Studio, a state-of-the-art design and manufacturing
workshop for interactive science exhibits, which opened in 2017.
The new centre will also provide opportunities for expanding and developing the Foundation’s local
partnerships across the whole of historical Palestine, as well as regionally and internationally.
Designed by Seville-based Donaire Architectos, the new centre is green and highly adaptable, providing
for diverse use of its spaces by the Foundation’s different programmes and activities and designed to
take into account its future expansion.
“The new centre is being inaugurated at a time when horizons seem totally blocked for Palestinians” say
Omar Al-Qattan, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “The Israeli occupation is increasingly
oppressive; Palestinians politically divided; and the Arab world in a state of unimaginable violence,
intolerance and fragmentation. Yet the A. M. Qattan Foundation continues to believe that only a longterm
sustainable investment in individual freedom, education and creativity, especially among children,
young creators and teachers, can enable a society to resist oppression and overcome its tragedies. We
thus hope the new centre will give Palestinians, especially young people, the hope and confidence that
in spite of all the obstacles they face, they are capable of realising the most ambitious and complex
projects at an international level of excellence.”
The founder and former honorary president of the foundation, the late Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, had
hoped to be with us on this day, but very sadly passed away in early December last year. The Foundation
dedicates the new centre to his and Leila Miqdadi Al-Qattan’s inspirational memory.