Shibli Project

A model of cooperation between government and citizens (Jewish and Arab) to build tourism in rural Israel.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Projects of Good Work Award
Winner (2017)
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The Shibli Project is an initiative in Israel in which the residents of the Bedouin village of Shibli Um El-Ghannen are being given the opportunity to become more fully integrated into Israeli society and benefit from the educational and economic advantages of integration. The Project Director and initiator is Ruth Waserman Lande (See Ruth Wasserman Lande in Personal Achievement Awards) who in her capacity as Deputy Director General of the Federation of Local Authorities has been able to assemble government and academic support for the project. She has also secured the cooperation of the local Shibli elected officials. The project is an outstanding example of what can happen when thoughtful, well-intentioned individuals from all sides of an issue work together for the good of everyone, putting aside partisan politics, conflicting ideologies, and religious differences. Shibli’s development will serve as a positive example to its people and minorities in Israel who have not been integrated into Israeli society. The leaders of the project decided that the driving vectors of the work should be education, sustainable tourism, scientific excellence and employment. In Ruth’s words, “highly educated and motivated volunteers , both Arab and Jewish, are currently working together to transform this town into a success story.” It is a marvellous example of cooperation between government sources and citizens (Jewish and Arab) empowered by the philosophy of the late former Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, that “anything is possible.”