Dheisheh Refugee Camp
A new organization in Dheisheh Refugee Camp called Shoruq—sunrise in Arabic—opened its doors in 2012. While the organization is technically new, MECA has been connected to Shoruq’s leadership and programs for more than fifteen years.
In 1988 the Middle East Children's Alliance built a dental clinic in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank, at the request of community leaders. Since then, MECA has had an ongoing partnership with members of the Dheisheh community. In 1999, 2003 and 2005 MECA brought Dheisheh’s youth dance troupe to the US, where dozens of groups around the country hosted performances. The funds from these tours helped build a computer center, a women and children’s center, a guesthouse, and the camp’s first playground. Some of those dancers, and other young community leaders, were determined to continue to provide a place where the leadership of women and youth was respected and programs were developed based on the needs of the community. Together they founded Shoruq.
So far, MECA has helped rent and renovate a building including the construction of and equipment for a professional recording studio. We've also supported a 60-hour training course in journalism and human rights for youth, summer camps, art activities, and, of course, lessons in traditional debka dance.
Shoruq Organization is a registered non-governmental organization created by and for Palestinian refugees, based from one side on our rights emanated from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR 1948), Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC 1989) and United Nations resolutions on Palestinian refugees, and from the other side from our communities’ values. Shoruq’s vision, mission, objectives and programs are geared towards political, social, cultural and economic prosperity and dignified life for all refugees in Occupied Palestine and the Diaspora, and empowering refugees in shaping a just solution and a better future for themselves and future generations. Shoruq, or ‘Sunrise’ as the name means in Arabic, indicates a new beginning, a fresh start.