Lajee Center

Lajee Center

Lajee Center ('lajee’ means 'refugee’ in Arabic), was established in Aida Refugee Camp in April 2000 by a group of 11 young people from the Camp who wanted to serve the community. Lajee is a community-based grassroots creative cultural centre that works with new generations of Palestinians as they continue their ongoing struggle for justice and rights for Palestine and all Palestinians.

The main aim of the center is to provide refugee youth with cultural, educational, social and developmental opportunities. Its programs are designed in response to the particular needs of the community and the skills and abilities of its members, whilst always remaining in full support and defense of all Palestinian rights.

Lajee organises cultural, social, and artistic activities for youth in the Bethlehem area. While our activities are based in Aida Camp, we also have active members from Dheisheh and Al-Azza Refugee Camps, and the cities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, and Ad-Doha. Members range in age from young children of 4 years up to youth in their twenties. We continuously strive to open our projects up to new members from Aida Camp and the surrounding areas and expand our volunteer base.

The Center aims to develop social and rights-based awareness in refugee youth although our work is not exclusive to refugees; our projects and activities are open to all Palestinians. It structures and implements its activities in such a way as to eliminate all forms of discrimination against social class or gender. Activities are organised with the goal of fostering in the participants a wider understanding of the world in which they live, focusing on issues relating specifically to their own society, culture and history, as well as the global context. Our hope is to develop the social awareness of members, deepen their education, and provide them with the critical skills necessary for them to take on an active role in their society.

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