Will an all-green building to house the businesses of the Rural Women's Association help keep the bulldozers out of Al Aqaba? We think so! The local women are savvy leaders! They oversee a kindergarten, guesthouse, sewing co-op, and factories for cheese and tea. A Palestinian architect and Australian designers have plans in hand for a community hall, country kitchen and restaurant. Help build an environmentalist's dream space for Al Aqaba and the surrounding community to work and socialize.
Al Aqaba Rural Women's Assoc. represents all the women in the countryside of the northern Jordan Valley. The Palestinian rural economy is stunted by military administration, demolition orders and lack of access to water. In spite of this, the women are quite resourceful. Income-producing projects are their first priority in the new center: a restaurant for local and international visitors and a community hall for rental to host weddings. On their wish list: an ice cream shop and a yoga room.
Jobs, revenue, and new professional skills from construction and hospitality will give a lifeline to local families. Architect Renad Shqeirat, an expert in restoration of ancient buildings, plans for a green building constructed with local materials including compressed earth bricks for the dome. Designers Hana Hakim and Kathrin Wheib base their interior plans on the Palestinian Souk, a lively space full of color, pattern and light. Imagine the center full with 300 women dancing at a wedding!
Good design defies demolition! Al Aqaba is a model village in the Jordan Valley with a vibrant kindergarten that brought 20 countries to invest here, from tea and cheese factories to a sewing cooperative to a guest house. Internationals visit weekly. A new prenatal clinic, funded by Rotary International, will draw even more visitors to Al Aqaba. This Community Center will welcome guests and guide local development. The economic and diplomatic benefits will ripple through the region.