Press release

Celebration of the rehabilitation of the Palestinian Initiative for Supporting Students (ESNAD) office in Surda

Ramallah, 24 October 2019 – UNESCO National Office for Palestine, Surda and Abu Qash municipalities and residents and Riwaq celebrated the end of the rehabilitation works and the official opening of the Palestinian Initiative for Supporting Students (ESNAD) premises, in Surda village to the North of Ramallah.

The building was rehabilitated within the framework of the project “Local Development through the Rehabilitation and Revitalization of Historic Environment in Palestine”, funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by UNESCO. After restoration, the building has been used as a facility, which aims to empower students through skills development opportunities, including health programmes, job creation initiatives, integration in the job market and scholarships.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Mahmoud Taha, Mayor of Surda and Abu Qash municipalities mentioned the history of this 200 years old Ottoman-era building, whose abandonment caused the surrounding environment to be unkept and therefore unsafe, especially for the children of the village. Mr. Taha promised to help beautify the surrounding area further by creating a visitors ‘park in the future. He thanked UNESCO and the Swedish Government  for their unwavering support.

Mr. Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Officer-in-Charge, Head of Office of UNESCO National Office for Palestine, stressed that this building is a perfect representation of UNESCO’s mission and principles, in which the support to education, the empowerment of youth and the protection of cultural heritage are integrated and intrinsically connected.

Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Rabie, one of the owners of the building, expressed his gratitude to the Swedish government, UNESCO, and ESNAD for their cooperation in transforming the house where he was born into a place full of life and providing great services to the students of Palestine.

This was further reiterated by Mr. Jihad Shajaieh, Director of the ESNAD who stressed on the importance of the support provided to the organisation through this project, which is now a destination for students in Palestine to seek both technical and financial support and assistance.

UNESCO, through its cultural heritage rehabilitation programme, funded by Sweden, has rehabilitated 75 historic sites and buildings in Palestine since 2013, which are providing communal services, capacity development and contributed to local development by generating 100,000 working days as job opportunities.


For more information on UNESCO’s activities in Palestine visit us on Facebook : UNESCO National Office for Palestine 

For more information on this project, please contact Mohammad Abu Hammad , Project Coordinator at Culture Unit of the UNESCO Ramallah Office, at