The Mossawa Center works to empower Palestinian Arab citizens at the individual and collective levels through rights awareness, network-building, and strengthening Arab civil society. Mossawa runs programs for local councils, youth groups, teachers, activists, women and community organizers in cooperation with NGOs throughout the country. Many of our local actions such as trainings and awareness raising campaigns contribute to our national advocacy by informing local Arab communities of their rights, as well as building their capacities to advocate both alongside the Mossawa Center and independently. The more people and NGOs we work with locally and nationally, the bigger the impact we can have to increase the rights of Arab citizens. Mossawa also works to build networks with other NGOs located in the occupied Palestinian territories to enhance capacities and increase solidarity amongst Palestinians everywhere.
Arab Palestinian Civil Society
In order to strengthen Arab civil society in Israel, Mossawa has helped to activate a network of civil society organizations at the general, as well as thematic levels. In addition to creating a joint website for these organizations, the Mossawa Center coordinates joint events and advocacy actions, promotes peer-to-peer learning, and offers workshops and consultations.
Women in elections
The Mossawa Center was actively involved in the “Your Voice is Strength” campaign, which succeeding in doubling the representation of Arab women elected to local authorities in 2018. Since then, the Mossawa Center has worked with the newly elected to women local council members to provide specialized training to ensure their success within their respective local authorities. The training focuses on practical skill-building and troubleshooting on issues of local governance, legal issues, budgeting, local economy, media relations, program development in local councils, and other topics.
The Mossawa Center seeks to empower Palestinian Arab youth through consciousness raising, capacity-building, and network building so that they can more effectively build inclusive, democratic societies that reflect their needs as young people and as Palestinians. The Mossawa Center has developed a syllabus for youth engagement that has been implemented in localities across the country, fostering a sense of agency and providing youth with the networks and skills necessary to effect positive change. The Mossawa Center holds an annual youth camp in Haifa, bringing together young people hailing from Umm al-Hiran to Qalansawa, to Nazareth, to Umm al-Fahem.
Outreach to the Jewish community
The Mossawa Center believes in establishing an inclusive and diverse peace camp built on multi-ethnic and multi-cultural collaboration. The Solidarity Project is an innovative outreach and collaborative undertaking that aims to include representatives of different ethnic communities in Israel. The largest community is Palestinian-Arab citizens who comprise about 21% of the population. But they are not the only minority in the country. They make up one part of what we call Israel’s HAMER communities. H stands for the Haredi community (ultra-Orthodox Jews) that make up 10% of the total population; M stands for the Mizrahi community (Jews of Arab descent) that constitutes up to 35% of the total population; E stands for the Ethiopian community which comprises 1.5% of the total population; and R stands for the Russian speaking community that make up 12% of the total population. The HAMER communities have been denied the chance to participate in the peace camp and are not considered key political actors in the current peace camp’s mainstream discourse. The Mossawa Center is working in collaboration with key figures and leaders from the HAMER communities to deconstruct the exclusionary narrative and build a new and inclusive peace and human rights camp.
The Mahalli Project
The Mossawa Center empowers and motivates women to run for local council elections by providing them with the necessary tools, knowledge, and connections. The Mossawa Center built on the previous success of its women in politics projects and created the Mahalli Project. The Mossawa Center takes into consideration the layered and intersectional discrimination Palestinian-Arab women face from within their communities and from Israeli society in general. The development of the Mahalli Project has proven to be a successful undertaking that motivates women to run for local council elections to create a more gender-inclusive society.