“Jerusalem Nights Festival”: Enhancing the Cultural and Artistic Life in Jerusalem | NDC

“Jerusalem Nights Festival”: Enhancing the Cultural and Artistic Life in Jerusalem

The “Jerusalem Nights Festival” was launched by the Jerusalem Arts Network “Shafaq” as an artistic celebration to promote the cultural and artistic life in the centre of Jerusalem. This festival was among the most important events that were well covered by the local media, gaining substantial popularity and public engagement. The success of this artistic celebration was not limited to its artistic activities and the great Palestinian public participation, but extended to make this celebration a culmination of consolidated efforts by the various cultural NGOs and other Jerusalemite organisations and sectors.

Partnership among the organisations was the first step in developing an artistic programme that included a number of activities characterised by high quality and professionalism. Hence, the developed programme was comprehensive and ensured a lack of duplication on events and locations level. The program also ensured easy access to information and promoted public participation in all activities.

Coordination was not only limited to artistic organisations vis-à-vis the different activities, and extended to other sectors such as the tourism sector and commercial shops in Jerusalem, particularly those located in the Old City and Salah Al-Deen and Azzahra Streets, as they are considered the commercial centre of the city and the hub of its artistic centres. This came within the context of mobilising the largest possible crowd into the city centre and revive it in the evening hours, as well as encourage Jerusalemite shopkeepers to open their businesses into the evening hours.

Mr. Daoud Ghoul, Director of Shafaq, stated that despite the perception of the concept of partnership and cooperation as wonderful and important, that does not negate that its actual realisation faced a number of significant challenges. These challenges included the absence of a collaborative and group work culture, when individual work is the predominant form of action, in addition to the ongoing marginalisation of the city of Jerusalem and the various pressures in the daily life of Jerusalemites and Jerusalemite institutions and commercial centres of the city.

Daoud Ghoul added that “the cooperation level started growing gradually. Our experience shows that there is now a greater participation and cooperation from the side of business owners in subsequent seasons of the Jerusalem Nights Festival. This cooperation includes opening business places in the evening hours, distributing prizes to the participants of artistic activities and giving special discounts on sales during the period of this festival. There is no doubt that cooperation with various sectors in Jerusalem has contributed to enhancing the cultural life and vibrancy of the city”.