- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinian heritage museum opens in Jenin
- Date: 30th December 2010
- Summary: GROUP WALKING AND STOPPING TO LOOK MORE OF GROUP
- Embargoed: 14th January 2011 12:00
- Location: West bank, West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,History
- Reuters ID: LVA142F25MXX00A6EKCP5E1ND6IQ
- Story Text: Palestinian philanthropist and businessman Ibrahim Haddad opens a new museum in the West Bank town of Jenin that centres on Palestinian heritage.
A museum that exhibits cultural aspects of Palestinian heritage opened in the West Bank town of Jenin.
The museum is funded primarily by Palestinian philanthropist and business man, Ibrahim Haddad.
Haddad had been working on the project for around one year before its doors could be opened to the public.
Among popular attractions are life-sized wax works of men and women completing every day tasks, like knitting and jewellery making using traditional methods. Artwork, pictures and money accumulated from libraries and archives are also on display.
A colourful model of Jerusalem's Old City sits in the middle of the museum.
Enas Odwan, who visited along with a group of her friends said the museum is a way to attract more tourists to the West Bank.
"The museum is very beautiful, it teaches us about our ancient traditions, and attracts tourists to our country. It also makes us proud of our country and the things that our ancestors used to do," said Enas.
Narmeen Sado, another visitor said the museum was a way for children to learn about Jerusalem.
"This museum is very amazing, it allows Palestinian children to come visit this museum, and allows them to learn about Palestinian traditions, learn about the heritage, and discover that the city of Jerusalem is spectacular," Narmeen said.
Haddad's business spans 40 years and provides employment for hundreds of families.
The heritage museum is the newest addition for the sixty-four-year-old self-made businessman and entrepreneur. Entrance to the attraction is also free.
"It was a very costly project, so the (Palestinian) Ministry of Tourism, investors, and business men were reluctant to help. It is a very expensive project and has no substantial revenue. But I decided that I will create this museum as a gift to the Palestinian people, and until now entrance to the museum is free, and I cover all of its costs,'' said Haddad who thinks of himself as an industrialist with a vision.
''I feel like I have reached my goal and internally I feel very satisfied and happy when I see people from all over Palestine coming to the park I have created, not just for the games but for the Palestinian heritage too," he added.
A blacksmith by profession, Haddad owns a factory that manufactures heavy-duty agricultural machinery.
Parts of the exhibition that are made of metal were produced in Haddad's factory. He also opened an attraction park and a hotel inside a tourist village extending his business portfolio a few years ago.
The World Bank forecast the economy of the West Bank and Gaza to grow by 7.5 percent in 2011. But per capita GDP dropped from around 1,500 dollars in 1999 to just over 1,000 dollars in 2010. The Palestinian Authority remain the West Bank's major investor and employer, and half of its funding comes in the form of foreign assistance.
The World Bank says restrictions hindering Palestinian economic development are not just physical obstacles but a comprehensive system of bureaucratic policies, which still has to be loosened, including access to export markets.
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