RCA completes construction of Shaikh Zayed District in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Dh15 million Shaikh Zayed District in Jerusalem is one of the key construction projects being financed and undertaken by the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) in the Palestinian territories.
The project is part of a series of projects including the Dh100 million JeninCamp Reconstruction, the Dh220 million Shaikh Zayed Housing City in Gaza,the Shaikh Khalifa City in Rafah, the UAE Quarter in Khan Yunis in addition to a number of hospitals, schools, health centres, and disabled rehabilitation centres spread in towns and villages of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Spanning 7000 square metres, the project in Beit Henina, a stone throwfrom the holy Aqsa Mosque, will feature 58 fully serviced apartments (each 135 square metres), designed and built on the modern architectural concepts, for members of the Teachers’ Association.
Ahmed Humaid Al Mazrouie, Chairman of the RCA Board,termed the project as one of the largest construction operations the RCA is executing inthe holy city.
The RCA has made strenuous efforts to obtain necessary permits to complete it. “The RCA’s strategy in Palestine seeks to undertake construction projects that benefit the most needy families which were badly affected by the rapid deterioration in the economic and living conditions there.
“The RCA is keen to pursue this strategy boosted by the resounding successit has achieved in projects that served many Palestinians affected by events itnessed by Palestine.”
He said that these projects include building, maintaining and reconstructing of houses, schools, hospitals and mosques.
The focus, he stressed, is on infrastructure and services projects that serve thelargest number of population.
Mahmoud Al Habash, Palestinian Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, described the Shaikh Zayed District as “ vital”.
He told Wam that the RCA construction projects fall exactly in line with the callsof the Palestinian Authority for Arab and international participation tostimulating the Palestinian economy and injecting investment in economicsectors in order to achieve sustainable development for the best interest of broad segments of Palestinian facing deteriorating living conditions due to the events in Palestine. “The specialty of the RCA projects is that they are targeting the socialgroups that need support and assistance in health, educational, and living services,’ the minister added.
Samiya Barakat, Chairperson of the Teachers’ Association, paid tribute tothe RCA for funding the desperately needed project.“The RCA operations in Palestine are known to every Palestinian citizen ... the Palestinians highly value the assistance and support lent to themby their UAE brethren at these circumstances they are passing through,”she affirmed.
According to her, the RCA projects stand witness to the critical significance of the UAE aid in Palestine.
“The Al Aqsa Mosque has been and still lending proper attention andcare from the RCA which spent Dh50 million in various programmesincluding the health clinic commissioned in the Mosque’s nave whichreceived thousands of patients and treated scores of those woundedduring the Palestinian uprising,’ she added.
Hashem Abu Lafi, the architect of the project, said the construction of the Shaikh Zayed District had been delayed as the award of the contract hadtaken more than two years due to several stumbling blocs it faced in itsearl phase. “The RCA has stepped in to remove all obstacles and obtain the necessarylegal approvals,’ he indicated.
“The Archaeological survey for making sure that the project is not builton a historic site took two full years,”he said.
Deputy Governor of Jerusalem Abdullah Sayam praised the projectas a “commendable Arab action”. The projects established by the RACare an example of the Arab and Islamic care for the holy city.
“The Palestinians will never forget this Arab stance besides them,”hestressed.
“The District was designed and built on the most advanced architectural concepts and equipped with basic services to be ready for accommodation,” he said.
“The housing project will bring about two valuable benefits : it help thebeneficiaries stick to their land and live near the schools they are workingin. It will also confirm the Arab and Islamic ownership of the land, nowunder the Islamic Endowments protection against confiscation. “This a great success in itself which can not be easily achieved especiallyunder the current circumstances the people of Jerusalem are passingthrough,”he noted. —