Solidarity Hebron is a Palestinian NGO founded in 1997 with the aim of establishing cultural exchanges between France and Hebron while carrying out concrete actions on a daily basis. This led to the initiation of our French language teaching program and Franco-Palestinian cultural events. Over time, this mission has been expanded, driven in part by the economic and social conditions faced by the families most affected by Israeli colonization and military administration in the historic part of the city.
Thus, the actions of Solidarity Hebron are grounded in a cultural and social commitment, with the primary objective being to support vulnerable populations, particularly women and children, in the old city of Hebron. Simultaneously, the organization strives to maintain and strengthen the connections between France and Hebron. The preservation of these ties is paramount, as they serve as a window into the reality of the Israeli occupation and the daily lives of the Palestinian population.
The course of action pursued by Solidarity Hebron directly emanates from the experiences and dedication of its founders, Chantal and Anwar Abu Eisheh.
Anwar is a Palestinian born in Hebron in 1951. He became actively involved in the liberation of Palestine as early as 1967, a commitment that led to his expulsion from the territory in 1974. Subsequently, he pursued legal studies in Oran. Later, he settled in France, where he earned a Doctorate of State in Civil Law in 1988. In parallel, he engaged in representing the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) internationally until 1996.
The signing of the Oslo Agreements allowed him to return to Palestine in 1994. In 1996, he embarked on a career in teaching at Al-Quds University while continuing his advocacy for the establishment of a Palestinian State. In 2012, he joined the municipal council of Hebron and assumed the position of Minister of Culture for the Palestinian Authority in 2013.
Furthermore, he actively participated in the project aiming to secure the cultural significance of Hebron, leading to its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017, alongside being listed as a World Heritage Site in danger.
Chantal, a French national, has also become an adopted Hebronite since 1994. Following her studies in international relations, she embarked on a commitment in 1976 within an association of parliamentarians fostering Euro-Arab dialogue. It was in Paris where she encountered her husband, Anwar, and subsequently decided to accompany him upon his return to Palestine in 1996.
From that point onward, she has been employed at the French Institute in Jerusalem. Thus contributing doubly to the promotion of French culture and the strengthening of ties between France and Palestine.
Our endeavours are geographically concentrated in Hebron and its surroundings. We operate across a broad spectrum of domains, encompassing culture, social initiatives, tourism promotion, education, extracurricular activities, and support for women facing precarious social situations.
Our activities are grounded in both the context of Francophonie and the Palestinian local efforts aimed at reclaiming the old city of Hebron. We structure our initiatives around four multi-year programs, each targeting a key aspect of Hebron’s cultural development and the reinforcement of ties with France. These programs entail social action, particularly within the old city of Hebron, education, the promotion of alternative tourism, and cultural exchanges.
Furthermore, we undertake independent projects to enhance the effectiveness of the aforementioned programs. It is in this vein that the game “Topoly” was created, and linguistic immersion internships in France were established, benefiting the people of Hebron.
Finally, we operate within a significant network of institutions and organizations connected to Palestine, some of which are based either in France or in the Occupied Territories. In this regard, we regularly host personnel from our partners in our premises, whether on an occasional basis or continuously throughout the year. Moreover, we are actively integrated into the Francophonie network and collaborate closely with local branches of the Alliance Française and French Institutes.
Association d’Échanges Culturels Hébron-France
The AECHF is our active organization in Palestine, comprising eight employees, facilitating the implementation of our programs and projects on the ground. This has two offices in Hebron, including one in the old city, to anchor our social initiatives.
Hebron Association for Socio Cultural Development
The HASCD is an organization that offers socio-psychological help to struggling families. It oversees our emergency social aid efforts (food, clothing, etc.) and provides social assistance, particularly for women.
Soutien À Solidarity Hebron
SASH is our branch in France. It helps us consolidate the European funds for our organization. It also maintains a strong connection with our French partners. Those include public institutions, local authorities, and like-minded NGOs, as well as elected officials.