The late Dr Rawda Bishara-Atallah, who sadly passed away in 2013, is an inspiration for all that the Galilee Foundation does. It is in her honour that we proudly named our scholarship programme.
Rawda was the founder of the Arab Cultural Association (ACA) who deliver our projects on the ground in Palestine/Israel. They are our implementing partner who support our students so they can thrive academically and contribute positively to their society. Rawda served as a director of the ACA from 2000 to 2003, and from 2005 until her death in December 2013. She devised and implemented dozens of projects aimed at preserving the Palestinian national identity, culture and heritage, including the Arabic language. Together with the ACA, she worked with Adalah (The legal center for Arab rights in Israel) on many issues in the fields of education and culture, such as the legal interventions towards the Israeli authorities to correct linguistic errors in Arabic language textbooks used in schools. She also campaigned to return stolen books from Palestinian libraries in 1948 to their rightful owners.
Rawda is remembered as a prominent leader and activist. She was energetic, creative, determined, and she worked tirelessly on the development and promotion of Palestinian culture, identity and education.
Without her, thousands of Palestinians across Palestine/Israel would not have university degrees today. That would have meant an even wider disparity of wealth between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, had the most talented young Palestinians not acquired the skills needed to obtain employment. In a world where they face unprecedented levels of marginalisation, producing Palestinian university graduates year on year has gone some way to address this injustice.
Dr Rawda Bishara-Atallah’s legacy is deep and far reaching. We all owe this incredible woman a huge debt. Her inspirational and guiding spirit is with us in all that we do.