On Monday, 27 March, 2017, Bank of Palestine and the Welfare Association inaugurated the thirtieth children’s amusement park in Bethlehem, part of Al Bayyara Parks project, which is a joint project between the bank and a number of civil society organizations. The park was established through contributions from the Palestinian community in San Francisco, the Bethlehem 2000 Association, Ibrahim and Wadih Tikla and Palestinian businessman Faruq Al Shami. The Bethlehem Municipality donated the piece of land upon which the park was established.

The inauguration ceremony was implemented in the presence of Colonel Jibreen Al Bakri, the Governor of Bethlehem, Mrs. Vera Baboun, the Mayor of Bethlehem, Mr. Hatem Mustafa, Director of the central and southern regions at Bank of Palestine, Ms. Dima Irshaid, Director of individual funding at the Welfare Association, Palestinian businessman Bassem Heshmeh, in addition to a number of invitees. The event involved the participation of a number of groups who performed popular and national activities.

Al Bayyara inauguration is a continuation of a project implemented by the bank and its partners and involves the establishment of hundreds of children’s amusement parks in various areas across Palestine, and provide safe entertainment areas for Palestinian children and alleviate the number of injuries and victims who suffer every year from playing in unsafe places.

Mrs. Vera Baboun welcomed the guests and stressed the importance of this park, which is considered a venting zone for children, protecting them from playing in the streets. She also pointed out that Al Bayyara is the second park in the city, and the Bethlehem Municipality continuously seeks to increase the number of safe areas for children, especially parks.

Mr. Hatem Mustafa from Bank of Palestine confirmed that opening a new amusement park will provide our children further entertainment and a safe and appropriate place to play away from dangerous areas. He pointed out that this park will crown another contribution by the bank in the field of corporate social responsibility. Mustafa added that Al Bayyara project is one of the bank’s initiatives to establish entertainment parks for children in all Palestinian villages and cities.

Mrs. Dima Irshaid from the Welfare Association said that Al Bayyara project is part of the association’s strategy and fulfills community development objectives, especially the program for developing institutional facilities that provides services to various groups, especially children. According to Irshaid, Al Bayyara project is a national project par excellence, adding that the importance of Al Bayyara parks lies in their ability to provide safe places for children to have fun outside the house, and provide appropriate places for parents to spend time with their children, in addition to promoting social links and ties between families living in a single neighborhood, as well as alleviating the number of injuries among children as a result of playing in the streets.

Bassem Hishmeh Stressed the importance of encouraging Palestinian communities abroad to contribute to the development and expansion of the project in the various Palestinian areas. Hishmeh expressed his gratitude and appreciation towards the bank and its partners for their initiative to launch the project, which is considered among the most important developmental projects in Palestine.

Colonel Jibreel Al Bakri valued the efforts conducted by the Bethlehem Municipality to establish infrastructure for the various sectors in society. Al Bakri embraced the efforts conducted by the bank and its partners to establish a number of amusement parks in Palestine, which have so far reached a total of 30 parks. He added that this initiative is an important one where children invest their time in a qualitative manner. He also stressed the importance of the existence of playgrounds in the governorate of Bethlehem in order to provide youth the opportunity to continuously develop and contribute to sports initiatives. He also stressed that the Bethlehem governorate is extremely interested in implementing the strategic plan and create projects that ensure the fulfillment of various services parallel with the considerable increase in the number of tourists.