IT ALL STARTED WITH…

The idea of Jafra goes back to the year 2002 when thousands of Palestinian refugee families in Yarmouk camp, Damascus were still leading an active life. At the time, Al-Intifada rising in the Palestinian territories impacted the Palestinian refugees everywhere as they had been striving to preserve their national identity. Due to the matter this led a handful of young activists who always dreamt of a better future to gather and reflect for a change.

Long weeks and gathering collective responses and opinions of the youth ultimately led to the establishment of Jafra Foundation as a local Youth frame that served youth in Yarmouk. The main ambition was to create an independent democratic non-benefit space for youth to meet, discuss, learn and employ their talents and efforts together in creative initiatives. We thrive that youth is and should be empowered not only for a better today but a better future altogether. We are for the youth, because of the youth and to the youth. As well as including children since they are tomorrows youth.

The name Jafra itself was chosen for its iconic connotation. Palestinian have three different tales about Jafra, one of which took place 150 years ago and speaks about a little peasant girl who lived, worked at the landlord’s palace where she was mistreated. She used to support the popular resistance and erupted against the landlord’s persecution of the people. 

Therefore, this was not only remembered but also celebrated; it was sung in weddings and other folk events. A number of Palestinian and Arab artists have celebrated Jafra such as the Palestinian poet Izzeddein Manasra published his famous poem “Jafra, the Forgotten Home” in Lebanese newspapers in the year of 1976. The poem was impressively sung by the Lebanese singer Marcel Khalifeh.

Finally, Jafra envisions an inclusive society centred on youth and their development. Youth, who are at the forefront of building power and community for improving the living conditions and quality of life of within their communities.