“Emek Shaveh” is a public benefit organization, active since October 2007 and officially registered in December 2008. The main part of our work is founded on volunteers (10) and private donors. Due to a generous contribution from the Embassy of Norway, Emek Shaveh will start to employ a project coordinator on a 50% position from September 2009. The organization cooperates with the local Palestinian partner organisation, “Madaa”, which functions as a community centre in the village for the Palestinian residents of Silwan, and also with other Israeli NGO:s active in the area. Our project “From Shiloah to Silwan” aims to increase public awareness in Israel and abroad about the role of archeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the means of alternative tours, website campaign, workshops, lectures, research and media outreach. Budgetary resources for 2009: $25,000.
“Emek Shaveh” is a new non-profit association of archaeologists, local residents and human rights activists working to change the role of archeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that archeology can be used as a bridge between peoples and cultures and that it has the power to influence the dynamic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that can benefit the future of all the peoples in this region.
Most of our present efforts are concentrated around the site of the “City of David” located in the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem, a few dozen meters from the Temple Mount. We believe that this site can be turned into a place for the public to learn about the many different cultures that thrived in ancient and medieval Jerusalem and that this knowledge can be used as a way to connect with and appreciate the cultures of the peoples living there today.
Tours & workshops: A significant part of our work consists of conducting alternative archaeological tours aimed at increasing public awareness of the role of archeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Empowering the local residents (workshops): We believe that archeology can be a powerful instrument for shaping public awareness, strengthening social cohesion and bringing about social change. Engaging in archaeological activities such as digs, cultivation of specific sites or tours within a communal area together with the local residents strengthens the residents’ understanding that the public area is a part of their living space.
Research: The research aims to analyze the role of archeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with focus on the connection between archaeological excavation, tourism development and political interest groups, and present an alternative where archeology instead of a tool of conflict can serve as a bridge between peoples and religions.