Caledoniyya

Rawabi: City of the Future

The city below looks utterly remarkable: gleaming domes and minarets lend the design almost a fantastical nuance, as though it would be better placed on the cover of a sci-fi novel.

Rawabi

While it could not be more real, it also retains a degree of the fantasy when it comes to the realization of its purpose as the newest city to emerge on the West Bank.

Rawabi has been two years in the making and aims to attract young professional Palestinians to the apartment blocks, offices and shaded walkways of the metropolis.

Ironically, a number of obstacles have not emerged from Israel: rather, the Palestinian side.

A quarter of the land needed has not yet been purchased from the individual owners, while the Palestinian Authority has been slow in committing itself to providing a solid infrastructure.

Rawabi 2

Of course, it would be idealist to imagine that Israel has not presented a dizzying array of quagmires for the new city: there has been no agreement on the provision of water, which will come from an Israeli water company; a road has yet to be agreed linking Rawabi to Ramallah through Israeli territory; and Wataniya, a major investor, has been prevented from supplying the mobile phone coverage as Israel has refused to release the frequencies.

Should Wataniya succeed, it will invest $700 million over ten years, generating 750 skilled jobs in addition to 2,000 indirect jobs.

A sizeable amount of the funding is arriving courtesy of the Qatari government.

The political implications of the city have not been disregarded: for the planners it is a step towards rebuilding and potentially asserting a Palestinian state.

For other investors, it is the city’s very status that prompts a pause as they observe the peace process for signs that the project will pay dividends.

Indubitably, the concept is fantastic: the West Bank would benefit substantially from such an architectural, cultural and economic invigoration.

The problem arises when reality is infused: is it possible? Do we dare to dream that such a project could succeed?

One comment on “Rawabi: City of the Future

  1. Ashwaq
    September 11, 2009

    I read about it yesterday on alquds newspaper, and there was a sentence that says ” fe 7al wafaqat Israel” (incase Israel approved this project) so I wonder how this project will come true?

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2009 by in Middle East, Palestine and tagged , , .
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