The idea to establish the Madaa Creative Center emerged as a result of the harsh conditions and circumstances experienced by the residents of Silwan. These harsh situations are very similar to the circumstances of the Palestinian refugee campsin terms of population density and the poor level of services provided by the occupier’s municipality. Silwan has been considered to benon-existent accordingto the political conditions – as a punishment from occupying authorities. Even though the residents of the town pay multiple taxes including the “Arnona” tax which is a high-value tax that exceeds 70% of residence’s income. The infrastructure is dilapidated, many streets and buildings collapseas a result of Israeli excavations, especially in the northern area of Silwan –Wadi Hilweh area-.
Silwan has an estimated population of 55,000 people… Public parks, recreational centers and games for children the percentage of children who are under the age of eighteen exceeds 50%, while 75% of children live in poverty; these children are deprived of having a fun and enjoyable childhood. They also suffer from a low level of education,a high dropout rate from schools which reached up to 60%, in addition to shortage in the number of classrooms.
These hardships and difficult conditions drove the people of Silwan, who care about their community and town, to establish a center that would study the town’s needs, rearrange certain situations, and do activities that would promotefacilities and aspects of social, cultural, and educational life as well as health and tourism to meet the standards of a well civilized and educated community.