Palestine's New Town on a Hill
BAITULMAQDIS - With a great atmosphere of roads, splendid shopping malls and a Roman-style amphitheater, the new town of Palestine, Rawabi is amazing!
It was a culmination of dreams for decades for developers Bashar al-Masri. This PalestinianAmerican businessman has been trying to stop all the challenges of the Israeli regime.
This includes through the construction of US $ 1.4 billion (RM5.5 billion) properties in the West Bank region into reality - but now he hopes it will be a 'traffic light' in his state mission.
International media reported that so far, about 3,000 people have been living in the yellow tower tower blocks that the developers have built in the barren hills north of Ramallah nearly a decade ago.
It is the first city to be built and planned by Palestinians in the region. Construction is still ongoing and some roads are still in a state of solitude, but hope it will attract 40,000 more.
"Rawabi, in the past four or five months, has been the best destination for all Palestinians themselves," said Masri, 56, while in one of the cafes in the new shopping center in the city.
"Every month, at least 100,000 Palestinians visit and are amazed." Housing zones are designed symmetrical with intensive planning so many think it is a modern city of Israel.
Rawabi - meaning hills in its Arabic language - is even said some people somewhat resembling Israeli settlements that prohibit Palestinians from entering; compared to other citie For Palestinians who want to see it, the city built with the aid of Qatar's funds, also offers a vision of future lives in their ever-changing territory.
It also builds an extreme sports center and 15,000-seat amphitheater, including giant pictures of Arab and Western entertainment stars, while a cinema will also be built.
The luxury design and facilities of the city have sparked criticism as it will only meet the demands of the elite and is not reachable for the poor with unemployment levels widespread.
However, Masri stressed that there was a high demand saying that the Palestinians themselves would determine whether their property project would succeed in the future.
"I do not know who decides what the Palestinians want. Is Israel? We ourselves will decide what we want and not all of us want the same thing to happen, " he said.
"The Palestinians are entitled to their better lives. We can not be repressed just because we are forced to live under the illegal conquest of the Zionist regime over 70 years ago. " For Palestinians who want to see it, the city built with the aid of Qatar's funds, also offers a vision of future lives in their ever-changing territory.
Saed Abu Fkheida and his wife are shopping at international brands such as Max Mara, Juicy Couture, Armani Jeans and Lacoste at the Q Center shopping center, which is built like in other modern cities.
While most shops have not been fully charged within the next six months after the complex was opened, he was so impressed with the existing facilities and unlike other areas in the West Bank.
"Everything is available in one place only. There are clothes, toys and so on, " he said, adding: " In Ramallah, you need to visit several places to find what you are looking for. "
The first group of residents who have moved to Rawabi is in 2015. The price of flats here is worth as low as US $ 70,000 (RM278,418) to US $ 180,000 (RM715,933) in strategic lots.
Those who are far-fetched will definitely buy the place - mostly from Palestinians working in the Gulf states and Israel - and say that they now feel like being in the country.
One of his residents, Fatimah Nazzal admits that such development can be felt when he begins to move with his husband, Iyad with his three daughters after returning from Saudi Arabia. Even the modest family now says that the standard of life in the city is in line with what they have experienced when they are abroad.
Even the modest family now says that the standard of life in the city is in line with what they have experienced when they are abroad.
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