LOCATION: Qusin Village, Nablus Governorate
40 women from the village of Qusin outside Nablus came together in 2004 to found the Sanabel Cultural Center. Their goal was to create a space for women to meet socially and to learn from each other. For years they faced hostile opposition from some men in Qusin village. A 2009 Community Leadership Empowerment Program award enabled the Center to refurbish a basement, turning it into a computer lab, a public meeting room and a kitchen. Boys eager to use the computer lab began to look to the women of the Sanabel Cultural Center as leaders. As the Center gained popularity, with more women, youth and children using the computers and the public meeting room, Sanabel’s leadership actively engaged the men of Qusin village, softening their opposition and ensuring harmony and cooperation. Now women throughout the northwest Nablus governorate are calling for the creation of similar spaces and opportunities in their own villages. As a result, Sanabel’s leadership used this opportunity to establish another computer center in the adjacent village of Beit Iba that was fully furnished by the second Community Leadership Empowerment Program award.