Under the title “We Are All For Haifa,” hundreds gathered to celebrate the ruby jubilee for the Social Development Committee of Haifa (SDC). The event which took place on September 20, 2022, had brought together Knesset members, Mayor of Haifa, partner organizations, social leaders and activists, educators as well as many friends and people who participated in SDC’s projects and activities.
The celebration opining done by children and director of Al Carmel Music (NGO) played a piece oriental classical music as tribute to SDC for supporting the award winning organization in its early days and establishment in 1995. The children complemented the event with two more paragraphs during the event.
The event included speakers who provided insiders’ perspective on the story, work and impact of SDC’s work over the past four decades, accompanied by short video-presentation of each decade.
Opening speaker, Mr. Hisham Abdo, SDC’s chairman, welcomed the guests and commemorated the important work of the founders of the SDC, particularly the late director Mr. Hussien Ighbaria, and the long journey of growth and continues evolvement. Followed by Haifa’s Mayor Ms. Einat Kalisch Rotem who stressed the importance of SDC’s work and its impact on the challenges facing the Arab community in Haifa.
The presentations and speakers continued to portray the work of the SDC since establishment in 1982 moving from era of service provision, until today, including the strategic transition to advocacy and social change approach and performance. As such SDC played a variety of important role in strengthening the identity and preserving the narrative of Haifa, educational frameworks and programs and moving from service provision towards building community organizations such as students’ and neighbourhood committees, and finally an active and capable community asking for equality in the city.
The final speaker, Ms. Joumana Ighbaria-Hammam, director of the SDC, thanked the audience, and declared that she is leaving for a sabbatical during which Mr. Fathi Marshood will be leading the staff and the SDC forward towards more accomplishments.
Participants in the event stayed long after the event had ended, expressed their gratitude for the content-rich celebration, and shared many more stories and memories.