The Center for Development Studies and the Partnership Youth Forum hold a dialogue on the experiences of youth cooperatives

On June 09, 2022, the Center for Development Studies and the Youth Partnership Forum organized a talk entitled: “Youth cooperatives as a model for a Palestinian resistance economy”. The workshop was held in Birzeit University, with the participation of 100 students from different departments and programs at the university. The workshop is linked to the common visions of the organizers and part of their efforts to expand understanding about agricultural cooperatives as possible models that could contribute to a localised resistant economy and thus a model for for local production, which aims to improve living conditions and contribute to inclusion in economic and social realms also contributing to social justice. The cooperatives have prospects towards providing a space for increased interaction of social groups excluded from the public space and production. This contributes to achieving local self-sufficiency in agricultural products and enhances the preservation of the land. The dialogue dealt with the experience of forming youth cooperatives in Palestine, discussing both the concept of cooperatives and dominant structures, in addition to discussing the challenges related to social change and the formation of new structures. The workshop hosted members of agricultural youth cooperatives who shared their experiences about the cooperative sector. Dr. Imad Sayrafi, Director of the Center for Development Studies, opened the workshop, discussing concepts and practices linked to cooperatives, in addition to history of cooperative work and the current challenges facing cooperatives in Palestine, citing recent research produced by CDS. The cooperative members then discussed their experiences in forming cooperatives in Palestine. Speakers included Samer Karajeh, representing Ard il Ya’s, cooperative, from the the village of Safa, Ghassan Al-Najjar represented the Ard o Zar’ cooperative in Burin, and Faten Assa represented the Juthoor al Shams cooperative. The workshop also included the screening of a short video, produced by the PartnershipYouth Forum, focusing on a various youth cooperatives. It is worthy to mention that the Center for Development Studies and the Partnership YouthForum are in the process of implementing various activities throughout the academic year related to the aforementioned goal.

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