Atta'a

The Atta'a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents provides one-on-one assistance, mass awareness-raising and networking to help Palestinian Arab east Jerusalem residents to navigate the legal and health systems and other national agencies.
Location: Jerusalem
Year founded: 2004

Description

1. Ongoing One-on-One Work with Residents

Atta’a provides one-on-one information and assistance in navigating government institutions such as the National Insurance Institute (NII), Interior Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality. Residents receive help in completing various forms, including which documents must be attached to which requests; writing and translating letters to municipal and national agencies; and completing affidavits and follow-up regarding cases. In 2017 Atta’a took care of 1,631 cases, doubling the number from 2016 (859). This included requests via Facebook (413) the Atta’a web site (108) and telephone (317), as well as from visits to the 3 drop-in stations throughout east Jerusalem (793 requests). These cases are taken care of by the 14 volunteers (up from 7 in 2015), overseen by the Project Coordinator and Rights Consultant. In the coming year Atta’a seeks to reach more people and take care of more requests

2. Mass Awareness Raising - Internet and Social Media

Atta'a's social media presence has grown considerably over the past year, with over 14,000 ‘likes’ on its Facebook page, and thousands entrances into its new web site (nearly 40,000 in 2017, as opposed to 3,600 in 2016). A Google search in Arabic for “Ministry of Interior Jerusalem” results in Atta’a being listed first, even before the official government site. Indeed, this year Atta’a’s web site and Facebook page have been flooded with questions and requests, about issues regarding the Ministry of Interior and others. Atta’a published – on paper and online – a booklet that explained many Ministry of Interior regulations, which was distributed throughout east Jerusalem. More complete yet concise information about property tax discounts and savings programmes for children through the NII have drawn many more residents to the Facebook and Internet pages. Atta'a also holds community meetings throughout east Jerusalem, at different community centres such as Issawiya, Wadi Joz and Abna al-Quds in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. They also distribute thousands of informational flyers at key locations throughout east Jerusalem – the different community centres, National Insurance Institute and Ministry of Interior, East Jerusalem Branches, and more. In 2018 Atta’a seeks to expand the number and scope of the community meetings and lectures, as well as increase the wealth of information available on, and assistance provided through, Atta’a’s web-based outlets.


3. Networking and Partnerships
Another unique aspect of Atta’a is that it is a completely independent entity, yet it works with everyone in an attempt to improve everyday lives for residents: municipal agencies; Israeli government agencies, such as the Ministry of the Interior, National Insurance Institute, HMO’s, Ministry of Health; non-profit advocacy/human rights organizations, some of which have difficulty in contacting the ‘establishment.’ The Atta’a staff also has connections with social workers in hospitals, HMOs, welfare offices and more, which enables residents to obtain rights and services due them more easily. Thus, Atta’a is critical in building necessary relationships. Atta’a seeks to continue to develop these partnerships and networks in order to increase its impact and further improve rights realization for Arab residents of east Jerusalem.

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