Meet Manar Qaraqe

Manar Qaraqe is a young Palestinian from Aida refugee camp. Since her childhood, she’s had a passion for writing and has been looking for a creative writing programme for youth. Yet, she did not find it until she entered Bethlehem University, where she specialized in Arabic Literature.

In the second year of university, she launched a cultural community initiative in Aida refugee camp and worked with several youth groups, turning the initiative into a cultural institution named Al-Manar Society for Culture and Creativity, of which she is the director. Al-Manar’s members — some of which are ex-detainees who experienced torture in the occupation’s prisons — work and think together to change their reality. Through literary and creative activities, Al-Manar enables young girls and boys to express themselves.

Manar has worked with school and university students in the Talented Student Programme, which engages young talents in creative writing. She believes in youth work and volunteering, and has proven that, even inside refugee camps, youth can achieve their dreams.

Together with Khawla Al-Azraq from the Psychosocial Counseling Center for Women (PSCCW), Manar will develop a peer learning project to increase their capacities in digital campaigning and gender equality to highlight the role of youth, especially men, in combating GBV, and advocate for more opportunities for youth in the refugee camps among policy makers.