To mark the Palestinian National Culture Day, which coincides on March 13 of every year, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Ministry of Culture (MoC) said in a joint press release today that the number of cultural centers operating in Palestine increased from 577 in 2021 to 584 in 2022.
They said there was a clear gap in the number of cultural centers between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with 508 centers in the West Bank in 2022 compared to only 76 in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The PCBS and the MoC said the number of cultural activities increased in 2022 by 4% compared to the previous year and training courses continued to rank first among cultural activities held in cultural centers with about 66% of the activities.
In 2022, about 588,000 persons participated in cultural activities at cultural centers with 56% participating in face-to-face activities, most of them in the West Bank.
There were 32 museums operating in Palestine in 2022: 27 museums in the West Bank and five in the Gaza Strip.
The number of visitors to museums that provided data reached about 265,000 visitors in 2022: 77% were Palestinians and 23% were of other nationalities. In 2021, 2020, and 2019, the number of visitors to museums was about 114,000, 26,000, and 388,000 respectively. The results showed that the largest number of visitors was in March with about 31,000 visitors, while the lowest number was in February with 14,000 visitors.
There were 17 operating theatres in Palestine: 14 in the West Bank and three in the Gaza Strip that did not practice activities through 2022.
A total of 346 plays were performed in the West Bank in 2022, while no plays were performed in theatres in Gaza Strip for the same year; out of which 201 plays were for children, 84 plays were for adults and 61 plays were for both children and adults. There were about 43,000 theater attendees; where the highest number was in August with about 8,000 attendees, and the lowest number was in April with about 1000 attendees. In 2021, the number of plays performed in Palestine was 370 plays and the number of theatre attendees was about 33,000.
During 2022, the Ministry of Culture launched the "Wiki Palestine" program and the "Memory Code" to preserve and document the Palestinian narration through digital content, and the "Memory Code" is about films carved on the stone of Palestinian personalities and events. Twenty-five editors were trained in this field.
In 2022, there were eight awards for literature, arts and humanities for creative Palestinians.
Also, MoC supported 70 cultural projects, organized 150 cultural events, including heritage seminars, and launched the National Theatre Festival, with the participation of 10 performances, as well as opening competition on five awards for the best director, the best actor, the best theatrical performance and the best playwright.
The MoC also launched the Ghassan Kanfani Award, where four awards were awarded to novelists and writers from Arab countries, as well as organizing the Palestine Forum for the Palestinian Narration with the participation of 13 novelists from Arab countries, Festival of Ghassan Kanafani Theatre, three scientific, literary and critical conferences, and an art gallery with the participation of 15 artists from Palestine and Diaspora in this event. A forum in the name of Majid Abu Sharar, was organized for the Arab story with the participation of 35 novelists and writers from Palestine and Arab countries.
Moreover, MoC organized three literary forums and 20 activities in diaspora camps and in the occupied Palestinian Territory in 1948 to strengthen the national narrative in Palestine.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture organized the Palestine International Book Fair 2022, where 450 Arabic and local publishing houses and 150 Arab writers participated. In addition, MoC published 100 books about al-Nakba, and around 250,000 books, published by the Ministry of Culture, were distributed to school libraries, cultural centers and institutions. MoC also supported about 100 schools and public/municipality libraries through publications of the Ministry, as well as supporting 150 events and activities within National Culture Day.
Additionally, MoC organized the Dabkeh Folk Festival on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the Nakba, with the participation of 30 Dabkeh bands, in order to have this cultural activity enlisted among the representative items of the intangible cultural heritage at the UNESCO, and organized 30 training courses in the field of traditional industries and held four exhibitions to promote traditional industries.