To celebrate the completion of our first agricultural structures at Project Wadi Attir, including the pens for our first herd of sheep, as well as a large barn, we held an Inauguration Ceremony at the project site on January 27, 2015.
Take a look at the sheep in their new digs!
The event was well-attended by elders from the Bedouin community and Bedouin students from local schools, alongside representatives from government ministries, members of the academic community, professionals from local social organizations, and others.
Entertainment was provided by two local youth groups: the Alnur Choir and the Elsahari Debeka Group.
Besides Dr. Mohammed Alnabari, Mayor of Hura, Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory, and Yunes Nabari, Manager of Project Wadi Attir, speakers included Professor Rivka Carmi, President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Mr. Iman Saif, Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian Sectors, Rob Robin representing Russel Robinson at JNF, Ms. Sigal Shaltiel, the Director General of the Ministry of Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Mr. Yair Shamir, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Dr. Ben-Eli said: “When we stared seven years ago to develop Project Wadi Attir, many said that the concept was a mere fantasy, that it was impossible. Today, many who visit here tell us that we did the impossible. That’s why I wanted to begin with a picture of a duck wading in the waters of a natural pond at the arid site of Project Wadi Attir. For us, this duck is a symbol of accomplishing the impossible.”
In her remarks, Professor Carmi said: “Today, on the global front, everyone is talking about ‘sustainability,’ everyone is talking about ‘conservation,’ everyone is talking about the fact that half of our planet is desert, and that we need to take care of water, energy and agriculture. And behold, everything is happening today, here. This place, this laboratory, will become an international center—I have no doubt about that. People will come from all over the world to learn about how to enact the science of sustainability, how to bring together all of these issues that are so important to mankind.”
In his remarks, Yunes Nabari, Project Manger, said: “In order to see the society as we dreamed it, we need to find the heart of the struggle. The heart of the struggle is in economic development, and ensuring the livelihood, with dignity and independence, for every man, woman and child. As a founding member of Project Wadi Attir, and on behalf of all of the members, I promise that we are dedicated to making change on a variety of fronts: economic, social and environmental, which will lead to a breakthrough in the Arab and Bedouin sectors, removing barriers to integration. This change will come in the spirit of the project’s founding principles.”
Speakers and Joshua Arnow, whose family is the project’s lead donor, “cut the ribbon” together
The building process is continuing, full speed ahead! We’ll keep you informed of our progress!