Early last century around the 1920s, the native people of Beit Hanina town established an Association that used to be called “Beit Hanina Maqased Association”. This Association managed, at the time, to carry out many projects which improved the life of the people of Beit Hanina. Some of these projects were building a high school for boys, building a medical clinic which was one of the very few clinics in the surrounding area, and building the main cemetery of the town. In the mid 1940s, the boys’ high school became a girl’s high school after building another high school in the new side of the town as described later. Until our present days the school that was built in the 1920s still serves as girl’s high school.
Beit Hanina Local Charitable & Educational Association (BLCEA) was established in 1946 by the people of Beit Hanina, and was headed by the late Abdul Hameed Shouman, founder of the Arab Bank. It has been a registered Association with the Palestinian Union of Charitable Associations in Jerusalem since 1965. In addition, the management of the Association has been carried out by a delegated administrative body consisting of community leaders and other natives of the town of Beit Hanina.
The people of Beit Hanina donated a total of 150 donums (~37 Acres) to the Association for the construction of a number of educational institutions, with the intention to establish a university in Beit Hanina. The people of Beit Hanina at home and abroad have provided the necessary funding to establish such educational institutions. The Association has since built a number of facilities, such as the Rural Teachers Institute (دار المعلمين الريفية) which is accredited with the graduation of a large number of teachers who have spread their knowledge around the Arab world, as well as the Beit Hanina Primary School. Other facilities built by the Association include Shouman Mosque, The Dawa Mosque, and a number of parks and recreational areas. All these facilities are the property of the Association of Beit Hanina, and have been officially and legally registered with the official land registration offices.
Immediately after the establishment, the Association built the Rural Teachers Institute building, and then in 1951, the Association built another facility close to the first one. Natives of Beit Hanina used to call this building “Al-Manzil” (the Dormitory) since it was used as a residence for the students of the “Rural Teachers Institute”.
In 1965, the BLCEA leased “Al-Manzil” building to the college of business management.
After the 1967 war, the building housing the “Rural Teachers Institute” became an elementary school managed by the municipality of Jerusalem – see later the case that the Association opened in the courts to get back this building from the municipality of Jerusalem –
“Al-Manzil” building remained closed for few years until it was lent based on some conditions to the College of Dawa wa Osool Aldeen. In 1996 and after the college of Dawa wa Osool Aldeen had left the building, BLCEA decided to lend the building to Al-Quds University.
In the early 1990’s, The Association has built Masjid Shouman, which is a two-storey building and has the capacity for more one thousand worshipers.
One of the previous projects is Masjid Addawa and number of sports playgrounds and other facilities.
Since the establishment of the Association, it aimed to develop the town of Beit Hanina and serve its residents by founding many educational, cultural, health and agricultural institutions. Currently, the Association concentrates on
- The preservation of Association lands and facilities.
- To reach fair agreements with the occupants and tenants of all buildings and facilities.
- The establishment of additional educational and cultural institutions, as well as sports and health facilities to serve the residents of Beit Hanina.