The Pool: Re-activating Connections
Contributors: Saleh Khannah, Ala’a Al-Homouz

“Since Arroub refugee camp is over-crowded, with almost no public space, providing an inviting common location for social gathering will allow the inhabitants to spend more time outdoors. The Popular Committee is interested in developing organic agriculture and aquaponics in order to provide the inhabitants with healthier fruits, vegetables, and fish, which is greatly lacking in the West Bank due to blocked access to the sea. A proposed meeting point structure will provide information, workshops and general didactic activities regarding the historic site, the surrounding area and the benefits of organic food, while the cultural programming will allow Arroub, characterized by its rural isolation, to enjoy moments that are normally not accessible. This also provides the potential for the inhabitants to change the way they perceive and represent camp beyond its circumscribed limits.”

04 | The Pool (PDF)

The initiatives included in these booklets are the result of a collective effort made by the Campus in Camps participants in dialogue with community members, associations and collaborators. They have been inspired through dialogue with Sandi Hilal, Munir Fasheh, Alessandro Petti and activated with Tamara Abu Laban, BraveNewAlps, Ayman Khalifah, Matteo Guidi, Sara Pellegrini, Giuliana Racco, Diego Segatto, Dena Qaddumi.

Related Activities

→October 25, 2012- In Between Camps
A two-day trek from the Herodian Pool in Arroub to Solomon’s pools in Irtas searching for the traces of an Ancient Roman aqueduct became the pretense for moments of reflection on different aspects of relations concerning space, time, people, landscape and so forth. The experience was documented with texts, photographs, maps and video resulting in the Collective Dictionary issue Relation.
Contributors: Saleh Khannah, Ibraheem Jawabreh, Matteo Guidi, Giuliana Racco, Diego Segatto, BraveNewAlps, Sara Pellegrini, Thayer Hastings, Ismael Al-Bis

→ December, 4, 2012- Cleaning and Claiming
Arroub Roman pool one later: after walking from Arroub refugee camp to Solomon’s Pools, near Dheisheh refugee camp, the same group cleaned the basin hoping to instigate interest in this historically important site as well as a desire to see it regenerated and transformed into a common space for a variety of uses and activities.

→ December, 5, 20, 2012-International Academy of Art in Palestine, Ramallah
The ‘Relation Group’ received an invitation from the academy to presen ‘In Between Camps’, a video documenting the walk from Arroub to Irtas, tracing the ancient aqueduct.

→ February, 14, 2013- Aquaponics
The idea to develop an aquaponics system was not only to produce organic food, but also to draw attention to the site (the pool). Research involving visits to existing examples in Jenin and Jericho provided the possibility to consider installing such a system inside the pool.

→ February, 18, 2013- Designing the Dome
Presentation of the idea to install a construction within the pool, functioning as as a meeting and information point.

→March 12, 2013- CIC Arroub Office Meeting
Saleh and Ala’a arranged a place in Arroub refugee camp to explain the idea of Campus in Camps and involve community participation.

→ July, 21, 2013- Invisible Disparities
Ernesto Klar (U.S.A./Venezuela) is an artist and educator based in New York City. After he was introduced to the pool initiative on the Campus in Camps website, he contacted Saleh and visited the Arroub pool as part of his project Invisible Disparities:

→ September 12, 2013- Reality and Future: The Ancient Roman Pool
The participants of Campus in Camps organized the event “Reality and Future of Berket Al-Arroub, the Ancient Roman Pool” to discuss the initiatives and understand the current reality of this historical patrimony as well as the future challenges along the path of re- generating this space as a common area for community-based events and activities

→ The Pool Campaign
October 10, 2013- Meeting The School parliament
The Pool group: Saleh, Ala’a, Nida’a, Bisan and Ayat met with the Girl’s School Parliament to introduce the campaign based on the pool booklet and the previous activities. The girls welcomed the idea and agreed to hold other meetings to prepare the practical steps.

October, 22, 2013- Presentation: The Pool, The Plaza and The Stadium
After presenting the three initiatives and making plans for the next steps, the group came up with several suggestions: walking to communicate, cleaning the pool, planting, gathering and learning in the pool.

November, 7, 2013- Walk to Communicate, to Know and to Narrate
The Pool Campaign group: the five Campus in Camps participants together with the school girls decided to explore the ancient aqueduct that once provided water to Jerusalem. They called themselves the “water drops” and began tracing the system from “Fradis” water spring as it approaches the pool of Arroub.
gils walking-web
More Photos

Related in Press

→, August 13, 2013
Tracing a line through a fractured Palestine, from Arroub to Bethlehem [English]

Al-Ayam Newspaper, March 18, 201
Read the article [Arabic]

→ PNN, Palestinian News Network, March 16,1013
Read the article [Arabic]