AJEEC-NISPED (Arab-Jewish Center for Empowerment, Equality, and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Economic Development) is an Arab-Jewish organization for social change that was established in the Negev in 2000. The organization is made up of a joint team of Arabs and Jews who work together to create an equal, shared society, which allows Arabs and Jews to coexist while preserving their identity and culture. Currently, the organization operates in civil society all over Israel and in cross-border programs.
The organization’s goal is to promote leadership and social involvement among teenagers and youth in Arab society, community development in the Arab-Bedouin sector in the Negev, and development of a shared society for Arabs and Jews throughout Israel.
The Arabic word “ajeec” means “I am coming to you,” and this is the principle that motivates us – we approach each other. We do everything possible to get to know, explain, understand, join forces, and move forward together for a better common future for all of us!
We believe that teenagers and youth are the main resource for achieving equality and promoting the Arab society in Israel. Like the rest of their community, young Arab men and women face multiple challenges, including educational gaps, lack of government infrastructure and services, relatively low employment rates, a rising phenomenon of violence, and more. Many of these youth are at risk.
Socio-economic development in the Arab-Bedouin society in the Negev has been one of AJEEC’s primary areas of concern since its establishment.
Our ultimate goal is to create a shared space for both communities to live together while preserving their respective identities and cultures.
An underlying tenet of our collaborative work is that there is a direct and strong correlation between the improvement of communities’ socio-economic conditions and the resolution of conflicts between them.
NISPED was the original part of the organization; AJEEC grew out of it later as a new initiative. Today, its role is to work with international development, conducting training courses and advancing regional and international initiatives involving community resilience, leadership development and conflict resolutio