The Excellence Center in Palestine

The Excellence Center

About

The Excellence Center was established in June 2011 as a youth initiative to offer educational and community services to its diverse group of internationals and Palestinians. It is located in the main heart of Hebron on Ein Sarah street which is under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority.

The Excellence Center invites internationals year round to come to Palestine to volunteer, intern, visit or study Arabic. The Center organizes educational, cultural and community activities to introduce international interns, volunteers and students to Palestinian culture and daily life. Participants in the international programs have the opportunity to meet the local Palestinians who will share their lives and culture. Since the beginning, the Excellence Center has hosted over 250 international volunteers, interns and students from every corner of the world.

The Excellence Center is fully licensed as a cultural and educational center by the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

Founded
2011
Headquarters

Ein Sarah Street across from Al Hussein High School
Hebron
Palestinian Territories

Reviews

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Emily
10/10

If you're looking to learn Arabic, please come to the Excellence Center. Everyone here is very relaxed and welcoming, and prior knowledge of Arabic is not necessary. I have spent just one week learning here at the Excellence Center, and, in just this short time, I have learned and experienced so much. Both the culture of Palestine and the Palestinian dialect are incredibly beautiful, and the people are welcoming and helpful around every corner.

At the Center, you can go on excursions in and around the city every day, and the trip to get to Hebron is not difficult. The atmosphere here is very relaxed and friends are made easily. You also have the opportunity to live with a host family, which allows you to further your cultural understanding and practice Arabic every day.

I've learned more in the amazing week than ever before in my studies. I've also made life-long friends. In the future, I will definitely come back to the Excellence Center to participate in the volunteer program and improve my Arabic knowledge. I hope to see you here!

-Emily Roberts

Yes, I recommend
Caroline
9/10

The Teach English and Learn Arabic the Excellence Center has to offer is great. Us volunteers have the opportunity of leading activities with a wide range of Palestinian English students on various topics. It is a lot of fun to organize activities on subjects for which we are passionate about, but also to hear about what our students want to discuss. Along with these classes, we also receive one on one Arabic classes. I did not expect to be alone with my teacher, which is perfect because we can go through the lessons at my own pace, but also to learn about the Palestinian dialect, offering me a real chance to integrate and participate in the community. The host family the Center has found me is also a big contributor to my experience being so enriching. My host parents, brothers and sisters are always there to help me and happy to receive at their dining table every night. I have mostly enjoyed being part of the family during the time of Ramadan. They were very encouraging of my fasting for the first time and doing iftar (breaking fast) with them has made my difficult days more than worth it.

How can this program be improved?
During Ramadan, things are a little bit up in the air. It is understandable, but I wish we had a more tangible work schedule during this period.
Yes, I recommend
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Bryan
10/10

I love the Excellence Center. It helps local Palestinians learn English and gives international volunteers a chance to experience Palestinian culture and hospitality. It is a good way to see the occupation first hand and support people living under apartheid. You will makes friends for a life time, while improving your Arabic and teaching skills. I highly recommend anyone joining the Palestine Excellence Center.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Luke
9/10

I spent 2 weeks volunteering in Hebron in March at very short notice (I was already in Palestine at the time), with Rafat and all the staff being extremely accommodating and welcoming of me in every possible way. The volunteering schedules allowed for very worthwhile work whilst also ensuring enough free time to explore Hebron. The other volunteers were always both amazingly friendly and very interesting, and the house I shared with the other male volunteers was lovely and very well-located.

It was a truly eye-opening experience in so many ways, and all of the trips that Excellence Center organised (such as to the keffiyeh factory, al-Ibrahimi mosque and the ceramics factory) enabled me to explore parts of Palestinian society that I otherwise may never have considered. The locals were often just as welcoming as those involved with the Center, and I spent many fun evenings outside of the Center with some of the students that I had been working with.

There were periods when there were tensions in the Old City of Hebron due to escalations between Israel and Gaza, but nonetheless any violence is generally very localised and possible to avoid if you so wish. All in all, I had the most fantastic time imaginable and I’m extremely thankful to Osama, Rafat, Ahlam and all the wonderful staff, volunteers and others that made this such a fascinating trip. Thanks a lot!

How can this program be improved?
I think that forming greater links between volunteers and other charitable organisations working in Hebron could allow for those with free time to help out even more on the side if they would like to.
Yes, I recommend
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Matt
9/10

My name is Matt. I’m from Utah, USA and I’m studying Information Systems at Brigham Young University. I had a wonderful experience at the Excellence Center in Hebron. I did the month-long internship program here at the Center. It was incredible. I didn’t know any Arabic at all when I came, but the instruction was really helpful and I was able to hold a conversation by the end of my time here. The staff do a great job creating a friendly and comfortable environment. They were very accommodating with our schedule, allowing us to explore the things we wanted to while still giving us responsibilities and opportunities to serve. They’ve become my good friends and I’m sure we’ll stay in contact. I got to go see Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, and even took time to go to Petra, Jordan. Almost everyone is really friendly here and wants to help you feel welcome. I felt safe throughout my time here and I’ve so much enjoyed seeing daily life here. The Palestinians are a happy people, even in the face of many difficulties. My favorite experience here was getting chased by on ostrich in the town of Kharas. True story! Palestine has left a lasting impression on me of really good people and a vibrant lifestyle. I’m so glad I came and would recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure.

Yes, I recommend

Programs

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