The Domari Society of Romani people in Jerusalem, founded in 1999, is the only organization in Palestine dedicated to the empowerment of the Domari Romani people. The Society works at the grassroots level to serve the social, cultural, and educational needs of this minority community, which has long suffered from discrimination, neglect, and poverty as with their counterparts in Europe. Focusing on women and children, the Society provides tutorial services for school children, vocational training for women, and literacy courses for adults. Domari people in the Middle East and North Africa arrived in the region after their exodus from India in several migratory waves. In Palestine, small communities of Domari can be found across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In Jerusalem, the Domari people settled inside the Old City, in the Bab al-Hutta neighborhood near the Lion's Gate. Through centuries of their presence in the region, the Domari people have grown their roots and largely assimilated in the mainstream Palestinian culture. The Domaris today are Muslims and speak the Arabic language. Although the nomadic lifestyle and the Domari language have largely been forgotten, Domari's identity can still be found in their customs, food, and crafts. The Society began its partnership with Sunbula in the fall of 2008 through the product development training for the women artisans. Domari handicrafts and jewlery are a unique blend of local Palestinian culture and Domari's vibrant heritage. The Society also runs the catering project Domari Gypsy Kitchen. Sunbula supports this initiative through 'Lunch Deli in the Garden', a regular weekday event that offers home-cooked Palestinian meals for takeaway.
Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem
10 Shafat Road, Jerusalem
Telefax: (+972) 02-532-4510