Perched some 880m above sea level, Ramallah means God’s Hills in Arabic. It is a fitting name for the city that became the administrative centre for the Government of the State of Palestine, the Palestine National Authority (PNA), which was established in 1994. Ramallah is relatively small area (21 Square Kms) with a population estimated at 80,000. The city is surrounded by 80 localities (towns and villages).   

Located approximately 16km north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, Ramallah was originally established in the mid-1500s by the Haddadin family as a Christian enclave. It grew throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as a predominantly agricultural village, and by the mid-1800s, missionary groups built different schools and churches. More people moved to the newly incorporated city in the early 1900s, attracted by high living standards that resulted from developing trade routes with the USA. Since then, our prosperity, continuity and identity have been tested through separate periods of occupation and mass immigration. Today, the West Bank remains under Israeli occupation, meaning we lack control over Palestinian resources that are crucial for our resilience, including mobility, land and water.

Despite Israeli occupation in 1967, Ramallah is proud, growing and cosmopolitan city. As the seat of the Government of the State of Palestine, our city is a base for many major organisations, including NGOs and banks.  It is also home to a burgeoning arts and cultural scene. We are a city that embraces diversity, free exchange of ideas, creativity, and respects the human and cultural rights of its residents and visitors.

Ramallah also has an increasingly international outlook. Not only are we proud to be part of the 100 Resilient Cities network, but we also have formal connections with  31 cities from all over the globe, such as Toulouse in France, Hounslow in England, Buenos Aries in Argentina, and Johannesburg in South Africa. Through these connections we seek to represent the voice of our city, share knowledge and help implement best practice initiatives for our citizens.

Shocks and Stresses

  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Blizzard
  • Climate Change
  • Disease Outbreak
  • Drought
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Ethnic Inequality
  • Fire
  • Inadequate Educational Systems
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Lack of Green Space
  • Political Instability
  • Poor Governance / Regulatory Climate
  • Population Growth / Overpopulation
  • Poverty
  • Power Outage
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Riot / Civil Unrest
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Traffic Congestion
  • Unemployment
  • Water Insecurity

Meet The Chief Resilience Officer

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Dr. Shaheen was a professor of public health, with an interest an enabling environment for people to make their own choices in life. Dr. Shaheen has helped establish the school of public health and a community-based health training and research center affiliated with Alquds University in Palestine. He is a co-founder of the Palestinian health policy forum to advocate for policies responsive to the needs of Palestinians. He participated in initiating and managing several health, environmental and psychosocial programs addressing the needs and priorities of disadvantaged groups in villages, refugee camps and urban areas in the West Bank, Gaza and some countries in the MENA region. These efforts helped put the public health model on the agenda of decision makers at the local, national and regional levels.

Dr. Shaheen’s involvement in 100 resilient cities’ initiative comes from initiating (on voluntary basis) the idea and the application for Ramallah to become a member of the first 33 cities joining the 100 Resilient Cities with unconditional support from the city Mayor, Director and staff. Dr. Shaheen sees this initiative as a great opportunity for Ramallah, Palestine and the global community to engage in a continuous learning journey that can further build the resilience of people around the globe including Palestinians who are facing continuous political, security and other natural-related stresses.

Snapshot of Ramallah

  • 27,091

    Population as of 2007

Around the World

Explore cities facing similar resilience challenges to Ramallah.

  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Blizzard
  • Climate Change
  • Disease Outbreak
  • Drought
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Ethnic Inequality
  • Fire
  • Inadequate Educational Systems
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Lack of Green Space
  • Political Instability
  • Poor Governance / Regulatory Climate
  • Population Growth / Overpopulation
  • Poverty
  • Power Outage
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Riot / Civil Unrest
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Traffic Congestion
  • Unemployment
  • Water Insecurity
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