Sunday, December 2

Ajami's welfare office moving out of Ajami

Jaffa has 2 municipal welfare offices, the main one located on Jerusalem boulevard in what once was Jaffa's municipality building (prior to 1948), the other one, serving the Ajami area, in the "Talal" building on Yefet Street.

The building, also housing Jaffa's Sharia (Islamic) court and the "Mishlama", our local governance (not my word, that's what they call themselves in English) is a drab office building constructed on top of a petrol station.
The conditions in the building are far from satisfying: crowded, with little privacy and terrible air-conditioning, leading to petrol fumes in many of the rooms facing the street. No doubt unhealthy for both the employees and their clients). The rooms of the management face the sea (a lovely view, by the way, also of some of Jaffa's graveyards). I agree with the employees the building is simply not fitting. Indeed. a poor building for a poor service.
The municipality intends to send the employees in the course of this week to various municipal offices. The previous building (in nice 2-floor structure with a wonderful inner courtyard, planned for its function as welfare office) will be renovated at a cost of some 4.3 million $.
And Ajami's residents in need of the office's services? Well, they'll have to walk all the way to Jerusalem Boulevard (Nouzha) or take 2 buses, as there is no direct bus line connecting the two areas. Especially women with young children and the elderly (the majority of the office's clients) will have a hard time getting there.
There must be a better alternative. In Ajami.
It appears the municipality's economic interests are top of the list, rather than serving Jaffa's community's needs. What else is new?

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