The Arab Thought Forum (ATF) is committed to the belief that state structures must be developed to serve and be responsive to an active and critical public, which is conscious of its obligations and duties, as well as its rights and entitlements
In a meeting chaired by president Abbas at the Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah the National Committee to Prepare for Celebrating Jerusalem as Capital of Arab Culture in 2009 was announced. President Abbas said that selecting Jerusalem as a cultural capital for 2009 shows the major importance and interest in our Holy City and spoke of the increasingly Jewish identity of the city. He said there was much work to be done before the celebrations interms of commitees and their work. He expressed hope that the National Committee would succeed with its aims and start its work as soon as possible, stressing that he would provide all his support for the committee to achieve its goals.
The presidential decree was read and discussions stressed the need to organize the work of the committee and formulating the vision and concepts and means of follow up and implementation of the decree in a professional and effective manner. The Presidential Decree stipulates the formation of the National Committee with President Abbas as the Supreme Head and poet Mahmoud Darweesh as Head of the Committee with forty seven members.