The Scout movement in Palestine

The Scout movement in Palestine started in 1912. The Palestinian Scout Association (Arabic: اتحاد الكشافة الفلسطيني) was recognized by the World Scout Bureau in 1945. However, recognition was withdrawn in 1949. Official recognition was restored by the World Scout Conference in 1996, and the Palestinian Scout Association serves youth throughout the State of Palestine. The headquarters are in Ramallah in the West Bank, and the International Commissioner is Dr. Fayeq H. Tahboub.

scout movement in palestine

HISTORY – In 1948, thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes and formed a Palestinian Scout Association in exile. This association was refused membership in the World Organization, but Scouting continued nonetheless. WOSM recognition of Scout movements is possible only when Scouting is active and operating within the borders of its own national state and that state having a seat in the United Nations.

In 1993, an agreement was reached and slowly land was returned to the Palestinians. The Palestinian Scout Association immediately resumed its activity in this region. Palestine was not recognized by the United Nations, but WOSM decided to give the Palestinian Scout association a special temporary status. Before the proposal was brought to a vote, the president of the Israel Scouting Federation made a statement asking the World Scout Conference to support the proposal. His speech was received with a standing ovation. The Palestinian Scout Association was accepted as an Associate WOSM Member. On 27 February 2016, the World Scout Committee recognized Palestinian Scout Association as the National Scout Organization of the State of Palestine and conferred the Association with Full WOSM Membership with voting rights. The membership certificate will be presented to the organisation in the 41st World Scout Conference, which will be conducted in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2017.

PROGRAM AND IDEALS – There are 18,738 registered members in the Palestinian Scout Association. 35% belong to school groups, and the rest to open or religious groups, predominantly Muslim and Christian.

The Scout Motto is Kun Musta’idan or كن مستعدًا, translating as Be Prepared in Arabic. The noun for a single Scout is kaššaf or كشاف in Arabic.

Tasneem Barq