Courtesy of Club Palestino
The Palestinian Club was founded on September 28, 1938, with the aim of being the meeting place for Palestinians in Chile. We strive daily to create new venues for culture, sports, entertainment, and work; to use our spaces in the best way possible; and to provide the best service to our members. Currently, the Club is located on 10.5 hectares, where there are courts for foosball, tennis, paddleball, and squash, as well as skating rinks, swimming pools, a gym and sauna, and children’s playgrounds. There are 7 hectares of gardens along with cafeterias and dining rooms in which various celebrations can be held.
Our Club is mainly focused on receiving Arab members, as it aspires to be a place where Palestinian Arab cultural values and traditions can be preserved, developed, and promulgated, through language courses, and traditional dances and foods. For this reason, 88 percent of our more than four thousand members are of Arab origin. However, there is also a smaller percentage of non-Arab members, who must be presented by two active members and have their membership approved by the central board of the Club.
Of the cultural activities, the Arabic language classes stand out (taught by Omar Salamé, who has studied at the Institute of Languages of Bethlehem University) as do the Club’s dabkeh group, which also gives classes to our members, and the Arabic dance classes (taught by Teresa Saba). In addition, for over five years, we have been holding “Nights of Traditions” every Thursday, during which our members with their families can enjoy live Arabic music, dances, and good traditional cuisine, in a relaxed atmosphere. Moreover, the Club houses the Palestinian Ladies Store, where various typical Palestinian items or items related to the Palestinian cause are sold, with the proceeds going toward educational scholarships for children and youth in Palestine.
Sports activities, a competitive spirit, and healthy habits play an important role in the lives of our members, which is why the Club’s sports committee has enhanced the existing activities and also added new ones. This year, our members have been participating in football, basketball, and volleyball schools (for men and women, and for different ages), figure skating, tae kwon do, aikido, yoga, belly dancing (for children and adults), and power fit for children.
Thus, the Club is a second home to its members, where birthdays, marriages, baptisms, as well as other events and festivities are typically celebrated. In addition, we organize various social events, such as the celebration of Children’s Day, with food stands, inflatable games, face painting, and storytelling; the celebration of the Chilean National Holidays, with games, music, and traditional Chilean and Palestinian dances; and the New Year party, with dinner, a DJ and a live Arab orchestra.
Finally, our Club is a source of unconditional assistance to all Chilean organizations and institutions that provide support and conduct dissemination work for the Palestinian cause. Accordingly, our Club sits on the board of the Palestinian Community in Chile, taking part in its decision-making process.
The Palestinian Club is the soul of the Palestinian Community of Chile. It is the home of all Palestinians in Chile, and where Arab and Palestinian institutions throughout the country are welcomed and integrated. It is where they all meet and work together for the Palestinian cause, where they come together in a single voice that represents our longing as Palestinians for a free Palestine.