Our twinning

Students with flags around street sign

A street named Nablus

The twinning between Dundee and Nablus

The twinning between Dundee and Nablus is a formal agreement between the City of Dundee and the Municipality of Nablus. The Lord Provost of Dundee and the Mayor of Nablus have the principal responsibility for this twinning which has been authorised and formalised by the City Council of Dundee and the Municipality of Nablus.

The Dundee-Nablus Twinning Association exists – at the invitation of the Lord Provost of Dundee – to assist in supporting this twinning relationship.

Our main role is to encourage friendship between people in the two cities. We help those in Dundee to understand more about the people of Nablus.

A key element is to promote collaboration between people in each city on various projects. And we encourage visits in both directions.

History of the Twinning

The idea of making a twinning link between Dundee and Nablus arose after the car of the then Mayor of Nablus, Bassam Shaka’a, was booby-trapped; he lost his legs and came to the UK to be fitted with new limbs. There had been trade union links between Dundee and Palestine for a while, so Dundee Councillor Colin Rennie, Ernie Ross MP and George Galloway met up with Bassam Shaka’a in London.

It was there that Colin Rennie suggested twinning.  On 27th November 1980 the decision to twin with Nablus was passed by the City of Dundee District Council – a courageous act in the face of considerable opposition.  Two weeks later Mayor Shaka’a came to Dundee, where Lord Provost Jim Gowans, Ernie Ross MP, and a group of students welcomed him. He brought gifts, including the shield on display in Dundee City Chambers.  By December the Palestinian flag was flying in Dundee alongside those of its other twin cities.

October 1996

Over the years several visits have taken place between the two cities, though this has become increasingly difficult. Nevertheless, in October 1996 an official Twinning document was signed in Dundee by Lord Provost Mervyn Rolfe & Mayor Ghassan Shaka’a. It said:

“By the re-affirmation of the arrangement, the two cities of Dundee and Nablus pledge that together they will actively co-operate to ensure the continuing development of close relationships between their citizens.”

Lord Provost of Dundee and Mayor of Nablus 1996

November 2005

2005 saw the 25th anniversary of the two city twinning. This event was celebrated with a party and a civic reception in Dundee where Nablus was represented by three delegates from the projects DNTA has supported in the city. Meanwhile, the DNTA convener was in Nablus, marking the occasion there. A new document was signed:

“Proud of the contribution their respective cities have made to international friendship and understanding the Lord Provost of the City of Dundee and the Acting Mayor of Nablus wish to reaffirm the twinning treaty. By the reaffirmation of this treaty the cities of both Dundee and Nablus pledge that together,

They will actively co-operate to ensure the continuing development of close relationships between the citizens.

They promise to facilitate the creation of direct links between institutions and organisations wishing to partake in twinning activity.

They will encourage exchanges between young people to ensure succeeding generations learn the history of the relationship between the cities and the role that each has played in its own national history.

They will take every opportunity to share skills and knowledge to the benefit of their respective citizens.

They undertake to convene regular meetings between representatives in order to evaluate co-operation programmes.”

Joint declaration 2005

The Dundee-Nablus Twinning Association

The Dundee-Nablus Twinning Association (DNTA) was formed in 1993 when Lord Provost Tom McDonald established an association for each of Dundee’s twin cities. Our role is to assist the Council in its twinning activities.

DNTA helps to spread news about the twinning throughout Dundee and beyond. It encourages membership, organises activities, publishes a newsletter and arranges visits to and from Nablus.

Anyone who shares our interests in promoting friendship and understanding between the people of Dundee and Nablus is welcome to join us. Please fill in our membership form or contact our Secretary.

Other twins

Dundee is also twinned with:

Nablus is also twinned with:

  • Boulder, Colorado (USA)
  • Como (Italy)
  • Dublin (Ireland)
  • Florence (Italy)
  • Khasavyurt (Russia)
  • Lille (France)
  • Naples (Italy)
  • Nazareth (Israel)
  • Poznań (Poland)
  • Rabat (Morocco)
  • Stavanger (Norway)
  • Toscana (Italy)