Our Story

The House of Palestine is a cultural, organization, connecting people to the traditions of Palestine. The House of Palestine plans to promote the culture and history of Palestine and its people, by hosting various social activities featuring Palestinian traditional costumes, dance, poetry, music, arts and crafts, and ethnic foods. It is our wish that these activities serve as instruments to help us educate visitors and further acceptance and tolerance among our fellow human beings. The House of Palestine, in addition to fostering Palestinian culture, will provide a meeting ground for Palestinians and friends of Palestine, in an effort to bring people together in friendship

In the summer of 2002, a devoted Palestinian volunteers led by artist Doris Bittar, filled an application to include building a House of Palestine (HOP) in the next phase of adding new cottages representing the world nations in addition to the existing 34 already built cottages. Our first HOP board was formed and was presided by Lana Khoury. With everyone on the board, they outlined bylaws following the guidelines of House of Pacific Relations (HPR).

In 2003, our first presence in the Balboa Park with our Palestinian flag flying high on our food tent. This was the beginning of exposing our San Diego community and visitors to our delicious Palestinian Falafel, Shawarma, Mujadara and more dishes from our cuisine. 

From 2004 and on, House of Palestine, displayed their art & craft, embroidery (Tatreez) at the Hall of Nations (HON) on Sundays from 1-4 pm.

In 2005, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes House of Palestine as a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 20-0156074. It was retroactive to July 2003 

2015 is the year of the centennial celebration of the 1915 Pan -am California Exposition. We, as House of Palestine Community, were to break ground in December 2015, making our cottage an inseparable part of the Park’s rich history. In February 2015 Ghassan Saudi, a Palestinian Engineer, assumed the responsibility of construction manager & was able to assemble a design & construction team New International Cottages Committee (NICC).

In December 2015, our long- awaited groundbreaking ceremony was led by Mayor Faulconer and other dignitaries of the city, came true.

November 2016 the grounding ceremony took place. Mr. Adnan Salah as a representative of House of Palestine for NICC while Karem Elhams, a Palestinian engineer was given the responsibility of construction manager to represent the NICC during the construction period at Balboa Park.

August 2021 a celebration of opening 9 new cottages was attended by city leaders like Mayor Todd Gloria, Senate President Pro Temp Toni Atkins, Assembly member Chris Ward and other local dignitaries. Representing our House of Palestine, Mr. Tayseer Odeh, president of House of Palestine, announced that "after 20 years of putting up our food tent year after year, we have our permanent cottage with our Palestinian flag flying high."

September 2021, we had our official Flag Raising ceremony for our house with passionate speeches, overwhelming attendance of over 1000 attendees, delicious Palestinian food and deserts. Hundreds of our community members visited our house for the first time.
Currently, HOP is fully functioning and open, every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, for the community and visitors to show case our history and culture.