Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands. A person from Glasgow is known as a Glaswegian, which is also the name of the local dialect. Glasgow grew from the medieval Bishopric of Glasgow and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, which subsequently became a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century.
From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with British North America and the British West Indies. With the industrial revolution, the city and surrounding region became one of the world's pre-eminent centers of heavy engineering, most notably in shipbuilding and marine engineering, producing many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was known as the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian and Edwardian period. Today it is one of Europe's top twenty financial centers and is home to many of Scotland's leading businesses. Glasgow is also ranked as the 57th most livable city in the world.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow grew to a population of over one million, and was the fourth-largest city in Europe. In the 1960s, large-scale relocation to new towns and suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes, have reduced the current population of the City of Glasgow unitary authority area to 592,000, with 1,199,629 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. The entire region surrounding the conurbation has a population of approximately 2.3m, representing 41% of Scotland's population.
Mutual exchange and cooperation between Bethlehem and Glasgow dates back 23 years, when the initial Friendship Agreement between the two cities was established. Subsequently, the Twinning Agreement, which was signed in April 2, 2007, is based on the following agreed mutual principles and aspirations:
Economic prosperity, commercial exchange and regeneration
Knowledge exchange, including initiatives in the management of municipal services, and the transfer of expertise and technology
Exchange between charitable and other agencies in the two cities
Over the past two decades, there has been a range of initiatives to develop cultural ties and knowledge exchange between the two cities. These have included mutual visits, and successful projects in the fields of arts and education. In 2012, there was a cultural tour in Glasgow by 12 youths from Aida Refugee Camp, and also a Palestinian photography exhibition at Glasgow University took place.
Funding for projects such as a Palestinian Women’s Football Project has also been received as part of the cooperative agreement. Projects in 2013 included a training program facilitated by the Scottish Fire Brigades Union, for 27 senior managers from the Palestinian Authority. During this year, there were also music and cultural events at Aida Refugee Camp provided by students from the University of Glasgow, twinned schools and education projects, and a mutual exchange between museum professionals.
In the last few years, the connection between Bethlehem and Glasgow has shown great strength. As in 2014, Glasgow has raised the Palestinian flag on its municipality’s building as a sign of compassion for the horrors of the war on Gaza on the Palestinians.
In August 2015, a delegation from Bethlehem Municipality visited Glasgow to attend the Glasgow International Youth Conference, which focused on engaging young people in politics. This event followed a decision by the Scottish government to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote and get involved in the politics arena.
A few days later, the mayor of Bethlehem, Ms. Vera Baboun, visited Glasgow to strengthen the relationship between Bethlehem and Glasgow, with the hope to enhance the work of local institutions, like Bethlehem University and Guidance and Training Center for the Child and Family. In addition to supporting Bethlehem Youth Council. Fortunately, during the same year, Glasgow supported the project of developing the profession of applied psychology in Palestine, which was implemented in cooperation with the Guidance and Training Center for the Child and Family and Bethlehem University. In addition to supporting the launch of the Oncology Nursing diploma in Bethlehem University.
In 2016, a delegation headed by the Lord Provost, Councilor Sadie Docherty, visited Bethlehem. Moreover, in the same year, former Lord Provost, Alex Mosson, enhanced the Twinning agreement by visiting the Holy Land along with a Scottish pilgrimage that donated and helped needy Bethlehemite families.