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Empowering Through Skateboarding – 7Hills

Named after the 7 mountains upon which the city of Amman was built, the NGO 7Hills works on building a diverse and inclusive skate community in Jordan. By creating a safe space for marginalized and underserved communities, they bridge the gap between socio-economic, cultural, gender, and religious differences. The creation of these safe spaces contribute to the community in Amman on many different levels. We asked Kas Wauters, the program director at 7Hills, to retrace their story in 7 steps and tell us how they got to where they are today!

1. December 2014 – the construction of the 7Hills skatepark

1 7 Hills skatepark construction by mohammed Zakaria

photo by Mohammed Zakaria

In downtown Amman, an abandoned public park filled with garbage and dirt was transformed into a 650 m² concrete skatepark. During the 18-days build, professional skatepark builders came to work with local youth to teach them the craftsmanship of concrete skatepark construction.

2. September 2016 - Start of programming at the skatepark

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photo by 7Hills Team

This group photo of the first-ever skate class, with a Sudanese family. Zakaria and Kas started with skateboarding programming to provide disadvantaged youth with an outlet for physical activity and community building. As Kas said, they started with classes with Sudanese families because of the many difficulties they face in Jordan, as they do not have a refugee status. This leads to them having no support, no right to work, and exclusion from society due to heavy racism.

"The skatepark became a true community space for our Sudanese friends. It became their space to hang out, to skate, to have a good time, to feel welcome – Kas Wauters"

3. Youth leadership program launch


photo by Rihannon Bader

7Hills developed a youth leadership program to train locals and young refugees to become skate teachers, and true leaders in the community. This youth leadership program is also a way towards becoming self sustainable, gaining local ownership, while being carried on by the local habibis. The whole organization, programs, activities, events and construction projects are built with the community, for the community.

4. Growth into public space development

Basketball court

photo by 7Hills Team

In Jordan, or Amman specifically, there is a huge lack of accessible public spaces. Which means people barely have any opportunities to unwind, socialize, hang out, meet each other, have fun, skate, etc etc. The few public parks available are very inaccessible, and spaces for sport/leisure are privatized.


7 Hills decided to act upon this issue, and extend their vision into public space development. With the help of the locals, they extended the space around the skatepark to create a welcoming and accessible public square.

5. Opening of the office and the makerspace Al Raseef 153

IMG 9030

photo by 7Hills Team

Located right across the entrance of the skatepark, 7Hills aims to experiment with the space of Al Raseef 153 in and of itself. They’ve been hosting all kind of workshops for the youth of Samir Al-Rifaai park: from screen printing, building jewellery from old skateboards, and building your own ramps, to digital animation, photography, mural making, and building a slappy curb.

6. Building of Al Noor, the second skatepark in East Amman

Alnoor construction

Photo by Mohammed Zakaria

In 2021, they were able to build a second 650m2 skatepark in deep east Amman: a completely underserved, overpopulated, and industrial area. Saying that this project has been challenging for them is a big understatement. Blood, sweat and tears. In the end, the park is there, and it looks amazing!

"A big shout out to all people who have been supporting our fundraiser-campaign to make this happen! - Kas Wauters"

7. Collab with Gonz & The Skateroom


photo by Clinton Oblom

7Hills has been selected by THE SKATEROOM as the social skateboarding project to receive part of the proceeds from the limited-edition decks designed by the one and only Mark Gonzales! In Kas' words "We could not have dreamed about a better match with an artist. The Gonz!!!"

7hills team photo

the 7Hills team from left to right:
Razan, Jude, Ghassan, Zakaria, Majed, Ehab, Kas
Hakiem, Tamer

If you want to support the great work they're doing: check out their social media, go visit them in Jordan, and spread the word!