On International Women’s Day, the 8th of March 2018, the Palestinian Return Centre would like to celebrate the work and great contributions of Palestinian women throughout time. Maya Hammad, PRC Regional Researcher based in Amman introduces you to some iconic Palestinian women.
Ahed is a seventeen year-old activist from the village of Nabi Saleh, who has a long history of confronting Israeli soldiers and resisting the ever-expanding settlement projects despite her young age. She is undoubtedly the new face of the Palestinian struggle.
Ahed was arrested in December 2017 for slapping a soldier, after he had shot her cousin with a rubber bullet in the head. Ahed’s military trial has begun on the 13 of February.
Suad Al-Amiry is an architect and author known for her book: ‘Sharon and My Mother-in-Law.’ She founded the Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation, which is considered the first of its kind to work on the rehabilitation and protection of Palestine’s architectural heritage. Suad is an activist and was part of the Palestinian Peace Delegation in Washington from 1991 to 1993.
Fadwa Toukan, born in Nablus in 1917 breathed life to the Palestinian resistance through words beautifully weaved into verses and poetry. Not only that, but Toukan is considered one of the most distinguished figures of modern Arabic literature utilising free verse in a unique and innovative way.
Fadwa’s writings reaffirmed Palestinian identity, and the right of return. She wrote: ‘undoubtedly, the birds shall return. The birds shall return.’
Hanan Ashrawi has spent her life advocating for the Palestinian people and Palestinian women.
‘I think of myself essentially as a human being with a multidimensional mission. Basically, I am a Palestinian, I am a woman, I am an activist and a humanist, more than being a politician.
She was the spokesperson for the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington peace talks. She is the first woman elected to the Palestinian National Council.
Karma Nabulsi is Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations, Fellow in Politics, St Edmund Hall, Director Undergraduate Studies. She researches and publishes on the political history of revolutions and social movements in the 19th century, and Palestinian representation, especially Palestinian refugees.
Karma recently directed the The Palestinian Revolution, an Arabic-English digital teaching and research resource sponsored by the British Academy. In 2017 she won the Guardian Inspiring Leader Award.
Ghada Karmi is a doctor, author as well as academic, and is an honorary research fellow and an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.
Karmi believes the creation of Israel as involved ‘the dispossession and theft of a whole country… the only way to reverse that is on the basis of rights and justice; that is the right of the return’