What does it mean to be a Palestinian woman? Being a Palestinian woman means to have passion, courage, dignity, and an innate hunger to provide value to those around them. It’s important for us to always look back at history in time and acknowledge those who have paved the way, and with high regard, commend them for their influential and inspiring work for Palestine.
Growing up as Palestinian women and having an origin that is so beautifully profound due to the struggles that come with it, these women have proven that even the most difficult of situations can be turned into utter growth and prosperity.
Here are a few of the many BOSS Palestinian Women you NEED to know about!
Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003)
Fadwa Tukan, a beautifully well-spoken poet, is also better known as “The Poet of Palestine.” She and her brother (Ibrahim Tukan) spent their lives writing poems for their beloved Palestine.
Here is an extremely heart touching English translation from Tukan's poem “Hamza.”
Hamza was just an ordinary man
like others in my hometown
who work only with their hands for bread.
When I met him the other day,
this land was wearing a cloak of mourning
in windless silence. And I felt defeated.
But Hamza-the-ordinary said:
‘My sister, our land has a throbbing heart,
it doesn’t cease to beat, and it endures
the unendurable. It keeps the secrets
of hills and wombs. This land sprouting
with spikes and palms is also the land
that gives birth to a freedom-fighter.
This land, my sister, is a woman.’
Karima Aboud (1984-1955)
Want to talk about a boss Palestinian woman? Lets talk about the first Palestinian Christian female photographer. Karima was born in Bethlehem, but was soon displaced to Nazareth. Karima was inspired to pursue photography when she met an Armenian photographer in Jerusalem that had guided her along the path of captivating success. After her father had bought Karima her first camera, she soon reached an iconic endeavor in which she had officially had her own studio. This sparked the ability for conservative families to photograph their daughters pictures without the fear of them falling into the wrong hands. Let us take a lot at one of Karima’s jaw dropping scenic images!
Mai Ziade (1886-1941)
Mai Ziade was yet another Palestinian poet/writer that made her mark with her awe-inspiring words. Ziade was known as the first Orator not only in Palestine, but through the entirety of the Arab world. She often found that while in predominantly male oriented environments, there was every reason for her to challenge the role of intensified masculinity and push for equal rights. Here is a quote from Ziade in a time where she felt passion for equality and liberation.
“We chant beautiful words in vain, words of freedom and liberty. If you, men of the East, keep the core of slavery in your homes, represented by your wives and daughters, will the children of slaves be free?”
So, let us give Ziade a round of applause ladies (and gentlemen) for her absolute awesomeness in fighting for our equality as early as the 1800’s!
Hind Al-Husseini (1916-1994)
Every now and again when we think about the hard times of the Palestinian people in 1948, we automatically associate that occasion with the surrounding areas and where people fled to in hopes of finding safe grounds, but have you ever thought about the kids who had no one to guide them and no where to run to? Well if not don’t worry, because the incredible Hind Al-Hussinie did, and boy did she work fast for a solution that saved the lives of many. On her quest to rescue those who did not have parents to guide them to a better light, she initially gathered a total of 55 orphans who had been brutally separated from their loved ones, and provided them with the means necessary for survival when no one else thought to. Lets all take a moment to commend Al Husseini for thinking of the orphans of Palestine in the most difficult moment of their lives.
Huwaida Arraf (1976-Current)
Ever heard of a Palestinian American Women? Yeah… I know, they’re on some major boss status over here, so let us take a look at one of the many who stand out. Huwaida Arraf, is a human rights activist with the intent to bring the Palestinian struggles to light. As she gracefully works to keep the spark that is within all Palestinian people alive in America, she has been making an impact in spreading the Palestinian message of hope and restoration of our homeland through peace and placidity.
Amal Chahabi (1961-current)
Don’t you just love women who exert utter BOSS in all that they do? Then you’ll surely fall in love with Amal Chahbi. A Palestinian refugee born in Ain el Helwe camp and has a desire to provide for the elderly in the camp that she had grown up in through her childhood years. Chahabi is the head of the Amal Center that works to provide the means and tools necessary for elderly in the heart of where she grew up to live comfortably and prosper. Not to mention, Chahabi actively partakes in a women’s anti-abuse program led by the Norwegians People’s Aid. Taking care of the elderly AND women across the globe? Sounds like a true BOSS Palestinian woman to us!
Rashida Tlaib (1976-current)
A sophisticated Palestinian Woman granted the title of Congresswoman in the United States of America in a time where we needed her presence the most. Talib represents Michigan’s 13th congressional district since 2019 and does so gracefully. She not only represents Michigan, but she strives to speak up for all people who need her voice the most when they are silenced across America. Talib allows those who are shut out and disregarded to be heard through her platforms, which are flourished with those who so pride fully want to see her prosper and grow. She embodies what it means to carry a boss woman’s attitude, agenda, and aspirations as a Palestinian American Woman Representative.
Noura Erakat (1980-current)
Noura Erakat is known as a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Erakat is also the author of “Justice for Some: Law and in the Question of Palestine” which drastically raised the question, and impacted how people across the globe feel about the happenings in occupied Palestine. It is always a reassuring pleasure to see how dedicated Palestinian women are when using their broad platforms to provide education with regards to the current status of their homeland of Palestine. Erakat graciously works to inspire the public in ways that always tie her nobility as an American activist to her Palestinian Origin.
Amira Farhoud. Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writ. (2017, May 03).
Top ten strong and most Influential Palestinian women you should know about. Retrieved March 08, 2021.