Following their dreams: Voices and portraits from Palestinian women

Photographers:

Samar Hazboun

Samar Abu Elouf

The topic is Palestinian Women challenging traditional gender norms.

We have interviewed and took pictures of some women who play non-traditional roles (there is a soccer trainer in Gaza, a businesswoman, a scientist, bus driver, etc…).

In this series of portraits and testimonies, Palestinian women can speak by themselves.

Through their voices we can build the story tale about how they become resilient and about the future they want.

The upcoming exhibition aims to put face, name and voice to women in a vulnerable situation and offers us the opportunity of highlighting key messages:

The necessity of promote transformative change for more inclusive and equitable societies.

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are at the very core of principled and effective humanitarian action.

The importance of facilitate the active participation and leadership of women and girls in humanitarian action and beyond.

Samar Hazboun

Zuhra poses for a picture on top of a building close to her house at the Dheisheh Refugee camp in Bethlehem, on February 15, 2020.

Zuhra writes down lyrics to a song as she sits on her bed in her bedroom at the Dheisheh Refugee camp in Bethlehem, on February 15, 2020.

Wafaa Khater, Academic staff  member at the physics department at Birzeit university, looks into the camera on August 17, 2020 in the city of Ramallah.

Mai Thawabteh is seen sewing at her workshop in Beit Fajjar on March 3, 2020.

Mai Thawabteh looks towards a tree outside her home in Beit Fajjar on March 3, 2020.

“Every morning when my son wakes up, I take him out of his bed and see the view outside the window. All I see is the Israeli sniper watchtower as a part of the separation wall. And it scares me…I’m afraid of what kind of future my son may have”.

Nabeel’s mother wanted her son’s reality to be photographed. It remains a mystery what the children who grow behind the wall will be like and what effect this wall will have on them.

“In my work I try to stay away from politics and I don’t want my work to be directly connected to the occupation. But getting rid of the effect it has on me seems rather impossible as the occupation became a part of us/our daily lives. I use the moon as a metaphor where it only allows me to hide one day of the month only, when it’s a full moon. When it becomes half moon or a cresent I can no longer hide and this is exactly how my story with the occupation goes…”

Dima is a French language teacher at a university in Palestine. In her freetime she draws and paints.

Shiraz’s family belongs to a religious minority which causes a lot of political tensions. She has different political views and opposes those imposed on her by the community. When she’s around relatives she has to behave in a certain way, when she’s within the community another. Her life is full of chairs she’s expected to forcefully fit…

Aden holds a plant covered in a glass reflecting a political state she was once in when she was sheltered from the truth, a state of lack of knowledge that she was once in: “hidden from the truth of where I live, like a plant inside a closet. Destined to live the rest of its life believing these convenient lies that were a result of the occupation”

Samar Abu Elouf

Iman Abu Ali, 26 years old, sits at her desk inside the restaurant that she manages, she is following up the tasks, files and transactions from. She is the first woman to owns a restaurant to serve women in the Gaza Strip and Khan Yunis in particular, especially in the eastern regions of Khan Yunis, which is characterized by highly conservative population. 10/03/2020.

“ايمان أبو علي ” 26 عام، تتابع المهام والمعاملات المالية والادارية للمطعم الذي تملكه وتديره في غزة. وتعتبر أيمان اول سيدة تفتح مطعم خاص بالسيدات في قطاع غزة ومدينة خانيونس بالتحديد، وتحديداً في المناطق الشرقية لمدينة خانيونس التي تتسم بالتزامها بعادات وتقاليد محافظة جدا. 10/03/2020

Alaa Al-Amor, 26, from Gaza City, is the first female soccer coach in Gaza to sit with her friend in the yard of the baseball field after completing a training in which she was participating as a player.

الاء العمور” 26 عام من مدينة غزة اول مدربة كرة قدم للفتيات في غزة تجلس مع صديقتها في ساحة ملعب البيسبول بعد انتهاء تدريب كانت تشارك فيه كلاعبة.

Alaa Al-Amor, 26, from Gaza City, is the first female soccer coach in Gaza to play with her friends on the seashore after walking on the Gaza Corniche.

الاء العمور” 26 عام من مدينة غزة اول مدربة كرة قدم للفتيات في غزة تلعب مع صديقاتها على شاطئ البحر بعد ممارسة رياضة المشي على شواطء غزة.

Maha Al-Ra’i, in her fifties, is one of the women who defied cancer. She sits in one of the halls of the center that she runs for the Association for Culture and Free Thought, following up on business contacts.

مها الراعي” في الخمسينات من عمرها وهي احدى السيدات التي تحدت مرض السرطان، تجلس في احدى قاعات المركز الذي تقوم بإدارته لجمعية الثقافة والفكر الحر تتابع اتصالات العمل.

Maha Al-Ra’i, in her fifties, is one of the women who has defied cancer. She looks at her photo in her cell phone while she is receiving treatment in Jordan while she is on the treatment bed.

مها الراعي” في الخمسينات من عمرها وهي احدى السيدات التي تحدت مرض السرطان، تنظر الى صورتها في المحتفظة فيها بهاتفها المحمول اثناء تلقيها العلاج في الاردن وهي على سرير العلاج.

Alaa Al-Amour, 26, from Gaza City, is the first female soccer coach in Gaza. The players gather around her to check on her after falling to the ground during a training match with the trainees on the field in central Gaza.

الاء العمور” 26 عام من مدينة غزة اول مدربة كرة قدم للفتيات في غزة، تلتف اللاعبات حولها للاطمئنان عليها بعد الوقوع ارضا خلال مباراة تدريبية مع المتدربات في ارض الملعب وسط غزة.

Maha Al-Ra’i, in her fifties, is one of the women who defied cancer. She practices every morning before starting her work in the institution that she runs, and some of the girls and children who come to practice at the institution.

مها الراعي” في الخمسينات من عمرها وهي احدى السيدات التي تحدت مرض السرطان، تمارس كل يوم رياضة صباحية قبل البدء بمهام العمل في ساحة المؤسسة التي تدريها، ويشاركها هنا في الرياضة الصباحية بعض الطفلات والاطفال الذين يأتون للتدرب في المؤسسة.

Iman Salem, 34, while training some children from one of the schools on preparing the drawings that they use in making animation films, and she is one of thr three women who established a manual animation project in the Gaza Strip.

 إيمان سالم” 34 عام أثناء تدريب بعض الطفلات والأطفال من احدى المدارس على تجهيز الرسومات التي يستخدمونها في صناعة افلام الانيميشن، وهي واحدة من ثلاث سيدات انشأن مشروع صناعة افلام الانيميشن يدويا في قطاع غزة.

Iman Salem, 34, while training children to compose an animation film inside the box designated for manual filmmaking Or handmade films.

 إيمان سالم” 34 عام أثناء تدريب بعض الطفلات والأطفال على تركيب قصة فيلم انيمشن داخل الصندوق المخصص لصناعة الأفلام يدويا.

Laila Tayeh is a forty-year-old woman and the first female carpenter in a Bedouin village in the northern Gaza Strip, standing on a wood-cutting machine inside the carpentry that she is running.

ليلى تايه” هي سيدة في الأربعين من عمرها وهي اول سيدة نجارة داخل قرية بدوية شمال قطاع غزة، تقف على الة لتقطيع الخشب داخل المنجرة التي تقوم بادارتها.

Laila Tayeh is softening and cools the wood on the machine in the carpentry that she runs.

ليلى تايه” تقوم بتنعيم وبرد الخشب على الالة المخصصة لهذا العمل داخل المنجرة التي تديرها.

Laila Tayeh is with her child, who came to her inside the carpentry to see his mother to ask for his pokect money form her, even though he was sick and had an operation on his ear.

 ليلى تايه” مع طفلها الذي اتى اليها داخل المنجرة ليرى امه وياخذ منها مصروفه، رغم انه مريض وكان قد اجرى عملية في اذنه.

Laila Tayeh supervises the workflow and carries out the tasks and follow-up in the carpentry that she runs.

 ليلى تايه” تشرف على سير العمل وتقوم المهمام والمتابعة في المنجرة التي تديرها

Sawsan Al-Khalili supervises the basketball training for women with disabilities, and they exchange support and laughter on the playground.

 سوسن الخليلي” تشرف على تدريب كرة السلة لذوات الاعاقة، يتبادلون الدعم والمساندة والضحك في ساحة الملعب.

Alaa Al-Amour, The football coach blows the whistle while training the girls on the playground.

الاء العمور” مدربة كرة القدم تطلق الصافرة اثناء تدريب الفتيات في الملعب .

Maha Al-Ra’i stands in front of her office window in the morning at the institution before starting the work.

 مها الراعي” تقف امام نافذة مكتبها صباحا داخل المؤسسة قبل بدء العمل.