The Palestinian homeland is not just a nation built on resistance and fight, it is also a land made of people who have achieved, succeeded and paved an inspirational path for others to trek. Many of these figures are women who defied the odds and fought back. Here are five women who represent a lot of what many Palestinians want to come to light.
She may have been born and raised in the UK but it was her homeland of Palestine that spurred her to make a career shift from working at a corporate office to becoming a full-fledged filmmaker. There was even a time when she made her way back to Palestine in 2013. The life-changing trip was quite eye opening, “I really understood the extent of the racism, military occupation and apartheid [under Israel’s occupation]. I was feeling quite disturbed,” described Nabulsi. That was how her Academy Award-nominated film, The Present, came to life, one that dives into the story of a Palestinian father who puts his life in danger by navigating through checkpoints of the Israeli-occupied West Bank to buy his wife a present. Her films give viewers an untapped look into the tragedies of Palestine.
Known as the Palestinian teen who went viral in 2017 for slapping an Israeli soldier, Tamimi is one of the many beacons of resistance across Palestine. Since then she was hailed as a hero as she faced many hardships but never held back. At one point, Israeli forces arrested and tried Tamimi in an Israeli military court where she was sentenced to eight months in prison. Today, she was yet again arrested during an army raid because of suspicion of terrorism. Facing tragedy after tragedy, Tamimi continues to showcase how Palestinians will always fight back.
Exemplifying royalty at its finest, Queen Rania exemplifies the grace of being in a position of power. Born to Palestinian parents, she had to flee Kuwait after the Gulf War. She then settled in Jordan, where she married King Abdullah of Jordan and became the Queen. Since then, she has been taking on an active role in promoting education as well as empowering women’s leadership and speaking up for refugees. Knowing the current struggle happening today in Palestine, Queen Rania spoke up in a series of sharp and heartfelt posts against the violence and ongoing genocide. In her exact words, she said, “Whenever Israel commits these atrocities, it comes under the banner of self-defense, but when there is violence by Palestinians, it is immediately called terrorism.”
Wielding the power of words, Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan took pen to paper to inscribe Palestine’s political climate and struggle. Beyond that, she was present at a time when only men wrote poetry and so she took it upon herself to shatter and challenge the patriarchal and male-dominated society. All her pieces were written with daring honesty and in the 20s and 30s, she addressed the role of women during those time periods as well as their lack of educational and cultural opportunities. Along with that, her poems also poignantly described the Palestinian struggle. She’d inscribe powerful phrases like “When the roof fell on Palestine, the veil fell from the face of the Nablus women.” Reading her work will give you a special window into the struggle and history of Palestine.
Known as the harbinger of hope, Palestinian economist Hind Khoury was an important figure in bolstering the Palestinian nation. She was the delegate general of the Palestine Liberation Organization in France from March 2006 until June 2010, meaning that she had a big role in enforcing policies for the nation. Along with her work within Palestine, she was also sent to France to represent the Palestinian state. Having such a major role within the political landscape of her country meant that she exemplified a key role in bolstering the nation.
Looking back at all these female figures, one cannot help but notice how each one showcased that through hard work and perseverance, one can pave a path toward success.