Written by: Maria Flegas
Date: March 28th:

This week was Women’s international Day in Nablus! An incredibly fortunate time to be here, where the focus on women was strong and daily. 
Throughout this week we received the regular acknowledgements of the value of women in many facets of this society, and the support of their rise into power on many levels. 
I caught the wave myself, and shifted my facilitation to embodied storytelling – a focus on what we have learned from our female lineage. Each young girl announced their name, their mother’s name, and their grandmothers’ names. Then they spoke what they learned from their mothers, what their strengths are, their favorite things to do, and what they dream of becoming. We then integrated group improvisational movement with their shares.
It was a clunky process… with plenty of cultural gaps, and language barriers… and yet it had some beautiful moments for sure. 
While many here feel that there is a very very long road ahead in terms of receiving equal rights, including for example, being able to travel more freely or to attain bank accounts with more independence, the following are powerful steps made in that direction*:
  • In Nablus, the Arab Women’s league includes mental support for women, a committee for women’s economic empowerment, committees dedicated to employing women economically, committee for Developing Palstianian Markets supporting women who do start up projects, committee supporting job security for women graduating from the local An Najah University, Women organized a Women’s Feminist March this last year, and Women who are supported in their crafts. 
  • Our ” official ” meeting with the Arab Women’s league, after about 30 minutes, dropped into a whole other level of communion and appreciation when women brought out their handwork, needle work, glass art, and jewelry art. They beamed with pride… as they showed us these gorgeous pieces- many that exemplify their indigenous culture~ and we quickly emptied our wallets, and walked away with handfuls of treasures for ourselves, our families, and communities that we will love forever!!! 

Thank you so much for the inspiration women!! You are certainly breaking ground and making big changes~ and creating streams of support in many directions! So clear that the awareness of women’s influence and power is happening all over the world… and for this reason, we felt illumined once again to be in Nablus while women were being highlighted here. No accident was this timing I am sure!!! Very enlightening and healing for me.

 Thank you!
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