26 October 2014

Buthaina - tenth woman in her family murdered

Last night, Buthaina Abu Ghanem, from Ramleh, was murdered in cold blood. Buthaina is the tenth - yes, you are seeing the correct number - the TENTH - woman from her family to be murdered under similar circumstances.

Skimming through the media, I find the English edition of Times of Israel is using the term "honor killing." The Arab website Arabs 48 has reported that the Israeli police are incapable of dealing with these kinds of murders in what they refer to as "the Arab street."

To the term "honor killing" I say: NO. These are not honor killings. These murders have nothing to do with honor. These are gender-based murders. These women were murdered in cold blood simply because they were women, and simply because they attempted to live a normal life and to exercise their rights and freedoms. And to those commentators on the Times of Israel article who blame Islam, I also say no. Religion has nothing to do with it. These women were murdered because some men still think they have the right over women's bodies and the right to control women. Religions are not violent. If a person is violent, then his Islam/Christianity/Judaism/Buddhism will be violent. People are violent, not religions.

The names of the ten murdered women are buzzing through my head.

Ten women from the same family. Sharihan was only 16 when she was murdered. Dalia disappeared at the age of 16 and to this day the police have not found her body. Reem was murdered because she refused to marry a man she didn't want to. Hamda was murdered because of too many phone calls.

I am sitting in the safety of my home, and my heart goes out to the women of the family who are still alive, and I cannot imagine the horror they must live through, not on a daily basis, but moment to moment.


23 October 2014

my new passion

Words have always been at the center of my life. I breath and live through words. It’s my way of talking to the world, and in the last several years, my tool for feminist activism. However, several years ago, I suddenly felt that I need an additional medium for expressing my creative energies. I started studying jewelry design, but left after two months. Something was missing. Something was incomplete in my life. Then I had the invaluable opportunity to photograph feminist events. I started receiving positive feedback, friends telling me that I have “an eye.” I started taking my Canon 60D everywhere, it became an extension of my body.
I’ve been photographing for two years, mainly playing with my camera, experimenting, learning. I don’t necessarily look for beauty when capturing an image. Rather, I search for essence, meaning, emotions, a story, more often than not questions rather than answers.
I am thrilled to have discovered an art form where I can grow as an individual and as an artist, a field that is so vast that the learning experience has no limits.  

14 October 2014


I haven't been uploading any new content recently for several reasons.

* I have been quite busy with proofreading my forthcoming novel, Haifa Fragments. While I was in the process of writing it, I posted fragments from it. Now it has gone to type-setting. The novel will be available on 8 March, 2015 and you will be able to buy a copy through my publisher's website, Spinifex.

* More recently, I have gone back to a second novel, which I started a year ago. The new novel I'm currently working on, Taboos in Arabic, takes up exactly those themes - taboos. As I am still struggling with raw material, structure, and style, the text is in no way ready for sharing publicly.

* Lastly, I have found a new passion. Another way to unleash and express my creative energies: photography. In the last number of years, I have felt that the medium of words is not enough for me in terms of expressing myself and my creativity, and I searched for something to complement writing. I found it in photography. So at the moment, I am spending quite some time playing around with my camera, experimenting, and learning. I might soon open a photography blog, and will update you on it.

* As I'm not sure when I will be posting new blog-posts (it can happen anytime), I invite you to subscribe by email to my blog. This way, you will be sure not to miss anything.

* In the meantime, you are more than welcome to follow my Facebook page: Haifa Fragments, or just connect with me through my personal profile.

in solidarity,