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Palestine Women in Tel Rumeida to draw their Social and Political Maps to Express their Suffering


Hebron -Tel Rumeida- 21 women living in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, Hebron, located in the southern part of the West Bank participated in a public and community activity for drawing social and political maps to express their challenges and violations of their human rights committed by practices and policies of Israeli settlers and occupation in this area. This activity was organized through ActionAid Palestine ‘s (AAP) project of “Valiance “Basala”-Empowering women in the old city of Hebron, H2” funded by Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Women gathered in a yard of small community organization and initiated a discussion on producing a clear social and political map that could tell their story to the world. They outlined the map the reflect their painful reality by drawing Israeli checkpoints, houses of Israeli settlers and Israeli military cars that are placed in Tel Rumeida impeding right of Palestinian residents to movement and public participation and increasing their social isolation. 

Drawing political social maps could be a socially constructed texts through which women express their desires, emotions, feelings, existing emergency, crisis and needs and they could be a mean to convey their unheard voices to their community and world. This activity provided a creative method for critical reflection and engagement between women for knowledge exchange within a community context.

Women’s lives in Tel Rumeida have been deeply affected by settlement construction, lack of basic services and public spaces, movement restrictions and settlers ’violence. It has become nearly impossible for friends or relatives to come visit them, not just because of access restrictions, such as checkpoints, but also the threat to personal security inherent in visiting this area.

Fadwa Al-Muhatsib is a woman living in Tel Rumedia: “we drew a map which reflects our suffering caused by 3 Israeli checkpoints surrounding our neighborhood. We live in a fully closed area which needs a prior coordination to be accessed. We lack a health center and availability ambulance car which faces difficulties in accessing this area due to checkpoints. our children and women are continually attacked by Israeli settlers. There is no security, and we wish if recreational and summer camps could be organized for our children during summer holiday due to lack of public parks. Women need psychological relief activities due to psychological stresses”.






 Horia Dofesh is a woman living Tel-Rumedia: “we suffer from access restrictions which imped us from carrying and bringing many of our basic items. We sometimes carry them with our hands and walk for long distances to get our homes. Through mural map, we present our suffering by drawing checkpoints and settlements that cause our challenges. At the same time, we drew flowers and trees symbolizing life and hope”.