In this trip we are a delegation of from eight countries, 14 women and two men.
Usually I do not show friendly attitude in the beginning of such event, I rather stay alone observing who is nice , and who is not . so I was away from the group , then I started getting to know people I believe in the Arabic wisdom saying that souls are soldiers of God, they might get a long or they rebel .
I get along almost with everyone, I was lucky that the team is really sweet and not fake. Although we came from different professional back grounds and the majority is not really working on women rights issues but rather in corporate law , to be honest that irritates me in the beginning, I was wondering why they brought them and what is the added value to their participation , but by time they showed their deep adherence to the principles of promotion of women rights.
I would love to share with you a bit about my favorite women, with the four of them, I just felt very easy to talk about my life and its small details, I felt the warmth that melt the ice between us.
I will start with Miss discreet, she did not want to say where she is from or even stating her initials, and I respect that, she belongs to an extremely conservative society which depends primarily on oil . Miss discreet works as a legal consultant in the oil industry, she has a lot of stories to tell, starting with being brought up in a family that celebrates its daughters, where she was able to learn in prestigious educational institutions aboard, Miss discreet is fighting daily to assert her identity in a society suppress women, on daily basis she is conforming and bargaining with her society for many things one of them her appearance, she is not veiled and she have a firm belief that Hijab is not religious obligation , however she is conforming with her very modest plain formal outfits with the social norms, in addition to that she is a wife and mum of two and she is struggling with her multi tasked life , Miss discreet is very determined and goal oriented , I loved her high sense of ethics and integrity , she does not compromise with her ethical beliefs. She is" happily" married but her struggle to reclaim her individual identity in the marriage institution is remarkable
Another great human portray is J from Saudi Arabia, she is just a free spirit , she resists all forms of suppression and she is just against all the social prescribed constraints , J is living in a society where individual is subject to a very rigid religious system and this system is failing women, J is from the first group of women lawyers in Saudi, she is practicing all the principles of feminism as if it is part of her daily life style, with every word that get out of her mouth I affirm my belief that humans are powerful than any cruel system of suppression. Although she might seem like a person who is living a double life inside or outside Saudi , I never questioned her integrity, every compromise she is doing was a patriarchal bargain that empowers her .
My third favorite women is N , she is Palestinian living in Israel, I feel she is in a permanent struggle to claim her identity as an Arab citizen in Israel, she get along well on the professional side, because we are only social science researchers in the group , the rest are lawyers, she is in a multi side battle, with the Israeli government that discriminates against her and her own patriarchal community were women are negated their rights.
My forth favorite woman K is Palestinian living in West Bank, she is just a very peaceful soul, she has ability to absorb the negative energy and transform it to positive energy , she is living is hard situations, besides the situation in Palestine, personally she is working in a semi governmental Human Right instrument, where everything is subject to politics game , she was courageous enough to get out of the miserable system and seek her individualism , K is always hopeful, she believes that tomorrow is a better day, and that was quite interesting to a skeptical gloomy person like me .
This is a small note about new sisters I met in my trip , and it does not mean that the rest are not great creatures, i just picked a sample of women who just affirmed my belief in the universality of women struggle and the great impact of women sisterhood .