Amal Elsana Alh'jooj is the director of the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation.
Amal was born in Laqiya, an Arab Bedouin village in the northeastern Negev, to a family with 13 children. At the age of 17 she established the first Arab Bedouin women's organization.
Amal is one of the key shapers of public opinion in the Arab community regarding the status of the Arab minority and the status of women in Israel- World Affairs Council of Connecticut
Amal Elsana Alh'jooj
Amal Elsana Alh-jooj is the director of AJEEC the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation - a division of NISPED. Alh-jooj was born in Laqiya, an Arab Bedouin village in the northeastern Negev, to a family with 13 children. She began her career as a community organizer when she was 14, and at the age of 17, established the first Arab Bedouin women's organization.
Alh-jooj completed her high school education in the village of Tel Sheva and went on to study social work at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She received her M.A. in Community Development from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Alh-jooj is one of the shapers of public opinion in the Arab community, in Israel in general and in the Negev in particular, regarding the status of the Arab minority and the status of women in Israel. She is a lecturer and participant in numerous conferences devoted to these issues in Israel and abroad, and has received a number of awards.
Felicity Harley is the executive director of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut.
Felicity Harley has an extensive professional background that combines 30 years of national and international experience as a senior manager and Chief Executive Officer in nonprofit institutions, and is currently the Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut. Felicity Harley was educated in Great Britain and the United States. She is a published writer and poet.
When one looks at this conference, he could be surprised by the number of people who opposed her. She had to overcome her father, her mother, her sisters, her brothers, her uncles and aunts, her village, her community, her values and traditions but still she made it.
This story might give the impression that the people around her were all against her. Although it is true, it is not the completely accurate. I am not suggesting that they did not do everything they could to stop her but I am saying that I am saying that they were not that much in opposition.
A more careful observation of their interactions and the reasoning behind them can change our vision of who is the victim in this affair. Even though she had suffered a lot because of her entourage, they made her go through all these difficulties because they were also the victim of something that is larger than them.
The relentless opposition she will encounter was due to the fact that they were acting under their pursuit of happiness. If people do not understand that they were acting under the sole motivation of the happiness of the whole, they will miss the entire story.
Indeed, what they have been taught over the years and should I say over centuries is that much of their happiness will come from their acceptance of some rules and regulations that are the bases of their traditions and values. When each family follows those rules, it maintains stability, honour and the whole family, village and their community will remain united.
Therefore, women are supposed to behave a certain way and men are there to make sure that they do behave that way and they will do everything that is in their power to reach that goal.
Now, are men used this context to abuse women? The answer is: “definitely yes”. Are women in a submission position in this context? The answer is: “absolutely yes”. Should something be done to change this situation? The answer is: “600% yes”.
Having said that, I believe it would help review the reaction of all the parties involved. Let’s take for instance her father. Although he wanted nothing else than to see his daughter being happy, there was nothing he could have done to erase the context he was raised in. His duty was to enforce the traditions not only because it was showing his masculinity but also because the survival of his family within their community was at stake. If he had not acted the way he did, they had the power to affect his family revenue. What could he have done against that? Should he sacrifice all his family just for this daughter? What was he supposed to do? Her father is as submitted to the culture and its traditions as his daughter is submitted to him. He is the victim of the system under which they are living.
If you want to read the whole response, please go to www.crazyreal.wordpress.com and read the page "Who is the victim"