Palästina: Nafeesa Al Deek

The three divine religions honor human beings. Injustice is not a matter of religious conflict; all I seek to achieve is equal rights for all people.

— Nafeesa Al Deek

Born in Kafr Ne'meh near Ramallah in 1940, Nafeesa Al Deek is a women’s rights activist and social reformist. Left by her husband, she has dedicated her life to raising her children: two sons and a daughter. Her strong charisma has given her courage and unrelenting determination to fight for women’s rights. She was the first woman to found community-serving projects in Palestine, such as sewing workshops, that have assisted hundreds of women in her village to generate work skills and have better careers.

Nafeesa Al Deek was a young girl when she was married to her cousin through arranged marriage. He subsequently migrated to Brazil and left her for good with her three young children. Despite these difficult circumstances, she has successfully raised her kids and they now occupy very respected positions in society. Nafeesa began her voluntary social work, one year after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, by establishing a women’s association in her village with a grant from a German association, in order to help many Palestinian women survive during this hard time. Despite the fact that she was totally devastated by her husband’s departure, she believes that "If my husband had been there, I would never have been able to achieve so many things in life. I am proud of what I have done and will do." Nafeesa helped in the reconstruction of the village girls' school by raising funds through the association she formed. She has always advocated girls’ education as the fundamental step towards forming their identity and facilitating an independent prosperous future.

Kafr Ne’meh Women Society (KNWS)