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The Fabric of Our Lives

The Fabric of Our Lives

"Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."  (Article 13 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

May 15 marks the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948 (the Catastrophe), which resulted in the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands by Israeli forces. Over 500 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed.  Due to the ongoing occupation of Palestine, the number of refugees has exceedingly increased. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) estimates that over six million Palestinians today are registered as refugees.

The YWCA of Palestine is committed to peace with justice for all people, which includes supporting peoples’ human rights; the right to self-determination, freedom, and dignity. As a member association of the World YWCA in Geneva, we have observer status at the United Nations thus support all UN Resolutions, including resolutions 194 and 237 calling for the right of return for refugees.

To highlight the importance of the right of return for women and their demands for freedom, dignity, and peace, we created “The Fabric of Our Lives” project; six olive wood dolls that shed light on the history of the Nakba, and the ongoing forced displacement and dispossession taking place throughout Occupied Palestine. We interviewed six refugee women who were old enough to remember what happened to them and their families in 1948 when they were expelled from their villages. Each doll comes with a small booklet including the stories of the interviewed women and something about their villages, and a message of hope for just peace.

Based on UN Resolution 1325, women have the right to political participation and protection and play an important role in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.  Within this framework, this project highlights the need for incorporating refugee women in any final peace settlement, and emphasizes their right to dignified livelihoods by providing an advocacy tool for their right of return or reparations outlined in UN resolutions and under international law.

 Read the dolls' stories below!                             

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The History of the YWCA of Palestine

A documentary about the history of the YWCA of Palestine...