PAYCE Stories

A passion for women's empowerment

December 20, 2018 Season 3 Episode 5
PAYCE Stories
A passion for women's empowerment
Chapters
PAYCE Stories
A passion for women's empowerment
Dec 20, 2018 Season 3 Episode 5
Palestinian American Youth Civic Engagement

Ala’ Hamamreh is one of the founders of Shaghaf Foundation, a Palestinian NGO dedicated to projects in digital media and social entrepreneurship that create empowerment for young women.  In this episode, PAYCE Fellow Fadi Abushanab profiles Ala’s work.  ‘Shaghaf’ means passion in Arabic. Ala’ explains the work the organization has done and the changes it has brought her personally.  Ala’ and Fadi challenge the conventional definitions of politics by talking about both the desire to end Israeli occupation and to change Palestinian society with a shift of consciousness. Ala’ Hamamreh served as a peer facilitator in Amman 2018 and was in the first cohort of PAYCE Fellows in Des Moines.  Music by ShareAlike creative commons music, Jahzzar, “Traveler’s guide”. 

Show Notes Transcript

Ala’ Hamamreh is one of the founders of Shaghaf Foundation, a Palestinian NGO dedicated to projects in digital media and social entrepreneurship that create empowerment for young women.  In this episode, PAYCE Fellow Fadi Abushanab profiles Ala’s work.  ‘Shaghaf’ means passion in Arabic. Ala’ explains the work the organization has done and the changes it has brought her personally.  Ala’ and Fadi challenge the conventional definitions of politics by talking about both the desire to end Israeli occupation and to change Palestinian society with a shift of consciousness. Ala’ Hamamreh served as a peer facilitator in Amman 2018 and was in the first cohort of PAYCE Fellows in Des Moines.  Music by ShareAlike creative commons music, Jahzzar, “Traveler’s guide”. 

Speaker 1:
0:00
Through our work with female entrepreneurs. We encourage young women to have their own initiatives and they own businesses and that in turn could help them be more independent in the future.
Speaker 2:
0:18
Mark, how about the listener greeting from Amman, Jordan? I am with from our cooks university, but it's time for this episode. Big stores, they're going to see an old man suffering from a lotto restriction and limited access to equal rights for that. I would to share with you an interesting story for a Palestinian woman and activists in the field or former rights.
Speaker 1:
0:45
Hello, I'm a Palestinian. I come from a small town in the north of Palestine. Call Jeannine. I hold a BA in English language and literature. I worked as a freelance translator and content writer for the past five years. I am a cofounder and communications manager at shutter for digital expression.
Speaker 3:
1:06
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
1:07
Shutaf first of all is an Arabic word that means passion because we're started by three female entrepreneurs from Jeannine who believe in following your own passions and dreams and doing what you love and a Shahaf we support and initiate projects that are related to digital media. For example, one of our recent projects is the sheep project. It's basically a series of trainings, networking sessions and inspirational meetups. Uh, with young female entrepreneurs from Palestine. The a series include, she can, she travels, she films, uh, to mention only a few, the two main areas of interest for me. Uh, the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I would like to see earth solution for it that guarantees just this for my people and I want to see change happening to women's rights as well in Palestine. Uh, writing for just, this is one way to achieve that. And costar thing shut off with the two of my friends is another, we want to enrich the Arabic content on the Internet, whether it's in writing, photography, logins, et Cetera. We also want to encourage freedom of expression through providing a alternative media outlets for young people in Palestine to express themselves.
Speaker 2:
2:36
We as a Palestinian people, because we on the incubation, we feed ourselves immediately involved in politics and I burst wanted they have an experience with political parties and my opinion in this issue that the Palestinian political party don't meet the ambition we see. Let us know what a new one in this issue.
Speaker 1:
3:00
I don't identify with any put as he held party in Palestine because they simply do not represent the change I want to see in my community. And not only that but also I believe that the most meaningful social change happen not through our political institutions but despite them. It happens on the level of the people when they shift consciousness and decide to try a different path. Well, when it comes to our, the Palestinian government first I would like to see it as an independent and submarine entity that does not answer to Israeli occupation forces. When we're free from occupation, I want to see more young women in business and more young women are presented in the government.
Speaker 4:
3:44
How hard sugar foundation affected your life and a life of others?
Speaker 1:
3:51
Well, throw off. I have met a lot of great people. I have built a community of like minded individuals. Uh, for myself. This is not the person that 11 so I've got exposed many new ideas who meeting people and that would not have been possible without me starting my own organization together with two a amazing other woman. We hope that through shut off, we're making an impact. However small in the lives of young Palestinian woman through a opening up new possibilities for them through the female speakers we host in our sessions.
Speaker 4:
4:27
Have you faced any challenges? If so, what are they?
Speaker 1:
4:31
Well, as an unprivate organization we face challenges related to fundraising and maintaining a stable funding and we're solving this through gradually building and expanding our network.
Speaker 4:
4:43
What advice would you give to the youth on how to engage in similar project and to be active in their community?
Speaker 1:
4:53
Well, I would say start with whatever resources you already have and er, don't wait for the money or the network or the education of course, educate yourself but do that as you as you go on along the way. I shut off. We started very small with a whatever free sources we have at our disposal. And another advice I would like to add is that is to keep an open mind and to not be afraid of, uh, entertaining opposing points, points of views.
Speaker 2:
5:25
These achievements are not related to time or initiatives, but are linked to vision two year thing, a spirit of challenge and love for change.
Speaker 1:
5:41
I personally believe that economic independence is the first step for women to gain more rights and to achieve equality. And on the long run, when we work within enough number of women, I think we can make change.
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