On October 10, 2019, Ehna Internet TV (Israel) aired a report about “Supporting Women against Violence,” a campaign against domestic violence that was held by Gazan women. At a campaign event, several women wore wedding dresses and make up that made them look like they had bruises, black eyes, and bloody lips as a result of domestic abuse. A campaign participant named Marwa, who was interviewed, said that she used to be beaten by her husband’s family and encouraged women who are experiencing similar abuse to act with courage and stand up for themselves. Hiba Al-Hindi, the Director of the Palestinian Pioneers Cultural Center and the organizer of the event, said that the campaign is the first of its kind in Palestine and that it was organized with the help of volunteers, some of whom she said had been victims of domestic violence. The event also featured a performance by artist Mohammed Aldairi, who drew a picture of Israa Ghrayeb, a Palestinian girl who had been tortured and murdered by her family. The reporter said: “[The women of the campaign] strive to spread the culture of fighting violence, which reflects on society as a whole.”
Following are excerpts:
Narrator: These girls are dressed in wedding gowns and have marks of cruelty and violence painted on their faces. They illustrate the bitter reality, which left its mark on their hearts even before their faces. Those bruises, which are now seen with the help of makeup, used to be the painful reality that prompted these girls to participate in the “Supporting Women against Violence” campaign. Marwa, one of the participants in the campaign, recounted her story to the audience to serve as a warning to society as a whole.
Marwa: Today, I look like someone who was beaten up, but in real life, my face used to look worse than this. I was not beaten by my husband, but by his family. That was the tragedy. That experience was really harsh. I wanted to embody it for myself and for any girl – for anyone listening to me. Get up! Don’t remain silent about what you’re going through. I hope that any girl who sees me will rise and not surrender. Don’t be afraid. Act with courage, like I did.
Hiba Al-Hindi: This is a courageous and unique initiative – the first of its kind in Palestine. [It is called] “Supporting Women against Violence.” The idea was to curb the violence against women and girls. This is a courageous initiative. I’ve managed to organize it with the help of volunteers, some of whom are divorced women who had been violently abused by their husbands.
Narrator: The event included a live drawing by artist Mohammed Aldairi. He drew a picture of Israa Ghrayeb, who had been tortured and murdered by her family.
Mohammed Aldairi: My painting today is about a case that shocked the Palestinian public. I will draw a picture of Israa Ghrayeb in an attempt to remind people that Israa is still on our minds.
Narrator: The initiative documented the true stories of young women who fell victim to all forms of violence. They strive to spread the culture of fighting violence, which reflects on society as a whole.