On International Women's Day, held on March 10, Russia Today broadcast a TV report on the celebrations held by Russian women living in Gaza. The footage showed ballet performances by children trained by Russian teachers. Hala Al-Zabda, Director-General of the Ministry of Women's Affairs, saluted women worldwide, especially the foreign women married to Palestinian men, and said that "they are familiar with the suffering of Palestinian society."
Reporter: "Some 600 Russian families live in Gaza, and this is considered one of the largest groups of foreign nationals living here. These [women] quickly adapted to life here, and they have a notable presence and their own creative activity. Ballet was introduced into Gaza only with the arrival of the Russian immigrants. In the schools that opened in Gaza, it is Russia women who teach the children to dance, and today, ballet is part of the Russian community celebrations of International Women's Day."
Natalie Al-Mabhouh: "This is the first time that we are holding these celebrations in Gaza, and I am very pleased that so many people have come. As you can see, many people have come, Allah be praised, and we are very thankful for this."
Reporter: "What distinguishes the Russian women is their ability to adjust – even in a conservative Eastern society, like that of the Gaza strip. They encountered no problem integrating in the society and they all speak Arabic fluently."
Hala Al-Zabda: "We, in the Ministry of Women's Affairs, salute all the women of the world, on the occasion of International Women's Day, especially the foreign women who are married to Palestinians, and who live in our Palestinian society. They are familiar with the suffering of Palestinian society, which is unlike any other. They have the problem of the occupation, and they suffer from the hardships of life."
Reporter: "Among the participants there are non-Russian families as well. Since the [Russian] community participates in all the national and religious Palestinian celebrations, they are not alone, and their influence in all fields is notable."
Ashraf Al-Nimr: "The celebration is out of esteem for the role of these women, whether from Russia, Ukraine, or Moldavia, because they lived through three consecutive wars and endured much suffering, and have shared the hardships of our life here. So we had to take a humane, manly, and patriotic position, and stand alongside these women."
Reporter: "The Russian cultural influence on the Gaza Strip because many of the community of Russian immigrants are the elite of Palestinian society."