“Women can do anything”

Palestine solidarity groups in London and around the country were proud to host Nawal Slemiah, founder and director of Palestinian embroidery cooperative Women in Hebron, to discuss the importance of cultural resistance and women-led initiatives in Palestine as part of resistance against military occupation, racism and apartheid.

In London, Manchester and Birmingham, Nawal visited various groups such as student societies and trade unions to share the history of her cooperative, as well as her personal perspectives and experiences living under the onslaught of an illegal occupation and apartheid.

It was also the perfect opportunity to showcase her beautiful and unique work as part of Women in Hebron that have recently become popular and favoured amongst visitors, international activists and locals alike. Meeting new groups and individuals to provide support for her work, the gatherings, spanning over the course of ten days were well-attended and intimate, with question and answer sessions allowing for discussion on topics ranging from illegal settler violence, to the inspiration behind the products she creates.

A unique embroidery cooperative priding itself on honouring the role of women in Palestinian society, Women in Hebron specialise in creating pieces that not only display the beautiful culture of Palestine, but embody the spirit of sumud — steadfastness — in the face of the racist military occupation. Since its foundation, Women in Hebron have proven to be a unique source of income, education and empowerment for the local women of the village of Idna.

Founded in 2005 as part of the Idna Cooperative, Women in Hebron’s presence in the Old City serves as a unique outlet to this day, promoting culture and resistance in an area of the city subjected to illegal settler and military violence on a daily basis.