With the tensions in Israel and occupied Palestine higher than ever, a lot of social media outlets are censoring posts raising awareness for those suffering in Palestine.
Here are Palestinian women to follow on social media to keep informed with the ongoing conflict and to have a more personal outlook on the Israeli occupation.
Born and raised in Nabi Salih, a village on the West Bank in Palestine, Janna Jihad is a youth activist and amateur journalist. The 15 year old aims to document the decades long conflict in a way that most media outlets do not, and provide an accurate viewpoint.
At only 7 years old, she began reporting on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after seeing two of her family members being killed. She originally filmed protests in her village and uploaded the footage online,and so has amassed over 300,000 international followers.
Over the past five years, Janna has traveled to countries such as Jordan, Turkey, and South Africa to spread awareness of the ongoing violence in occupied Palestinian territories.
Her increasing popularity has earned her the title of “The Youngest Journalist in Palestine,” as she continues to document her life and protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
20-year-old Leanne Mohamad is a human rights activist and public speaker from London. As both of her parents are from Palestine, Leanne takes a strong stand against the Israeli occupation of the state and holds on to her right to one day return there.
She first came into the spotlight at 15 in a public speaking competition when she gave a speech titled “Birds not Bombs.”In this speech, Leanne aimed to uncover the sad reality of being Palestinian and called for freedom for all those living through the occupation. However, many complaints were made about her speech, so she was disqualified from the competition. Her wrongful disqualification quickly interested people, and her powerful speech went viral overnight.
Since gaining popularity, Leanne has used her platform to speak at many different events, including a speech in front of over 200,000 protesters in London.
She continues to openly speak about the violent crimes of the Israeli government and oppose the occupation of Palestine.
Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian author and public speaker from the United States. Born in Kuwait, Laila often spent her summers as a child in Gaza. After graduating from Duke and Harvard University, Laila moved to Gaza.
She became exposed to the issues Palestinians face daily, whilst she worked as a Gaza correspondent for al-Jazeera.
Laila also started a blog called “Gaza Mom,” on which she provides a personal account of raising a child in Gaza, and where she now publishes recipes for traditional Palestinian food whilst living in the US.
She still continues to post and raise awareness about the situation in Palestine, often raising money to help those under the occupation.
The cousin of Janna Jihad, Ahed is also a fierce youth activist from the occupied West Bank. She is known for participating in protests expressing her opposition to the expansion of Israeli settlements. The 20-year-old has become known as a freedom fighter for Palestine.
Ahed has repeatedly gained popularity, first being when she was 11 and attempted to stop the wrongful arrest of her mother. She was later pictured waving a fist in front of an Israeli soldier when her brother was arrested, an image that went viral. Her most known stand against the Israelis was when she slapped an Israeli soldier in 2017 and was subsequently arrested.
Ahed is known for being an energizing force for all those who have been demoralized by decades of Israeli settlement. She continues to strive to make a change as she is now pursuing a law degree with the hopes of “holding the occupation accountable”.
The sister of YouTube star FouseyTube, Noura Erakat is a legal scholar and human rights attorney and activist. Despite living in California her whole life, she maintains strong ties with her Palestinian heritage.
Noura uses her power as an attorney to seek justice for those currently living in Palestine, whilst also publishing several books and papers on the occupation of Palestine, in which she questions the selective justice system by the Israelis and the UN initiative.
She also never fails to call out Western countries on social media for their lack of involvement in calling out Israel over their inhumane behavior.
Rana Nazzal hamadeh
Rana is Palestinian-Canadian artist/activist who uses photography and film-making to portray displacement and abolition within the West Bank.
Rana puts on exhibitions in Canada to show those in the West what life is like in Palestine. In one exhibit, she chose to display soil she collected through her travels in Palestine, which demonstrates peoples’ connections to the soil of their homeland.
Also active on social media, Rana spreads awareness about the “devastation and incredible violence from the Israeli state.”
She regularly takes to the streets of Ramallah to protest against the government, not just for them but for Gaza too.
Muna El Kurd
Muna El Kurd and her brother Mohammed have been documenting the occupation and its human rights violations since they were young children.
Muna was seen in a viral video confronting a settler who stole her family’s home; this video, as well as Muna and her brother’s advocacy, helped to create international awareness around what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah. Neighbors say that each time citizens or journalists were arrested by the occupiers, she would organize sit-ins in protest.
Muna herself was recently arrested by the Israeli Occupation Forces the morning of publication, but was thankfully later released the same day.
Muna’s defiance in the face of the occupation was lauded on social media. May Allah protect her and her brother and amplify their voices.
And may Palestine be free.