Monday, May 31, 2010


Today, I discovered other social issues that exist in the society in addition to the occupation and conflict. I visited the Arab Women's Union Society, which runs an orphanage for girls (ages 6-20). Many of the girls are not only orphans, but have been further stigmatized because their mothers were executed for being collaborators with Israel. Having a parent who was killed for being a collaborator with Israel is a serious stigma. But their mothers were not willing collaborators. Most likely, these women become involved in affairs with men before or outside of marriage, which is a serious offense in Muslim society. Israel uses evidence against them (e.g., photos or video) to blackmail them into giving them information about the community. The woman often feels as if she has no choice: she can be shamed in front of the Muslim community or give information to Israel. Either way, she will suffer and her children as well. The children of these women are shunned forever, and many of them were living in this orphanage. They were very sweet young women, who gave me lunch (watching my every bite), and then taking me to their common room for an "American" dance party.

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