Birzeit University Honors Mother of Detainee Samer al-Issawi on International Women’s Day
The Birzeit University community honored the mother of hunger-striker Samer Al-Issawi on March 16, 2013 at a ceremony held by the university employee’s union on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Leila Tareq Issawi was present and saluted Palestinian women and their ongoing struggles, among them the many women who suffer from the curse of occupation, the detention of their children. She spoke of why her son had been rearrested, despite being released in the prisoner exchange with Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Samer was re-arrested as he was traveling from Jerusalem to the West Bank. Now, Samer is being given the choice of either being imprisoned for 20 years, or deported for 10 years. Samer, despite his long hunger strike, has refused being expelled from his homeland.
Addressing the struggles that women face in Palestinian society, Vice President for Administrative Affairs Adel Zagha said that the BZU administration is keen on promoting working women to senior positions. He also thanked the university’s female employees for their active and vital role in the political, academic and social life of the community.
Union President Eileen Kuttab emphasized that women must be given the opportunity to prove their abilities. She called for affirmative action in favor of women to help reduce the existing gender employment gap.