Media Development Center Hosts “In Their Eyes” Photo Gallery, Announces Competition Winners

The Media Development Center at Birzeit University, in cooperation with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, has announced the results of the “In Their Eyes: Women on The Job” photographic competition, accompanied by a photo gallery showcasing some of the photographs submitted.

The Gallery, which was hosted at Birzeit University as well as in Haifa, displayed 33 photographs, printed with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), taken by female photographers and journalists from all parts of Palestine, each photo depicting women in the workforce.

The President of Birzeit University, Dr. Abedellatif Abu Hijleh, expressed high hopes that this competition will serve to empower women and solidify their position as a pillar of the workforce, as well as to change the stereotypical image of women at work. He added, “Birzeit University will always strive to fulfil its communal role as well as it does its academic, and will always support the activities of its community centers, especially the Media Development Center, which we hope will help to enlighten a new generation of journalists who are more aware and understanding of gender issues in Palestine.”

Dr. Haifa Al-Agha, Minister of Women’s Affairs, noted the gallery’s role in opening doors to female journalists and presenting them with an opportunity to showcase their abilities and creativity, and called on organizations of all types to support Palestinian women and their role in the workforce.

Praising the partnership among the Ministries of Culture, Women’s Affairs, and Birzeit University, the Minister of Culture, Dr. Ehab Bseiso, highlighted the importance of the gallery and its effects on the image of women in Palestinian society.

The awards, donated by the Bank of Palestine, were distributed by Dr. Al-Agha to the winners: Sabreen Zaydan (Bethlehem); Majd Sanouri, (Jenin); Mayada Ellian (Jerusalem); Lana Hejazi (Ramallah); and Eman Bayoumi and Zainab Odeh (Gaza).

The gallery was also hosted at the Haifa Cultural Club in Haifa. The president of the club, Mr. Fouad Naqara, thanked the audience in attendance, and noted the effect of the gallery and the competition in shedding light on working women in society.

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture, Mr. Abedelnasser Saleh, also praised the gallery, saying it was the fruit of a pan-Palestinian joint effort that reinforces the presence of Palestinian women: “[it’s a] creative work, and every creative work is a type of resistance that shows the roots of our heritage and culture extending throughout history; a signal of our existence.”

A journalist who took part in the competition, Ms. Nahed Dirbas, applauded the open-nature of the competition, emphasizing the limitless choice of subject and the fact that any woman could submit her work. “I chose to photograph three women working in public fields, the law, human rights, and academia,” she added.